The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those that can’t read or write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn – Alvin Tofler, Rethinking the Future.
As we all become life long learners, unlearning could be our biggest challenge. Our mental models prevent us from seeing the need for change. We are creatures of the only world we have individually known. Even if you are one hundred years old, the mental models established after humanities second Tipping Point dominate your thinking. They form our intuitions and belief systems.
Yet we now live in a world where every day that passes challenges those mental models. Our tendency is to hold onto them, hoping that change is temporary, and the hype surrounding us is science fiction. In a recent book titled Autonomy, author Lawrence Burns chronicles the history of the driverless car. As the head of R&D at GM, Mr. Burns had a front row seat, as he watched Detroit ignore what Silicon Valley could see very clearly: driverless cars would transform mobility. No need to change the way we think; driverless cars will never happen.