If we already know how to do something, it appears that there’s nothing to learn. We are already expert, and in most organisations an Expert is a great thing to be. But if we want people to learn, then those people have to accept that there are things they don’t yet know.
That’s relatively easy when it’s abstract - ‘oh yes, there’s always more to learn’ - but a lot trickier if what they don’t yet know is important stuff that would make them better at their job. That’s because it’s tantamount to admitting that they are not at the top of their game. And that is tough to do in a competitive arena where weakness is frowned upon or turned to your disadvantage.
If you want people to be curious, then ‘not-knowing’ has to be OK. How can that be encouraged in an instant-answer-now and an expertise-valued environment?
Before England’s 2-1 defeat in their crucial World Cup game with Uruguay, captain Steven Gerrard warned his players they faced a "terrible" summer if they lost.
Gerrard, who went through disappointing World Cup campaigns in 2006 and 2010 - when England lost 4-1 to Germany - said he underlined the high price of failure in a special address to the squad.