life: The Latest Troublemaker
life: the period for which a thing is said to be useful.
The term is mostly used for edible stuff and medicine, but often
as is the case with English terms, it is used for other things also.
It is used to describe the career span of sports persons say about
15 years and movie stars which ends when they reach say 50yrs for
males and about 45 for females. Ok agreed Amitabh Bachan at 60 plus
is still ruling the industry and Rekha seems to look more ravishing
with every passing day. But weren’t exceptions to the rules supposed
to lend creditability to the rule. So guess these people just prove
that every thing has a shelf life.
No we are not here to discuss how long Amitabh will rule or how
many guys will drool over Rekha. We are here to discuss the latest
word that has become a victim of this term.
The word is
KNOWLEDGE yes it might be a little bit difficult to
digest, but the time has come when we’ll HAVE to digest it
with a pinch of salt. Certain knowledge like your mother loves
you will hold true fore ever, but the knowledge that your
girl loves has a far shorter shelf life ( sorry for all those
who learnt this through experience). On a more practical note
say you know that it is raining out side this knowledge has
a shelf life only as long as it is raining. The moment it
stops raining the knowledge becomes useless. These are of
course examples which have a lighter side to it. The fact
however stays unchanged that now a day’s knowledge comes with
a “Best before tag”.
In today’s bubbling,
churning, boiling torrent of change, some say that all knowledge
has a short shelf life that all knowledge is out date and out of
Lets us now see
how the industry is being affected by this new type of knowledge.
Take away 10 years
and the IT sector was fighting for people who were well versed with
COBOL and PASCAL, now returning to the present there is hardly any
takers for people with knowledge in these fields. And no this problem
is not confined to the technical field even people in HR and finance
can be a victim. For example people with knowledge of SAP and Tally
are being preferred over people who just have field knowledge.
Your latest innovation that made you the market leader may become
useless for you in the matter of months.
The scenario is the
same in any field. Let’s take the law for instance, with every amendment
the knowledge about the previous law becomes redundant in other
words the old law out lives its shelf life. There
was a time when every one thought the world was flat then some enlightened
soul opened our eyes and informed us on the contrary it was round
which was further refined and said that it was actually a sphere.
The scientific world went crazy when they thought they had finally
found the smallest building blocks of matter the molecule. But this
molecule character soon lost the lime light to some one called the
atom, later on the same lime light was shared amongst three young
fellows called electron, proton and neutron.
Now getting back on
the industry front, the scene is just as cloudy there. It is clear
that knowledge now has a new category, and this type come with a
“best before date” or to be more accurate “useless after date” you
may argue that both mean the same thing but if we really get down
to the rock bottom then you’ll agree to that there is a fundamental
difference in those statements.
We now have ourselves
a problem statement: “Knowledge is becoming outdated and with
it the people whose bread and butter depends on that”. In the earlier
days the grand parents had to know how RAM defeated RAVAN with the
help of HUNUMAN to be the favorite of their grandchildren. Not today
they would have to know operate a bay-blade to gain the approval
of their grand children.
No; the problem
is not as casual as the example. People have much to lose than
their loved one’s affection. People are loosing their jobs and along
with it there minds and lives. Yes that’s how serious the problem
is. With the rate the world is advancing in every conceivable field
this problem can turn into a real trouble maker. The
problem has a very realistic solution. Keep yourself updated. It
is not as easy as it sound, neither nor is it as difficult as it
looks. All it requires is the correct temperament yes that’s what
it requires. One cannot afford to get frustrated with the rate the
things are changing around them.
The same thing applies
to the people in the industry. You have to make sure that your employee
is constantly updated in the required fields. The employee will
of course have to do their share of the work. They have to adapt
the new process of learning “learn –unlearn- relearn”. That is the
only way that’ll ensure that one stays up to date.
The industry people
can not afford to replace every outdated employee. The recruitment
costs will be way overboard, and any way the solution is impractical.
After all if your flash drive is full and you cannot add any more
data, you don’t through the flash drive and buy a new one, do you?
What we do is delete the expired and redundant information and then
store the new data. Well the same formula is to be adapted by the
companies, the have to keep updating their employees with the latest
changes. Let’s face it this trouble maker “knowledge with shelf
life” is all set to engulf everything and every one on its way.
The choice is ours whether we drown in this wave or we learn how
to swim. Our advice…….. Learn make that LEARN how to swim and while
you are at it add all the different strokes to your armor, you never
know what new challenges tomorrow brings.
Writer: Sajiri Chidgupkar & Monimoy Sengupta