UNLEARNING AND FORGETTING with C K Prahalad

Creating a learning organization is only half the solution.

Just as important is creating an unlearning organization.

We’re all familiar with the learning curve, but what about the forgetting curve — the rate at which a company can unlearn those habits that hinder future success?

— C. K. Prahalad*

I'M TRYING OUT PRAHALAD'S PRINCIPLE AT HOME RIGHT NOW.

I’m tearing out some old landscaping in order to concentrate on creating fewer, but more attractive, areas.

As leaders, perhaps the same thing needs to happen at work. What if we did less, but did it better — or smarter? What if we focused on the best things we do — as leaders and as a company?

If we did, would anybody miss what we unlearned or forgot?

Carl Francis

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*The late C.K. Prahalad was an international authority on multi-national management, strategy and innovation. He authored four books, including his final work, The New Age of Innovation, published in 2008. He was the Distinguished Professor of Corporate Strategy at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.