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Chapter 8. How Do I Respond to Disposabi... > Principle 2: Generalize Ideas

Principle 2: Generalize Ideas

Generalization simply means the movement of ideas or knowledge across boundaries like space or time. For example, our friend Rand readily transfers his skill at learning languages into new geographic settings and brings his understanding of ancient civilizations into today’s political processes.

Most of us are not nearly this good at generalizing knowledge or skills. The biggest challenge in education is not to get kids to learn math but to get them to remember to apply the math skills they have learned when they go to the grocery store or restaurant. Research on continuing education programs suggests that most participants, even though they spend a lot of time and money and even if they rave about the program, will change very little as a result of their investment and enthusiasm. Helping employees (and ourselves) generalize learning by applying it in new settings and spreading it around is not easy. But without this key step, generating great ideas is a waste of time.


  

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