Fall 2000


See some of Brook and Marcia's other writings.

Strategy as if Knowledge Mattered. B. Manville, N. Foote. Fast Company issue 2, 1996.

Visit Marcia Conner's Learnativity website.

The New Economy—with its new ways of working and new ways of thinking—puts an unprecedented emphasis on the value of learning. Learning is the premium core process at the heart of what the New Economy is about: performing to the max, going faster, and breaking old rules. The New Economy is also about reinventing community, building talent, searching for meaning in the workplace, and combining the professional with the personal. It’s the paradox of values and innovation, and also one of technology and social relationships. It’s about both know-how and know-why.

It’s damn complicated, and the people and organizations who figure how to learn faster and better to make everything work together will win. Knowledge is power. Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose. The meek who get smarter and figure out how to apply learning will benefit from this current revolution.

Learning is more important than ever. But in this New Economy, it’s different than before. The new learning requires individuals and organizations to fundamentally change the way they talk about, work with, and act on what is known and what needs to be known in order to change, move, and grow.

There is no time to cling to our outmoded metaphors of the classroom, school ma’rms, or the Gutenberg Bible. It’s time for a new dawn—and some fundamental challenges to the status quo. Here’s our starting pick list—and the rallying beliefs that will guide this publication and the learning events it will bring along for the ride. In the future, with your help, we may change or add others and strike a fewbut since we mean to make a war of it, let it begin here…


1. We have no more time or patience for trying to distinguish between words such as training, learning, knowledge, information and content. They are all important, but results trump semantics.

2. There’s still room for “learning for its own sake”—but performance-driven and managed learning will increasingly dominate the stage.

3. Metrics of success for the new learning will be traditional financial and performance measures, not fancy, academic concepts.

4. Speed and performance demands in the New Economy will shift starting assumptions from just in case generic to just in time personalized learning—and that’s just fine.

5. eLearning will grow in importance, but will be only one part of the rich mix of choice and mass personalized approaches to learning required by knowledge workers.

6. Technological innovation will accelerate in step with growing emphasis on approaches that understand learning exists in both individual and social contexts. Like it or not, every student’s lessons are also relationship-driven and embedded in communities and their organizational cultures.

7. New learning will be pursued cross-boundary, virtually, synchronously, and asynchronously, and be provided by increasingly global marketplaces for content and talent.

8. As identities and boundaries blur, educational institutions will become more like businesses and businesses will become more like educational institutions.

9. The distinction between formal and informal learning will and should evaporate.

10. The Internet will restructure learning processes in multiple ways, many of which cannot be known today.

Sept 2000

What do you think? Challenge the challenges then add your own. Send your comments to manifesto@linezine.com. Brook Manville is Publisher of LiNE Zine and the Chief Learning Officer of Saba. Write him at brook@linezine.com. Marcia Conner is Editor-in-Chief of LiNE Zine and Co-founder of the Learnativity Alliance. Reach her directly at marcia@linezine.com.