The Internet is all about learning, even if just which film to watch on TV tonight or where to shop for the best prices, but it is all learning. Likewise social tools at work are great places for learning. Learning from the experience of others, learning what is happening around you, learning how to improve yourself and become better at what you do.
All of this depends on curiosity. Wondering why things are the way they are, wanting to understand things, a desire to take responsibility and grow as an individual. Sadly we beat these characteristics out of people from an early age.
Jane Hart wrote an interesting post recently about how to deal with “unwilling corporate learners”. Though couched in the language of training and learning the issue is the same one. How do you encourage people to learn if they show little inclination? How do you help them to re-discover their natural curiosity?
I do believe it is natural. I do believe that everyone has the capacity and desire to learn. I argue back when people sometimes say that I am “unreasonable expecting everyone to think”. We just have to find a way of making it worth their while.