What's the meaning of life?


Are you surprised by this question, in the sense that you were expecting something more L&D or corporate education-oriented? Or that you thought we were going to be espousing the latest in some learning theory? Or that we would be spouting buzz words such as increased productivity, enhanced team dynamics, better decision-making, etc.?

Well, yes, we will be doing that. But first, we would like to explain why we posed the question, “what is the meaning of life?” 

Let’s begin with a bit of context. Below is a breakdown of how most working adults spend their time in a week:

  • Sleep ~ 30% to 35%
  • Work ~ 30% to 50%
  • Commute ~ 5% to 10%
  • “Other” ~ 5% to 10%

Seeing how the most amount time is taken up by work, it seems logical to ask whether what happens at work forms part of the answer to the question “what is the meaning of life?”

Regardless of whether your answer is “yes” or “no” or “it depends,” the fact remains that what happens at work significantly impacts our sense of identity, worth, and efficacy. For this reason alone, we believe that the answer simply has to be “yes, what happens at work does affect the meaning and quality of our lives.”

We at Gnowbe took this question to heart. 

(Read on till the end to find out what our response to the question “what is the meaning of life?”)
And from decades of reflection, Gnowbe’s reason for existence is crystallized in our mission statement: “To humanize the learning journey in an age of technological advancement.” Grounding us in this quest, we draw upon the principles of transformational learning, humanagogy and neuroscience  (more of these in future newsletters).

To humanize simply means “to be in the state of be-ing human”, a.k.a. “the fullest and highest expression of who you are at any point in time.” At Gnowbe, we ask of each program “how will a learner, in taking this program, be one step closer to the fullest and highest expression of himself / herself?”

Imagine then, a company where each and every employee, regardless of rank or file, is fully expressing himself / herself. Whether such a work place is possible is not the question. Rather, we believe that it is a vision worthy of pursuit. 

We deeply believe that work can be, and needs to be, a place where we feel free to express the wholeness of our humanity. Because it is only when our outward expression is in harmony with who we truly are that magic happens - not least of which are employees who are more self-directed, and better equipped to create conditions that nurture organizational well-being that results in increased productivity.
Practically, how do we at Gnowbe “humanize” the learning journey?

We do so by constantly holding ourselves accountable to the following 3 principles: 

1.     Technology was not intended to replace the human touch, but rather to augment fundamental human experiences, of which learning is one. At Gnowbe, this translates into our humble acceptance that technology aided learning such as micro mobile learning is great in some instances, but not others. The human, not the technology, is always our central focus as we co-create learning solutions to business challenges.

2.     Technological innovation is a human imperative, i.e. by virtue of the fact that humans are naturally curious beings, we will continue to seek better ways of doing things. At Gnowbe, this means not only embracing, but constantly anticipating what’s around the innovation corner and actively contributing to the expansion of what technology aided learning can achieve.

3.     Learning is a deeply relational, affective and situational phenomenon as much as it is private. At Gnowbe, we encourage learners to deep-dive into themselves, to reach out to others and engage in collaborative peer-to-peer learning, and to pay intentional attention to their environment. Ultimately, we invite learners to not only make, but also actualize meaning such that observable behavioral changes take place.  
As you read the 3 principles, what resonated with you? Which of the 3 principles do you believe has the potential to greatly impact the way you deploy learning and development solutions? How else do you believe technology can humanize the learning journey?

So, coming back to “what is the meaning of life?”
Well, it is to be the best of you, regardless of where and when. Because there will only ever be one you. And Gnowbe is committed to this learning journey with you, at your own pace, at home and at work, to bring your best into being.
If you were to take this question truly to heart, how would it impact how you understand, relate and act in your current role? How would it elevate the way you co-create solutions to business challenges – be it how to create an effective multi-generational work-place, how to equip 1sttime managers with world-class leadership skills, or how to create emotional buy-in during a change management process – in ways that invite the fullest and highest expression of all stakeholders involved?
Click here to connect with us and better understand how Gnowbe can help you and your organization grow knowledge into being. We look forward to co-creating this community of learning and practice with you.      


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Roslina Chai