Advancing civilization

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —November 30, 2004
Filed in Insight

“Civilisation advances by extending the number of operations we can perform without thinking about them.”

About  Shawn Callahan

Shawn, author of Putting Stories to Work, is one of the world's leading business storytelling consultants. He helps executive teams find and tell the story of their strategy. When he is not working on strategy communication, Shawn is helping leaders find and tell business stories to engage, to influence and to inspire. Shawn works with Global 1000 companies including Shell, IBM, SAP, Bayer, Microsoft & Danone. Connect with Shawn on:


  1. Michael Croft says:

    “If there is one word that will stem the advancement of civilisation, that word is meetings.”
    Feel free to substitute – committees, bureacracy, chat rooms or any other word(s) that sums up a waste of time.
    There is a hierarcy of skill levels: a) unconsciously unskilled (you don’t know that you don’t know), b) consciously unskilled (you now know you don’t know), c) consciouly skilled (you know but have to think about it), d) unconsciously skilled (you just know and do it).
    I wish I could claim these as my thoughts but in truth I’ve forgotten who to attribute them to.
    warm regards, MC

  2. Dave says:

    Actually, the skill levels are not a hierarchy, but are descriptive of the learning process. The process is linear. Each of the skill levels (stage) are actually gates where one gives up and doesn’t move forward to the next stage.

  3. michael croft says:

    Sorry Dave, but how can you have skill “levels” that aren’t a hierarchy?
    Learning is a linear process (the quantum “aha” moment aside), but the results of that learning are anything but. If you progress through “gates” to the next “level”, it’s usually up – up in skill level, up in pay, up in access, up in qualification.

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