In today's Internet-driven business climate, there is nothing so important as an educated, well-trained employee. We have come to realize, as Arie DeGeus, former executive vice president of Royal Dutch/Shell, says, "A company's success no longer depends on its ability to raise investment capital, but on the ability of its people to learn together and to produce new ideas." Ideas are the raw capital of today's enterprise. Idea aggregation creates knowledge, which builds the corporate mind. The knowledge wealth of the corporate mind leads to innovation, which produces the products or services needed to stay competitive. None of this can occur without intellectually stimulated, continuously educated people.
Yesterday's worker was trained to perform a repetitive task; work today is far more complex, often requiring the development of a wide range of skills many of which change on a more or less continuous basis. For example, knowledge- workers are expected to be able to multitask in a highly technological environment while maintaining an overall understanding of the business process or goal. The cost of developing the requisite skills is great, often running into hundreds of thousands of dollars; thus, no employer wants to lose an educated employee to a competitor.
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