Astro's Henry Tan: There Are No Experts - We Are All Learners

LEADERSHIP INSIGHTS

Astro's Henry Tan: There Are No Experts, We Are All Learners

Astro’s Group Chief Content and Consumer Officer Henry Tan says that there is the tendency to focus too much on the threats facing the mass media and missing out on the opportunities that are in our face.

Stop whining, learn, unlearn, relearn and be humble about the whole process.

Astro’s Group Chief Content and Consumer Officer (GCCO) Henry Tan said that there is the tendency to focus too much on the threats facing the mass media and missing out on the opportunities that are in our face.

This mentality is exactly what is causing the downfall, as the media industry players tend to beat and lament when they should be concentrating on boosting their skills and knowledge in today's world which evolves every millisecond.

Tan said this out aloud at Comma 2017.

"There are a few things I think are needed in the new world. Number one is the need to look at the huge opportunity in all these changes.

"There's a huge opportunity for us to reinvent and lead. The people tend to look at all the threats, but people also forget the opportunities, and I think we should really not just focus on the threats but look at the opportunities and say, "How do we seize the opportunity and then lead in that space?"

"So, there is a huge opportunity to reinvent and lead, but all that means is that we have to do something rather difficult. You know, all of us are in the process of growing up, went through a learning process, and I guess when you’re in school or whenever you’re learning something, you say wow! so difficult to learn this and learn that," said Tan. 

I believe in the new world, in a chaotic new environment, the ability to unlearn is absolutely critical - Henry Tan

In learning, Tan cautioned that there is a need to unlearn and relearn, which is the more difficult thing to do in this google world where almost everyone can be an instant expert.

It is also a world where the "experts" have a hard time being humble about their lack of or dated knowledge.

"Truth be told, learning isn’t the most difficult. Unlearning or relearning is actually more difficult. Why? Because once you learn something you’re already a subject-matter expert and you’re quite good at something."

"It’s very hard to give that up and do it all again. So if you’re already good at something and someone say, "Hey, can you go back to basics, blank piece, do all again and relearn?

Very difficult! But I believe in the new world, in a chaotic new environment, the ability to unlearn is absolutely critical.

"And not only that, also to have the humility to know that, first you do not know it all, and second, even if you do know, the world is changing so fast that what you’ve just done is probably obsolete for your second project or your next project. So, you need to always think about unlearning, relearning and more important, is how do you learn on-the-go," said Tan.

According to Tan, the most important ability at this point of time for media industry players to stay afloat and survive the storm is to be able to learn-on-the-go.

"The one key attribute to succeed in the new environment is the ability to learn on-the-go. So no experts, no subject-matter experts, nobody say I know it all because that’s really, that doesn’t exist in the new world environment. But to be learning on-the-go all the time, to be honest about evaluating, if I were to do this project all again, how would I do it differently to make it even better. And that attitude is absolutely, absolutely, critical in the fast changing new world," said Tan.

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