Learning Goes in
EDITORIAL REVIEW BOARD
Richard D. Oaks
AUMA AC TUATORS, INC.
CRANE FLOW SOLUTIONS
ROTORK CONTROLS, INC.
Who hasn’t heard these much-used phrases?
; That’s the way we have always done it.
; Who are you to tell me how to do my job?
; If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
VALVE MAGAZINE (ISSN No. 1057-
2813) is the official magazine of the
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After returning from VMA’s most recent educational program on the
campus of the University of Calgary, where I mingled with both
contemporaries and the generation we hope will be tomorrow’s valve industry
professionals, I began to question such thinking. Are these phrases sayings of
the past? Are we, the “elder statesmen” of our industry, turning a deaf ear to
the newer generation? Yes, we have been doing things a certain way for
umpteen years, but are there better ways?
For example, I have worked with numbers for most of my professional life
so I thought I knew just about all there was to know about Lotus and then
Excel. However, when I ran into a problem recently in Excel, I consulted my
son. He showed me not only how to solve the problem at hand, but also
showed me about 15 other Excel tricks I didn’t know existed—even though I
thought I was an expert.
Similarly, when I listened to the engineering students in Calgary, I heard
not only good questions but good ideas about the products we are so familiar
with on a day-to-day basis. These are unbelievably inquisitive minds that we
shouldn’t ignore. Instead, all educational programs should be a two-way
street—we have a lot to share with the next generation and the one after that,
but we also are never too old to learn. We should always be using both our
mouths and our ears. This is why this column is entitled: Learning Goes in
Instead of using the phrases above, let’s encourage new phrases such as:
; What are your thoughts on our current process?
; Do you feel there is a better way to accomplish our goals?
; Give me your input on these issues.
© Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.
In other words, don’t close the door between the conversations: make them
two-way. I know it is sometimes hard to give up old practices or accept there
is another way to do things, but we can all learn alongside those that are
learning from us. VM