“Vigorous” suggests several attributes of learning. First, that it should be aggressive, and a core part of daily activity. Second, in work organizations, learning is primarily directed to its mission and goals, but not exclusively; organizations must venture “outside their boxes.” Third, within work organizations learning is collective; since everyone’s work is connected, don’t let learning in little pockets stay “bottled up.” Fourth, vigorous learning must span organization boundaries, becoming enterprise learning. Complex work depends on joint learning by a number of suppliers, minimally impeded by intellectual property fences. Examples: integrating both the mechanics and the software of a modern vehicle; dealing with a complex medical case across the boundaries of multiple specialties.
Learning from idle curiosity, while often wasteful, can also have unexpected benefits, like breakthrough discoveries when someone sees the possibilities of a novel observation. For example, early researchers playing with coherent light could dimly foresee the spectrum of uses for lasers today. For that reason, vigorous learning needs to sweep a wide scope of possibilities (as with TRIZ databases), and starting from basic scientific principles should not be discouraged.
But learning is not just about technology. Some of the best innovations in customer service are new process concepts (business model changes), minimally dependent on technology.
In Compression, almost nothing will keep working, as is, very long — no milking of cash cows for years on end. Reworking how we fundamentally think at work will be an endless vigorous learning experience.