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We've heard the argument before, haven't we, iPad fans?

“They're great for watching movies and playing games, but you can't do any real work on them.”

What a crock.

You know why some folks can't do any real work on the iPad? Because they're too lazy to learn how to use it.

Sorry if that sounds a bit harsh. I'm just tired of people blaming groundbreaking new tools for their inability to use them correctly.

Reggie Henry is a bit more diplomatic.

Henry, the chief information officer for the American Society of Association Executives, boils it down like this:

“Stop trying to work like you work,” Henry told folks at the ASAE's 2012 Annual Meeting in Dallas. “Start working like it works.”

Here's what he means: As soon as we get our hands on one of these new gadgets — tablet, smartphone, whatever — we immediately try to make it work the way we're used to working. The problem is, they don't work that way. If we want to get the most out of these tools, we have to learn to work the way they do. If we take the time to relearn some basic functionality, these new tools will reward us with seemingly boundless productivity.

The key word, of course, is “if.” Most of us can't be bothered to relearn anything. Hence, we get naysayers who insist that the iPad is not productive, that social media is a time-suck that doesn't work, that new generations of workers must conform to outdated ideas of how work gets done. “This is the way it has always been done,” they say, implying, “This is the only way it will ever be done.”

They're wrong, of course. It's simply the way they'll do things until they're steamrolled into irrelevance.

How many times do we have to say it? Change is the only constant, and that means the most important skill going forward will be the ability to learn new skills. That goes for all of us.

So pick up an iPad, make an appointment at your local Apple store, and learn how to really use it. Create a blog. Start tweeting. Forget what you know and learn what you don't.

Your career — your business — might just depend on it.

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