General Motors is, perhaps, not the most likely candidate for a company seeking to unlearn but I would like to applaud one area where the company is employing the right unlearning strategy.
In 2007, amidst skyrocketing fuel prices and a shaky economy, the company realized a smaller, eco-friendly cars designed for urban females might be worth developing.
To better understand these customers, the company put its male designers and engineers in the shoes of their female customers–literally. They were required to dress in drag in order to better understand what females were experiencing as they struggled with heels, dresses, morning coffees and young children.
The famed design firm, Ideo, has employing this tactic for years but it is an excellent unlearning tactic. In many cases, unlearning requires you to see and experience things from another person's perspective. One way to do this is to literally put yourself in their shoes.
Such tactics might be uncomfortable but I'd argue they are a lot less uncomfortable than losing out to a competitor which was able to design a new successful product because it was able to unlearn.