Learning in the Modern Workplace – it’s more than (e-)Training

“Learning is part of work, why are you separating it?” asked Harold Jarche in a comic he drew this week.  Often we are taken down that formal learning path, but Jane Hart explains what really works in this graphic (and her link below.)

 

Learning in the Modern Workplace – it’s more than (e-)Training | Learning in the Modern Workplace.

Social Learning Has Never Been About a Single Tool

There has been commentary in “best of” 2015 predictions that social learning is a fad.  For those who learned about social learning not as a theory but as something people were talking about last year, I can understand that.  Certainly there were a number of books and articles that made it all sound new.   It’s not new.  People have always learned socially.  Observing this, Alfred Bandura brought us social learning theory, which suggests that learning is most effective in social context.  Bandura published his first findings in 1963, but this was an observation of what was already happening.  Further research and theories, such as 70/20/10 examined by Center for Creative Leadership espoused that only 10% of on the job work is learned formally, 20% through mentorship or coaching, and 70% in social or networked work environments.  Charles Jennings has been further expanding on this theory, where 70% is experiential, on the job (and social) learning.

This article from Nick Leffler explains how social learning is not a “tool” in learning and development, but something much more important.

“People have used it to:

Develop their professional knowledge.

Learn about their hobbies.

Learn how to be more efficient at a job task.

Learn about what they didn’t know they didn’t know.

Learn about what they knew they didn’t know.

And more!

People have done all of this without L&D even being involved and the messiness and slowness that training and courses brings along with it.

Social learning will only grow, and L&D will have to catch up the further it falls behind. Weaving social learning into eLearning was only the first attempt of L&D mainstream to deal with social learning that inevitably happens. L&D has the unfortunate craving to control the experience and make everything pass through their gates.

L&D will fail at controlling, just as IT has failed at controlling. People are going to learn socially just as they are going to bring their own IT equipment to the office.

It’s up to L&D to figure how to work WITH social learning and empower people to use it even more effectively to learn, not fight it and control it and make it go through their gates.”

via Social Learning Has Never Been About a Single Tool — Technkl: Nick Leffler’s Portfolio & Learning Insights.

Management in a Digital Economy

MBAs have traditionally focused on finance, but is that a legacy degree?  Many argue that in a digital world, there should be a combination of skills that are in synch with what leaders need today.  This article from the New York Times discusses what business and academic leaders feel is needed from new programs – and most include an infusion of STEM or computer science curriculum that will enable leaders to understand technology well enough to have important conversations.  Link to article below.

“The best approach, Mr. Yoffie said, is frequently a partnership between a technologist and a business executive. Facebook, he says, is an example — a productive collaboration between Mark Zuckerberg, its chief executive, and Sheryl Sandberg, its chief operating officer. Mr. Zuckerberg is the founder and technology strategist, while Ms. Sandberg, an economics major with a Harvard M.B.A., oversees Facebook’s operations.”

via Management in a Digital Economy – NYTimes.com.

‘If You Can’t Measure It, You Can’t Manage It': Not True

So much thought goes into measurement.  In education and in the workplace, the metrification of society is more and more important – on paper.  We say it is, we make rubrics, we create goals, we do all sorts of things to measure.  But when it comes down to it, “human waves have to be felt.”  This Forbes article explains how we focus on particles, but that’s not the way the world works and not the way it can truly be measured (and should it be?)  Not in education, and not in the workplace.

“Great employees and great leaders manage the waves all the day, unmeasured and too often unseen. They manage customer relationships in the moment and over the long term. How do they do that so well, without benefit of yardsticks to guide them? How do they finesse and intuit and consult their way to the brilliant results they achieve, without the reports and tests that slow us down and annoy us in every other professional arena? Thank God, human processes like sticky conversations and the energy in a classroom or a conference room can’t be measured.”

via ‘If You Can’t Measure It, You Can’t Manage It': Not True.

VR is a medium not a gadget: 7 learning principles that work in VR

Virtual reality has been with us for years.  It is the ultimate learning simulation.  My first VR experience with in the Columbia University VR lab, where I was able to put on glasses like the one in this photo and “fix” a car engine.  I’ve never been as excited by any learning technology since, but it seemed to stay in that “someday it will be mainstream” zone for a long time.  There are a few apps on phones that take advantage of VR technology – apps that display where subway stations are through a smartphone lens, for example.  But nothing has ever come close to the experience of “fixing” that engine, though I’m sure gamers who’ve used Oculus Rift have experienced the total immersion that occurs.  What does that mean for learning?   Donald Clark gives us his thoughts, and they are all spot on.

“….we have an avalanche of research and evidence from flight and military sims that show how powerful simulations can be. You’d be surprised, indeed you wouldn’t step on a plane, if your pilot hadn’t gone through many hours of flight sims. The learning effect with VR promises to be even better.”

via Donald Clark Plan B: VR is a medium not a gadget: 7 learning principles that work in VR.

Workplace Performance: Embedding Learning in Work: The Benefits and Challenges

 

        

Organizations with strong informal learning capabilities (Bersin) are 300% more likely to excel at global talent development than organizations without those competencies.  It’s no wonder.  We learn best in context, and using ADDIE or a formal learning course usually does not embed learning in work.   Having short learnings available at point of need, or as performance support, is a way of filling in the gaps of experience.  This can improve not only individual performance, but team and organizational performance as well.  Article by Charles Jennings.

 

“A common finding that has emerged from study after study over the past few years is that learning which is embedded in work seems to be more effective than learning away from work. If people learn as part of the workflow then this learning is more likely to impact performance in a positive way.”

via Charles Jennings | Workplace Performance: Embedding Learning in Work: The Benefits and Challenges.