Although I tweet links to interesting resources as I find them, I collate them in my 2013 Reading List at the end of each month, and pick out the ones that I find particularly useful, valuable or impactful. So here is my selection from March 2013.
1 – I’m going to start with this post about Twitter, because very often when I talk to learning professionals about using Twitter, there is usually someone who will say “I wouldn’t want my doctor to have learned by using Twitter”. That, of course, is missing the whole point! Twitter is mainly about learning the new and keeping up to date with what’s happening in the world. So, it’s not about using Twitter to become a doctor, it’s about using Twitter to become a better doctor, as this article makes clear.
How Twitter has helped me become a better doctor, iMedicalApps, 27 February 2013
2 – It was depressing to read this post, in which Helen Blunden recounted her “unpleasant learning experience”. But she ends on a very important note:
“Let’s not forget the learner. It’s not just about saving money.“
My Experience of a Face-to-Face Course After So Many Years – The Hope has Faded, Helen Blunden, 7 March 2013
3 – But the answer isn’t to turn all your face-to-face training into online courses, as this post makes clear.
“a busy person taking an online class is probably wasting both their money and their precious time (gasp). Online classes should be available as a resource for students with geographical constraints, mobility problems or a dedication to the subject matter.”
Online classes: Where busy students go to die, Christine Colleran, Lanthorn, 20 February 2013
4 – .. and the answer isn’t either to try and embed the course into the workflow, as Charles Jennings points out in this article, Extracting learning from work (Training Industry, March 2013)
“Injecting or adding learning into work is one approach, it is better than away-from-work learning. However, an even better strategy than injecting learning to improve performance is to extract learning from work in order to further improve learning.”
5 – In Leveraging a 1000-year-old idea at work (9 March 2013), John Stepper talks of the value of communities of practice within organisations:
“What’s makes communities of practice powerful is that they tap into people’s intrinsic motivation to become better at what they do and to connect with people like them.”
6 -… which can all be summed up in the next post by Julian Stodd
“Social learning, social tools, the social way of working, this is valuable as it encourages us to share, to create shared meaning. Sure, it can be challenging: it requires us to be brave and to be willing to be proved wrong, but value emerges from the discussion, from the conversation. It’s all about the sharing.”
7 – So what about acquiring more formal knowledge? Here’s an idea ..
“Telling your employees that you want them to learn is different than asking them to promote that culture themselves. Giving employees teaching roles, says Google’s head of people operations, Karen May, makes learning part of the way employees work together rather than something HR is making them do.”
Here’s A Google Perk Any Company Can Imitate: Employee-To-Employee Learning, FastCompany, 26 March 2013
8 – But how do Gen Y learn best? In Growing Gen Y Leaders (CLO Magazine, 15 March 2013) Molly Meyer was asked this question.Her reply:
“It’s a toss-up, really. We learn pretty well by listening, watching, copying and then trying to come up with a better way to get something done. Again, we want to be responsible for improvement. But we also learn well by attacking something entirely on our own. Sometimes it’s the stubborn, “I’ll figure it out,” mentality that plagues a large chunk of us, and sometimes it’s the “times are changing” attitude that drives us to the Internet to start Googling away.”
Of course, it’s not just Gen Y who learn like this, many others do too. But it’s certainly not the traditional way that organisations understand the concept of “workplace learning”, and yet it’s the way most learning takes place.
9 – So what does this mean for your organization? Well, as Harold Jarche explains in No cookie cutters for complexity (28 March 2013) – there is no “cookie-cutter” solution; there is no one best or right way of doing things that fits everyone’s needs – no one-size-fits-all solution – because ..
“Each organization’s situation is not only different, it’s changing.”
Furthermore, he warns …
“Beware the cookie-cutter salespeople. They abound, and are aided by marketing departments that do not have a clue about complexity. There are some real advantages in avoiding the large consultancies and going with smaller companies and free-agents.
10 – Finally, I’m going to give the last word to Clark Quinn, whose post I’ve cited previously, Yes, you do have to change (18 March 2013), where he calls for change. But it’s not just about tweaking the same-old; it’s about doing things differently – and making a difference.“
“Of late, I’ve seen a disturbing trend. Not only are the purveyors of existing solutions preaching caution and steadiness, but it even seems like some of the ’names’ of the field are talking in ways that make it easy to think that the industry is largely doing ok. And I do not understand this, because it’s demonstrably wrong. The elearning industry, and the broader learning industry, is severely underperforming the potential (and I’m being diplomatic).”