From creating content to building new connected workplace skills – this is the NEW work for learning professionals

Over the last few years I have been observing (as well as writing about) three significant things that are happening in the context of workplace learning:

  1. An increasing number of knowledge workers are finding their own solutions to their individual and team learning and performance problems on the  Social Web – and in doing so are bypassing both the IT and L&D department.
  2. More and more organisations are adopting enterprise social networks and collaboration platforms to underpin self-sufficient team working and learning.
  3. A large number of L&D departments are realising that directed/organized learning (aka training/e-learning) only accounts for a small amount of how knowledge workers learn in the workplace, and that most of how people learn is self-organised, experiential and social – and consequently are using models like the 70:20:10 framework to drive their approach to workplace learning.

So how are L&D departments adapting to this new world of self-organised learning?


  • They are only expending a small amount of effort on creating content – courses or resources – and instead are helping to build the new business skills so that individuals and teams can become self-sufficient and continuously learn for themselves as an integral part of today’s work.
  • They recognise that although individuals who have been active for sometime on the Social Web will have unconsciously acquired many of the new skills they require to work effectively in the connected workplace, those new to social technologies and collaborative approaches will not have done so.
  • They understand too that whereas social media training might provide them with some technical skills, the underlying business skills to make effective use of these new technologies cannot be taught, these skills can only be modelled by those who have acquired them themselves. In other words the traditional training model of telling teams how to work together is no longer appropriate – instead it involves working alongside teams helping them develop these new skills as they do their work. This is the true social learning in action and it is only through social learning that workers can learn how to become social learners themselves.

So what are the new business skills knowledge workers require?

Harold Jarche and I are have been helping organisations worldwide build and develop these vital new enterprise skills in their people, and we have identified FOUR new key skillsets for knowledge workers. (Follow the links below to find out more about what these involve.)

ALL knowledge workers will need two new skill sets – personal and social.

  1. Personal knowledge management skills so that they can make sense of, and learn from, the constant stream of information that they encounter from social channels both inside and outside the organisation.
  2. Collaboration skills so that they can share their knowledge as well as work and learn productively and purposefully in teams, communities of practice, and social networks.

In addition SOME knowledge workers, depending on their work, role and interests in the organisation, will need one or two further skill sets.

  1. Community management skills so that individuals can build and maintain communities of practice
  2. Connected leadership skills so that managers can lead their teams effectively in the new connected workplace

So are you ready to build and support these new skills in your organisation?

Can we help you? If so, please visit The Connected Workplace site to find out more.

9 thoughts on “From creating content to building new connected workplace skills – this is the NEW work for learning professionals

  1. Pingback: From creating content to building new connected...

  2. Pingback: From creating content to building new connected...

  3. Pingback: From creating content to building new connected...

  4. Dale Arseneault

    related.. Karl Albrecht’s Practical Intelligence “macro-skills”:

    Mental Flexibility
    Openness to New Information
    Capacity for Systematic Thought
    Capacity for Abstract Thought
    Skill at Generating Ideas
    Sense of Humor
    Positive Thinking
    Intellectual Courage
    Resistance to Enculturation
    Emotional Resilience

    PS: I HIGHLY recommend Karl Albrecht’s books Social Intelligence, Power of Minds at Work, Practical Intelligence. They contain excellent thinking, provocative & entertaining writing. For example:

    Albrecht’s Law: Intelligent people, when assembled into an organization,
    will tend toward collective stupidity.

  5. Pingback: From creating content to building new connected workplace skills – this is the NEW work for learning professionals | Marco Pozzi

  6. Pingback: From creating content to building new connected...

  7. Ara ohanian (@aohanian)

    Jane, I agree that all knowledge workers will need the personal and social skills as you describe. But, what is the role of L&D in all of this? Is it to train knowledge workers in these skills? Or to provide an environment in which they can learn these skills for themselves. In other words, is it horses for courses?

  8. Pingback: Building New Connected Workplace Skills | The Mutant Learning Laboratory

Comments are closed.