The Next Generation of Workplace Learning Practices in the Age of Knowledge Sharing and Collaboration

Last week I wrote a post about Connected Learning and how it offers a semi-directed, semi-structured approach to workplace learning that fits between the directed, structured knowledge sharing (aka training or e-learning) that has been the way that L&D has traditionally operated, and the unstructured, self-directed knowledge sharing that happens in work teams and groups in the flow of work.

But in the age of the Social Web and now the Social Business this is only a part of a much bigger picture of how we learn at work, and which is offering new opportunities  to forward-thinking L&D professionals (and departments) who want to break free from a mindset that only focuses on designing, delivering and managing learning.

Here’s a summary diagram of many of those new opportunities on offer that I have put together for an upcoming keynote I am giving.

Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 09.29.22

Harold Jarche and I have been helping L&D professionals (and departments) understand these new opportunities for some time now, firstly through our activities at the Social Learning Centre and now at the Connected Workplace Consultancy (where you can read more about all of the activities shown on the diagram above).

But it is always  good to read some of the inspiring stories from learning professionals in the field about how they are pushing L&D boundaries in their organisations. Take for instance Helen Blunden who is working hard to get the concept of personal learning networks  in her bank in Australia.  Helen takes you through her approach step, by step, but note, particularly  her tactics:

“First of all, I decided to call them “Peer Networks” – I removed the word “learning” as my intention was to remove any preconceived ideas about learning.  I wanted to create a sense that it was just “part of the way we do business – in the workflow”.

Calling it out may have put negative connotations into their minds.  I also didn’t want it to have any connection with the Learning & Development department for fear of them having the concept packaged into a programmed event, formalised, structured, implemented, measured and evaluated.”

How are you breaking free from traditional “command and control” training/e-learning approaches and supporting new ways of “learning” in the workplace?  I would love to hear more stories from those working hard in the field.

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