One of the early tasks that the learning professionals in my L&D Challenge undertake is to consider how they themselves learn at work. It is clear from what they share with the group that
- they learn in a multitude of ways – and that very little of it happens through conventional training
- it happens both inside and outside the workplace, and
- it is a continuous, ongoing process not a series of intermittent events.
I’ve plotted some of the key ways on the diagram below to show how most learning happens in the outer rings (not the inner circle).
But it is not just those who are undertaking the Challenge who are learning very differently, it is also very clear from the results of my 9 year Top 100 Tools for Learning survey that this has been the case for many people for sometime now. Furthermore the results of my Learning in the Workplace Survey (which has now been taken by over 5,000 people worldwide) show that they rank conventional training and e-learning as the least valued way of learning at work.
So how can a L&D department provide a modern-day service to reflect the way that a large proportion of their people are now learning and addressing their own performance problems – rather than simply being a course factory? How can they extend their reach (out from a training-centric view of learning) and add value to all these different ways – without trying to control the whole process in traditional ways? What new activities will this entail – and what new skills will they need?
I’ll answer this question with my own experiences of working with organisations who are already addressing these questions in a series of new posts.
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