My pick of the best posts of June 2016

Here are my favourite 10 blog posts and articles from June 2016.

1 – We start with another great infographic from Arun Pradan: Work is Learning (how to burst the training bubble) – shown right – which summarizes a lot of the work from us in the Internet Time Alliance.

2 – In The Driving Test: the canary in the mine for formal training?, Charles Jennings compares learning to drive a car to other skills acquisition processes.

“We develop capability through experience, practice, and reflection (individual and shared) over time. Often this capability-building is carried out with others. At other times it is done alone. Sometimes we may be able to increase the speed of acquisition of skills, but simply making formal education experiences more compressed or concatenated or more ‘sexy’ with technology won’t necessarily improve outcomes. Formal education and testing isn’t the key to improving performance. It’s the ‘70’ and ‘20’ learning – learning in context with plenty of practice – that that has most impact.”

3 – In a similar vein, You Can’t Learn Everything from YouTube, Howard Tullman warns not to get the idea that all knowledge can be downloaded over a small screen and into your brain …

“In the real, grown-up world, we ultimately learn best by doing– first by listening; then by trying; and finally by succeeding and moving onward and upward.  And, interestingly enough, more and more of us are taking direct responsibility for this process and doing it ourselves (DIY). There are a variety of different reasons for the DIY approach. It could be because we’re cheap, or we’re impatient, or it’s because we want our ongoing “education” to be à la carte– when, where and how we want it. But whatever the drivers, it’s clear that today we’re totally engaged when we’re learning through “hands-on” activity and we’re totally turned off when we’re being lectured to. We all want to be in charge and in the driver’s seat.”

4 – Indeed, more and more professions are recognising the importance of informal and social learning, here it is nursing: Nurses should learn more ‘informally on the ward’  Professor Dewing sums it up

“It isn’t just about organising training, it should be about creating a dynamic learning environment with lots of different things happening for different people,” she said. “Leaders need to play an active role in making that happen.”

5 – But when it comes to planned learning, Michael Simmons explains, in Why Constant Learners All Embrace the 5-Hour Rule, how Benjamin Franklin did this 1 hour a day, 5 hours a week, and why you should do it too.

“Throughout Ben Franklin’s adult life, he consistently invested roughly an hour a day in deliberate learning. I call this Franklin’s five-hour rule: one hour a day on every weekday … Every time that Franklin took time out of his busy day to follow his five-hour rule and spend at least an hour learning, he accomplished less on that day. However, in the long run, it was arguably the best investment of his time he could have made.

6 – In What Are Your Employees Thinking? A Look Inside The Modern Workplace, Karsten Strauss reviews the PwC study which showed how employees in the modern workplace are feeling, what motivates them, what they feel is important and how they see their futures.  It produced some intrestng results, here are the headlines:

A third of workers are not satisfied.
Work flexibility is a key to contentment
Small businesses have happier employees
Women are less likely to rate themselves
as happy in their work
Employees have mixed feelings about breaking away from
larger organizations to work more independently

7 – Victor Lipman asks a good question, Why Do We Spend So Much Developing Senior Leaders and So Little Training New Managers?

“Most students of management agree that the transition from employee to manager is one of the most challenging in business. It brings new roles and responsibilities, new ways of looking at organizations, and new ways of relating to peers and multiple constituencies. Like many new managers, I floundered. I avoided conflict. I wasn’t firm enough when I should have been, and then I came on too strong to compensate for it. I was assisted largely by that great old teacher: trial and error. I made so many mistakes along the way that I can no longer remember the first 200 of them.”

In my view, it doesn’t require formal training, of course, but at least a supportive environment for new managers whether it be a coach, mentor or community of practice.

8 & 9 – In Organizational Learning Engineering, Clark Quinn produced a table representing just some of the tensions between what L&D (Old) practices and what we now know about learning (New) – see image left.

In a follow-up post, Tensions of Modern Learning, Harold Jarche appended these new practices with examples and elaborations taken from past posts, for example

Learning is a process

“Smart Work starts with an understanding of what is important for the 21st century workplace. It’s not content delivery. We are awash in content. Smart workers need ways to enhance their experience-performance-reflection processes, not have more information dumped into the pipeline. –

10  – Finally, in this post, The smoke and mirrors of enterprise collaboration, Laurence Lock Lee explains why we are seeing such a serious mismatch between what the C-Suite is looking for in an Enterprise Social Network and what is currently being measured. He summarises clearly as follows

“By using analytics designed for media consumption and not collaboration, efforts to drive adoption are misplaced.”

This post reiterates a lot of my own writing: You can’t force participation and furthermore, activity does not equal engagement (or learning for that matter)!

Finally, here is a recap of my own posts in June 2016