For many, many years now the role of the L&D department has been to take charge of what and how people learn in the organisation. They create the content, deliver it to the people (in a classroom or via computer) and manage the outcomes. However, things are changing. Many people now make use of online tools and services to address their own learning and performance problems quickly and easily. As a consequence, key features of this new approach to learning are that it is autonomous, small/short, continuous, on demand, social and takes place anywhere on any device.
This independent approach to learning is either viewed as inconsequential by the L&D department, or as a threat to the work they do. However, rather than being incompatible, these two streams are actually complementary learning forces. They are interconnected and interdependent and they interrelate and support - rather than conflict - with one another. We might even refer to them as the yin and yang of modern workplace learning!
In other words rather than dismissing these new approaches to learning, we might ask these two questions?
- How can we encourage and enable independent approaches to personal and team learning to enhance the work people do – bearing in mind that in this fast-moving world we can’t provide everything, everybody needs.
- How can we provide the things people really need to know and be able to do in their jobs (via training/e-learning)– but use more modern approaches to do so.
(1) involves a re-focus from building new content to building new skills and helping individuals and teams develop independent modern learning strategies to learn for themselves, and "bring the outside in", i.e. introduce new ideas, new thinking and new resources into their organisation.
(2) involves modernising existing face-to-face and online training approaches, to bring them inline with the new ways that people are learning - essentially by considering these questions.
- How can we support more autonomy in learning?
- How can we enable shorter learning experiences?
- How can we encourage ongoing learning?
- How can we support learning at the point of need?
- How can we balance the need for authoritative content and knowledge sharing?
- How can we encourage anywhere learning?
Find out more at 20 ideas to modernise workplace learning.