I interrupt my series of postings on Collaboration Platforms, to talk a little about the stages of Workplace Learnng
As I have read the comments on my recent postings as well as tweets and postings on other blogs, I've identified what I think are 5 main stages of workplace learning. I've tried to capture these, in a very rough and ready way, in the diagram below. (Click the diagram for a larger version of the diagram)
What Harold Jarche and I have been talking about recently on our blogs is Stage 5. Although our recent postings have focused on how we believe a collaboration platform will replace the LMS as the core (learning) system in use in organistions, this is only part of what we, and our Internet Time Alliance colleagues believe is the future of workplace learning. Fundamentally it is about a change from focusing exclusively on centrally diirecting and managing formal learning (aka training) in a LMS to supporting and enabling a collaborative approach to learning and working across the enterprise.
In my opinion, most organisations are in Stage 3, but as the L&D conversation circles around the concepts of social and informal learning, I'm getting the impression that many are drifting into, what I would consider an interim stage, 4 ; which is simply adding-on social (and even informal) functionality to the traditional model of learning. One reason for this, is because this is where a lot of vendors are targeting their new products.
The difference between Stages 1-4 and Stage 5 is actually NOT just about a
change in tools but a change in mindset. I've talked a lot about this in
my State of Social Learning
article and charted this in my recent table. But some of
the key mindset changes that will move organisations into Stage 5 are:
- recognising that working=learning; learning=working
- understanding that informal learning needs to be enabled, supported and encouraged - but not designed or managed
- "letting go", so that there is a move from learner control to learner autonomy
- realising that autonomous, independent and inter-dependent, self-directed learners are essential in an agile organisation
My colleagues at the Internet Time Alliance, firmly believe that you don't need to go through all the stages to reach Stage 5, even those still stuck at Stage 1, could simply leapfrog to the future. Some forward thinking organisations are already there, and we, at ITA, believe that in this fast-changing, complex world, this is the place that organisations need to be.
Jay Cross, my Internet Time Alliance colleague, has re-worked this model to show the 5 stages of Workscape Evolution