The social learning paradigm is driven in no small way by the shortcomings of the traditional L & D model premised on just-in-case, push learning (top-down training). In today's rapidly changing business environment the argument for radically altering our approach to workplace learning is compelling.
The social learning approach is a revelation, in the sense that it provides a cohesive narrative and confirms my observations, thinking and frustrations with the 'default' training model. What a breath of fresh air for someone embedded in an organisation locked into an L & D program from a bygone era! It's enabled me to extricate myself back into some sort of parallel universe of progressive thinkers and possibilities. So I'm currently unlearning - relearning and evolving - crawling my way out of the viscous quagmire of 'training'!
I'm talking to people about the 70/20/10 model, social/informal learning, just-in-time, pull learning, Wikis, workscapes, collaboration, learning networks, social media tools and beyond. Charles Jennings cohesively captures much of this in a beautiful piece of storytelling.
So what might be some of the essential ingredients to create a climate where learning is blended into the workflow - in the spirit of 'work is learning and learning is the work'?
- Provide pull learning resources and promote collaboration so people can experience the value of self-directed learning through success on the job
- Support networked learning through structured and informal opportunities for sharing information and higher level collaboration, including social media tools to facilitate learning networks
- Recognise that performance is limited if based on individual expertise and enhanced by collective thinking - network knowledge
- Promote information sharing and collaboration through physical workspace design, social media tools and a culture of conversation
- Provide a cohesive range of multimedia resources that can be pulled from a user friendly platform to suit individual needs and learning preferences
- Create a Wiki driven by bottom-up contributors to provide an agile learning and performance tool to meet a changing business landscape
- Scale back push learning events into engaging bursts of two-way dialogue closely aligned with the context of work
- Shift to a leadership model that facilitates a degree of autonomy to drive self-directed learning, collaboration and performance