In my organization, personally and as a “learning professional”, I have been wondering “what’s next?”
It’s an interesting discussion. Recently, there’s been much discussion about devices at work and how they are used. This stems, of course, from the idea that people should be in charge of their own learning and that formal learning probably only accounts for about 10% of people’s learning. If this is true, why not let them “learn on the fly” – and instead of having to find somewhere to learn, enable learning on their devices and let them have that flexibility. Let’s embrace the idea that people learn socially and from peers and that much of what we’ve even learned has been experiential and not prescriptive.
And yet, the conversations continue to be around tracking and documenting and making sure people don’t abuse the system. And I’m not being specific to my organization – I was speaking to a friend who manages a store from another retailer and she brought up the same arguments. Many of them probably valid. But limiting. And old-school.
The truth is, 90% of what we learn is undocumented. And I feel like in this age of technology, too many of our conversations are around how to compile and use that 90% of learning, instead of how to support it and direct it. How do we make sure that the informal learning, social learning, and experiential learning turns into the right situational cognition (the ability to take what one knows about something and make it useful in the right context) in our spaces? We’re busy trying to own that informal learning piece because we’re afraid of the future instead of asking ourselves how that other 10% can be better designed and supportive of what our businesses need.
The future of L&D, in my opinion, belongs to those who are unafraid of letting go. Those people who want to track everything, make rules about how people learn and when, and deliver old solutions to new problems – they will only hold people back.
Instead of asking something like “how do we ensure people only use their device for learning and not texting their friends?” we should be asking, “what do our people need to augment what they’re learning through peers and on the internet?”