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Wissenswert Blog Carnival - How do you implement Workplace Learning?

November 11th, 2010 Martin Raske No comments

Training organizations have realized, that they start loosing their monopoly on learning. Employees do dare to organize themselves. More than 90% of what you need in your  current job was not learned by formalized learning interventions but in informal learning situation, such as learning on the job, discussions with peers or mentors, etc. etc.  That's the answer you usually get if you ask the question. This situation frightens training organizations - but it shouldn't.

The new world of learning is based on a new mindset - sharing instead of hiding, collaborating instead of instructing, acting instead of reacting. Technology enables us to support learning processes in companies at the workplace. Today it is more crucial than ever to stay up to date. Life long learning - it's not by chance the title of this blog - is an integral part of our lifes. Not too long ago, training organizations did nothing else than deliver training content. These days one of the most important tasks is to facilitate learning at the workplace. Probably the biggest difference between the two models is the fact that modern training organizations today need to provide platforms and options - not just solutions. They have to make sure that employees are able to intaract with each other. That they are able to collaborate and share their knwoledge. It's no longer key to collect know-how within the training organization and spread it from there. It's more important to tap into the existing know-how of the organization.

Learning at the Workplace is fundamentally different than learnign in classrooms. Time is scarce. Distraction lurks behind every incoming e-mail. But: The problems are pressing. The need for an answer is immediate and often cannot wait. And: The situation is such that it optimally supports learning processes - if we find a solution to a problem and apply it, we tend to remember it much better than if we discuss it in a classroom session and are not able to apply it straight away. Because it is fundamentally different, learning organizations have to re-think the way they deliver formalized learning content as well. Also this content needs to be presented in short chunks. The Learning Nuggets format - as mentionned in one of my previous posts - is a very good example of Workplace Learning.

One of the next challenges we will be facing is to re-define the workplace. Worklpace and working time will be moving away from the actual premises of the company. Employees will be online whenever and whereever they are. Thus the workplace will be mobile and so will be workplace learning.

What do I do to support these changes? I am convinced that the first step to help the organization to start moving into the direction described above is to start talking about the changes. I run several workshops on this topic to show people of all hierarchical levels the changes that are looming ahead and raise their awareness for it. We have also started to provide much shorter self-paced training material: Our Learning Nugget concept is a great success. This year we will also start - against all odds - to run a Mobile Learning pilot on all major mobile platforms such as Blackberry, iPhone, Windows Mobile, Android. There is a pilot going on as well, where a whole new concept of how to build office space is tested - a much more flexible environment that leverages new technologies and new work-life-balance models. The combination of this with new ways of delivering/supporting training will be tremendously exciting.

WissensWert Blog Carnival Nr. 6 - Share your Know-How

July 10th, 2009 Martin Raske No comments

It's an interesting question: Do I share my knowledge on the web? Don't I fear that my ideas will be copied by others and treated as theirs? 

For me as a former teacher and as a person who is still very much driven by the idea of helping people to develop and learn and get better at things it should be the most normal behaviour to share my knowledge. And I guess I do. I have learned in my life so far that also in terms of knowledge sharing you can rely on Pareto: In 80% of the cases your 'generosity' will be valued and people who re-use it will be fair and tell others that it was originaly your idea. In 20% of the cases people act unfairly and don't cite you. Honestly: I can live with that.

Look at the life outside of the web. Isn't it the same in real life situations? It happened just this week: I was discussing an idea of how to make an HR process training more engaging and I came up with the idea of using a two-fold approach: Use an existing Web Based Training - which is a bit dull and dry - as the medium to transport the process and the tools involved. We don't have to pretend that this is fun. But then use a second layer to grab the attention of the audience - targeted to their hearts and souls, grabbing their emotions. And doing so by using a fancy movie that tells the story of a person using this HR process in a virtuoso manner.

A day later I was invited to yet another meeting with different people but with the same topic: They told me very clearly that they didn't like the way the training was designed until now and that they absolutely wanted to change it into a two-fold approach with a WBT as a basis and an engaging video for the emotions. - Clearly what happened: My ideas were transported to this group by my discussion partner from the day before without telling them where the idea came from. Do I care? Not at all: It looks like I had a good idea that will make its way and that will turned into reality. I can be proud of it - even if nobody remembers who first came up with the idea.

In this light: Yes, I try to share as much as possible and I am glad if some of my ideas are realized. In 80% of the cases the world knows that I was the driver behind - in 20% of the cases I know it myself and that's just as good.

WissensWert Blog Carnival No. 5 - Why do you twitter?

June 12th, 2009 Martin Raske No comments

The question of this month's blog carnival on http://wissenswert.iwi.unisg.ch/?p=590 is "Why the heck do you twitter?"

I'm a late joiner. WhenDidYouJoinTwitter? tells me that I joined Twitter on January 16th, 2009. At this point the whole world was talking about Twitter. The newspapers were full of it and even on TV they discussed microblogging. I am a late joiner, but I quickly enjoyed it.

I twitter because...

...I wanted to find out about all kind of social media tools. In early 2009 I signed up for all kind of web 2.0 tools that I could find, just to find out, what was going on in the world. I had the impression that by concentrating on traditional e-learning for quite a while - ten years actually - I had missed some recent developments in the real world and I still feel too young to be left behind.

...I realized that it does not take much of my time and still I could start playing a role in the web 2.0 community. A tiny one, yes, but a role. And very early I realized that it is so easy to get in contact with people you don't even know in person by using Twitter. And that brings me to the next reason.

...Connecting with people you know and people you don't know was never easier.

...Virtual communities are vital communities. I still hear many people say: I would rather meet someone in person than to only be in virtual contact with them. And I always say to them: Why do you think this is an either-or decision? For me it's an AND-situation.

...I believe that companies could profit from it in many ways.

...I am a gadget guy. I have my BlackBerry and my cell phone always with me. And I have a netbook and a laptop and a desktop and another laptop and an old laptop too. In other words: I am almost always online - why not use this fact to talk to the world - if the world wants to listen?

...Even though everybody does it, not many people do it - and where I come from, you don't find many tweeting birds. Which makes me an early bird even though I am a late joiner - nice contradiction.

...It's fun to talk to the world and thinking that maybe someone even reads my thoughts.

...I have had a few feedbacks now from vendors and service providers who want to do business with me and who know a lot of what I think and what I need and what I don't like. And what's really funny: They even told me: 'Don't put me on your Twitter after our meeting.' Isn't that fun? Makes you feel very powerful.

...It's much easier to let my friends know what I do - if they would want to know.

...I just feel I should be part of the 1% that contributes to building our www.

...Otherwise nobody would ever find my blog.