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Links 1 through 10 of 10 by Jay Cross tagged clojay+Informal

The future is people, not technology

My last column called for the abolition of corporate training departments. Now some instructors and traditional instructional designers see me as a job threat. They needn’t worry. Enlightened e-learning requires more people, not fewer.

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Open source, open space, grapevines and gossip, conversations and stories, learning spaces and learnscapes, unconferences and The World Cafe, podcasts and wikis, graphics and concept maps, complexity and community…these are part and parcel of the free-range learning I investigated relentlessly while writing Informal Learning

Business meetings used to come in one flavor: dull. New approaches create meetings that people enjoy, often organized in scant time, at minimal cost. Unconferences are characterized by:

* No keynote speaker or designated expert Breakthrough thinking born of diversity
* Having fun dealing with serious subjects
* Emergent self-organization
* Genuine community, intimacy and respect

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This paper addresses how organizations, particularly business organizations, can get more done. Workers who know more get more accomplished. People who are well connected make greater contributions than those who are not. Employees and partners with more capacity to learn are more versatile in adapting to future conditions. The people who create the most value are those who know the right people, the right stuff, and the right things to do.

It’s all a matter of learning, but it’s not the sort of learning that is the province of training departments, workshops, and classrooms. Most people in training programs learn only a little of the right stuff, are fuzzy about how to apply what they’ve learned, and never address who are the right people to know.

People learn to build the right network of associates and the right level of expertise through informal, sometimes even accidental, learning that flies beneath the corporate radar.

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The higher you go, the farther you see. Recent research finds that CLOs work on short-term efficiency while other C-level officers look beyond to long-term prosperity. The CEOs, CFOs, CIOs and other longer-tenured C-level officers look to learning to build the capacity to transform the business. Their goals are long-term, qualitative and aspirational. CLOs are more focused on short-term improvements in how learning takes place. They work with business units to make training more efficient. They introduce technology and innovation to streamline the delivery of learning.

Go forward a few years, and our current notion of learning grows obsolete. The pace of change itself is accelerating. In the past, workers learned how to do something. In the future, they will need to learn what changed last night. In the past, execution required knowledge and skill. Future execution will require ingenuity, alacrity and innovation.

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Informal learning and formal learning are aspects of an overall spectrum of learning as a whole. Imagine an audio mixer in a recording studio, one of those units with dozens of sliders that enable you to boost the vocals, downplay the guitar, etc.

Our "learning mixer" has sliders for characteristics such as content, delivery, duration, authorship and development time. You don't achieve the best mix by moving all of the sliders to the top or to the bottom.

The "delivery slider" moves from courses and push (formal) to conversations and pull (informal). Duration goes from hours (formal) to minutes (informal). Subject matter ranges from curriculum (what the organization says - formal) to discovery (what the individual needs - informal) Timing goes from outside of work to during work. Development time ranges from months (events - formal) to minutes (connections - informal).

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