Tom Gram discusses the integration of learning and work (my professional passion) and gives a list of ten strategies for integration, of which three are discussed in detail in Part 1 (I’m already looking forward to Part 2):
1. Understand the job
2. Link Learning to business process
3. Build a performance support system
Of Tom’s 10 suggestions, not one is related to creating a course. That shows how relevant training is to the integration of working & learning and something to consider at the dawn of the learning age.
Look at “understand the job” and see how much of a challenge that could be in today’s workplace. What do you do when everyone’s job is unique? The learning professional must be in constant contact with the realities of the everyone’s work. Interventions and support will likely be incremental, addressing changing circumstances, but using multipurpose platforms for information and knowledge-sharing. Understanding work needs good two-way communications.
As jobs become more unique (I think the notion of the job may disappear over time), training either becomes a very expensive option or must be focused on specific skills that are used by several people. The result in the latter case is increasingly smaller units of training, which merges training into performance support, making training in the traditional sense less relevant.
In a complex or changing workplace (yours perhaps?), with shifting roles and responsibilities, Tom’s other seven strategies make even more sense:
4. Build a community of practice
5. Use social media to facilitate informal learning
6. Implement a continuous improvement framework
7. Use action learning
8. Organizational learning tools
9. Design Jobs for natural learning
10. Bring the job to the learning
I would say that these ten strategies would be excellent preparation for the networked workplace.