It’s Learn @ Work week in Canada. A related article in the HuffPo states that, “Simply put, a culture of learning is nothing more than workplace leaders providing opportunities for learning in a supportive environment.” Is that really it?
For me, it’s never “Learn @ Work” week. It’s always, “Learning is the Work” week.
Thinking of learning as something additional to work is plain wrong in a knowledge-based, creative, networked society and economy.
It is not enough for workplace leaders to merely “provide opportunities for learning”. They need to model learning themselves. But it’s not just about those in leadership positions, as networked organizations need everyone to think and learn for themselves. Organizational resilience is strengthened when those in leadership roles let go of control, because leadership in networks does not come from above, as there is no top. Leadership is an emergent property of a network in balance and not some special property available to only the select few. As networks become the dominant organizational principle, networked learning is essential to do any work of value. A real learning organization requires leadership from everyone – an aggressively intelligent and engaged workforce; understanding that:
- Learning is not something to get;
- The only knowledge that can be managed is our own;
- Learning in the workplace is MUCH more than formal training;
- Learning is everywhere; and
- Learning is too important to be left to the professionals