Work is becoming predominantly social, collaborative & mobile. This mobile work requires mobile learning and a mobile workforce needs more flexible approaches in supporting learning. At the same time, a mobile workforce should have physical spaces that encourage conversations when nomadic workers do get together. With a mobile workforce, we cannot take for granted the hallway conversations of the last century, but should be optimizing our physical work spaces for conversations.
These conversations are necessary to help implicit knowledge be shared as explicit knowledge. As mobile workers become responsible for their own devices as well as their own learning, learning from colleagues gets even more important. Just look at the rise of video-conferencing.
Odds are again, if you’re a mobile professional you are probably doing more video calls lately than ever before — and far fewer, if any, are taking place in a “video room” or some other specialized broadcast facility. Instead, you’re likely doing it yourself, on a webcam built into your laptop or via a smartphone or tablet. It’s the way work is going to be done, increasingly, going forward. – Paul Kapustka in Mobile Enterprise 360
The increase in mobility will reinforce the need for openness in organizations. A mobile workforce must easily collaborate and cooperate across timezones in order to deal with complex and often time-sensitive issues. One reason workers are mobile is to keep them closer to their customers. This proximity means they can sense changes faster, but they also need to be able to react quicker. Trust needs to be pushed to the organization’s edges.
A mobile workforce can be a formidable way to deal with complexity. But this workforce needs to be supported for networked learning as well as networked working. Knowledge networks are optimized through openness, transparency and diversity. If your workforce is becoming increasingly mobile, it may be time to review how things get done:
- Support networked professional development.
- Shift the focus of workplace learning to Experience & Exposure
- Foster connected leadership
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