Seeing with new eyes

The idea that training is not a separate function has already gained some momentum, with many internal departments called something like Learning & Development now. Luis Suarez, writes in Learning & Knowledge – Partners in Learning:

For a good number of years, both Knowledge Management and Learning have always been associated with one another and overlapping quite a bit. Plenty of organisations are eventually using terms like Learning & Knowledge to refer to that process of knowledge sharing and collaborating; and, in a way, with the emergence of social software within the corporate environment, I am sure we will be seeing both disciplines come together even more!

I commented on Luis’s post that learning, development, KM, OD, etc, should take what’s best from each and create a more pragmatic offering for the networked workplace. I see that web-based practitioners especially are already doing this kind of cross-pollination. Both Luis and I view ourselves as cross-practitioners, as do several of my colleagues. In our networked world there is a need for more inter-disciplinary cooperation as exponential innovations can occur when examining one field through the lens of another. Merging our fields of practice will let us see with new eyes.

7 Responses to “Seeing with new eyes”

  1. Mark Berthelemy

    In addition, I would argue that L&D has a huge overlap with internal communications. It’s rarely exploited, and often seems to be more of a competition.

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  2. Virginia Yonkers

    I agree Mark. At our school we have the School of Business, College of Nanotechnology, School of Education, School of Public Policy, College of Information and Technology, and Communication Dept. all doing the same thing. However, there is very little coordination between schools, colleges, and departments with the exception of some research consortiums, some faculty members assigned to multiple departments, and some cross listing of courses. In fact, I find many competing for resources to do the same thing.

    Another example is that the Center for Teaching and Learning trains faculty and tries to get them to adapt new technology into their teaching. ITS, however, makes the decision on which courseware will be used and trouble shoots with faculty on technical problems. Audio-visual is in charge of the machinery, and the registrar’s office handles the scheduling of “smart” or technology enhanced classrooms. When I have a problem with trying to download a program in the classroom that requires “administrator permission” and is a part of the “list” supported by the Teaching and Learning Center (such as a wiki), I’m not sure who to contact (nor do I think are they). A knowledge and learning department would make things so much easier!

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  3. Luis Suarez

    Hi Harold! Great follow up blog post to the one I shared yesterday. I must say that while reading through it I couldn’t help thinking what will eventually be happening with us, cross-practitioners, since we don’t fit in within a specific discpline but multiple of them. From a personal development / career perspective perhaps folks would not feel very comfortable knowing that there isn’t a way for them to formally & officially move further in their careers. Somehow I suspect that would be a showstopper to some degree and perhaps an indication as well that HR needs to move on along with the times and ensure those cross-practitioners do have choices with regards to their own personal / career development so they don’t get stuck right in between without an option to move forward. That’s the last thing we would want, I can imagine, don’t you think?

    So with that need of inter-disciplinary cooperation, we should not forget either how important and crucial HR would become to adopt those new models of working…

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  4. Harold Jarche

    Thanks, Luis. yes, I’ve recommended before that a wide range of silos (HR, Trg, Pers, KM, OD, Comms, etc.) should be incorporated into one support function. Individuals could have a variety of roles, depending on organisational needs.

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  5. Luis Suarez

    Yes, that’s right, and I think most of us would be rather happy with that approach; however, from a HR career development perspective, changes would also need to take place in that area, otherwise people would not be that convinced to make that move over if they don’t see how that “new” support function is fully sanctioned by the business.

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  6. Ken Allan

    Kia ora Harold

    I am a believer in interdisciplinary study. Not only does it enable the mind but it broadens the outlook.

    When I was first shown how a complicated thermodynamics calculation could be also solved using a simplistic diagramatical approach, I realised that perception and viewpoint could make the difference between there being a problem and there being no problem at all.

    Sure knowledge helps, and it’s always good to have access to more rather than less. But there are times when a tonne of one type can do no more than a few milligrams of another.

    And depending on how it is applied . . .

    Catchya later
    from Middle-earth

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