Frictionless learning

Gary Wise, in Close to the Edge: The Radicalization of Training,  suggests that workers need an environment with:

seamless, frictionless and ubiquitous access to/from the right learning assets – at their moment(s) of learning need – in work context-friendly amounts – in compelling, readily-consumable formats – to/from the right devices.

This is definitely part of the solution and goes a long way in addressing the training department’s predominantly event-based, fire & forget, mindset. However, it’s also content-centric and appears to assume that if you have the right content, learning will happen.

But more of our work is in exception-handling or is increasingly complex and requires the sharing of highly contextual tacit knowledge. That means we also need to be connected to the right people at the right time. Professional social networks enable these connections. I would add to Gary’s description, “seamless, frictionless and ubiquitous access to/from the right learning assets as well as a dynamic network of colleagues/co-workers …”. Once again, this sounds like wirearchy:

a dynamic [multi-way]  flow of power and authority based on information, knowledge, trust and credibility, enabled by interconnected people and technology

4 Responses to “Frictionless learning”

  1. Gary Wise

    Harold you nailed it with your comment about the “right people at the right time”, and I attempted to cover that collaboration inside of the phrase…

    ” workers need an environment with seamless, frictionless and ubiquitous access to/from the right learning assets”.

    “access to/from” implies two-way…and the “right learning assets” include human assets; such as, SMEs, experts, peers, CoP collaborations, etc. It is not as explicit as ” a dynamic network of colleagues/workers” which I very much like.

    Thanks for mentioning this post. Between you and Jay Cross, the blog has been pounded today and things have been rather…dynamic!

    Take good care, Harold!


  2. Gilbert Babin

    Frictionless…you better oil up the learners…

    The biggest barrier to learning is learners and organizations who just don’t have learning skills. You can change the environment, you can change the approaches, you won’t get very good results until we produce better learners.

    Unfortunately there aren’t very many people tackling the problem of how to produce better learners.

    • Harold Jarche

      I’d say people are natural learners, but experience in our society and with our institutions has stunted their development. As Richard Florida succinctly quipped, “How to squelch human potential – Step 1) Create assembly-line schools, 2) Distract w/ pop culture, 3) Build corporate cube-farms. Mix well.”


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