Connecting learning and work and life

In discussing how communities of practice can bridge the gap between innovation (new ideas) and getting work done (usually in project or work teams), I derived this graphic. For a detailed explanation of my thinking behind this, see my presentation on communities and the coherent enterprise.

I have observed that what underlies creative and complex work (the future of work in the network era, in my opinion) is  empowered workers who take control of their own learning. This is the premise of personal knowledge management. PKM is not just about finding information, but also connecting to people.

Using the Seek-Sense-Share framework, people seek new contacts in their social networks, and over time (filtering), some become co-members in communities of practice. Communities of practice help to inform our work and life, some of our learning and observations creating new ideas or practices. We can then share these new ideas with our communities, discerning who and how to share with, at the appropriate times. For instance, we may share a new practice first with a professional community of practice before publishing it to our general social networks.

A key part of PKM is connecting our networks, our communities, our work, and our lives together in order to make sense, be more productive, and open ourselves to serendipity. It’s a holistic approach, not one that compartmentalizes work and life, but something that helps us to make sense of the whole messy, complex world we live in. As such, it’s always a work in progress, but it starts by connecting to others.

3 Responses to “Connecting learning and work and life”

  1. Matt Hunter

    Hi Harold,
    I appreciate your blog and if you ever have a chance, we’d love it if you checked out our beta site of We have launched what we hope will be a helpful site for folks to connect to plans on major goals in life where they can carry them out, adjust them, and then have permanent access to content. In the mode of learning is work and work is learning, we think a permanent connection to your past and current learning and achievement is key.

    If you have a chance to check it out, that’d be great and since we are just a little group of folks building this out, any advice would be welcome.



  2. Jessica

    Thanks for sharing this informative post! You have shared very important points about learning and how learning, work and life are all interconnected. This blog has shown how learning can be connected with work and how work help us in building our networks. Thus, these three modes are interlinked together.


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