I wrote the following in 2009 —
Workplace learning in 2019
- Much of the workforce will be distributed in time & space as well as in engagement (part-time, full-time, contract mix).
- More learning will be do-it-yourself and gathered from online digital resources available for free and fee. More workers will be used to getting what they need as they change jobs/contracts more frequently but remain connected to their online networks (online/offline won’t matter anymore).
- Work and learning will continue to blend while stand-up training will be challenged by the ever-present back channel. Successful training programs will involve the learners much more – before, during and after.
- Conferences, workshops and on-site training will become more niche and fragmented (smaller, focused & connected online) as travel costs increase and workers become more demanding of their time.
- The notion of PKM will have permeated much of the workplace
- These changes will not be evenly distributed.
It seems that most of these speculations have arrived, not evenly distributed, as forecast. Several have been accelerated by the pandemic. I was wrong about travel costs, for now. The current situation is that many people will not or cannot travel. After the pandemic, if that time ever arrives, travel costs will likely increase as many carriers will be out of business or hurting financially.
I have seen an increased interest in PKM — or self-directed & networked informal learning — with more people registering for the online workshop this past year. We recently completed a social learning program based on the Seek > Sense > Share framework at a global financial institution which will be rolled out to tens of thousands employees over the next couple of years. The Working Smarter with PKM field guide is a reference for this program.
So here we are, with work and learning becoming more closely integrated. Learning and development departments that ignore this integration or keep workplace learning in separate containers and evaluation systems will likely become obsolete. Do not be overcome by events — read the writing on the silicon walls.