Workers who know more get more accomplished. People who are well connected make greater contributions. The workers who create the most value are those who know the right people, the right stuff and the right things to do.
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At work we learn more in the break room than in the classroom.
observing others, asking the person in the next cubicle, calling the help desk, trial and error and simply working with people in the know.
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Informal learning is effective because it is personal. The individual calls the shots. The learner is responsible. It’s real. How different from formal learning, which is imposed by someone else. Workers are pulled to informal learning; formal learning is pushed at them.
- Ineffective negative reinforcement.
- Unmotivated learners.
- Learner disengagement, unrewarded curiosity, spurned creativity.
- Training instead of learning.
- Focus on fixing the individual rather than optimizing the team.
- Provide time for informal learning on the job.
- Create useful, peer-rated FAQs and knowledge bases.
- Provide places for workers to congregate and learn.
- Supplement self-directed learning with mentors and experts.
- Set up help desks 24x7 for informal inquiries.
- Build networks, blogs, Wikis and knowledge bases to facilitate discovery.
- Use smart tech to make it easier to collaborate and network.
- Encourage cross-functional gatherings.
Many learners today are not self-directed—they are waiting for directions. It’s time to tell them that the rules have changed. It’s in their self-interest to become proactive learning opportunists.
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