We believe these truths about learning in our workplaces:

  1. That learning is a lifelong process. The day we stop is the day we die;
  2. That learning is a verb, not a noun. Individuals do it, but it can’t be created;
  3. That elearning also can’t be created, despite what a seeming majority of people believe (see above);
  4. That you can train people, but you can’t learn them;
  5. That in a formal setting, we need a reason to learn;
  6. That bullet points and lectures won’t give us that reason;
  7. That learning by doing is more effective than watching or listening;
  8. That changing the organization’s name from Training & Development to Learning & Development didn’t make it so;
  9. That learning socially taps into more knowledge than learning on our own;
  10. That informal learning activities amount to 70% or more of workplace growth and development.

So stimulate us with authentic activities. Provide opportunities to collaborate and solve real problems. Support our quest for knowledge and wisdom at the time and place of need. Yes you can train us, but better you give us the tools, experiences, and guidance we need to perform better. And most importantly, support our informal professional development. It’s not just good for us, it’s good for our social workplace.

Also see Social Learning Truths, the social learner’s manifesto.

Thanks for reading! @tomspiglanin


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