Tag Archives: work-based learning

More monkeys with typewriters

I completed Jemima Gibbon‘s book Monkeys with Typewriters just before Christmas. As I mentioned in my comments on the first chapter here, I enjoyed the span of sources drawn on such as Arie de Geus and his book, The Living Company to de Moivre on distribution curves to Charles Darwin. As such, I found the “novelistic approach” of the book a powerful way of making-sense at different levels of social media at work and so is a useful companion to Andrew McAfee‘s book on Enterprise 2.0. What also comes through very strongly through the six chapters is the diversity and warmth of relations between people facilitated by but not limited to social software. Technology may enable and extend relationships but does not replace more traditional notions of friendships, acquaintances and collegiality – the limitations of an fb ‘friend’ are well understood.
The chapter titles: ‘co-creation’; ‘learning’; ‘openess’; ‘passion’; ‘listening’ and ‘generosity’ reflect the importance of attitude and ethos in really gaining the benefits of social media and, to some extend, the culture of the organisations that understand the potential in the medium. The Tuttle Club is an obvious hero here – and team Tuttle pointing the way to how alternative organsiation forms are more feasible on the back of social media.
A good and timely book.

What learners want

An interesting post here from Michele Martin reflecting on a new survey from the Masie Centre. As Michele points out, the results may indicate that either learners are taking more responsibility for their own work-based learning, or employers are investing less in learning (less than their employees recognise is required), or more likely, a combination of the two. It is also clear that the perceived user value of training is in the decline compared to the highly tailored learning support that is being demanded here.

The major question for me is whether the learning and development functions are able to deliver on the levels personalisation and diversity of delivery mechanisms that this report suggests is being demanded. My instinct and experience is that they lack both the resources and competences to deliver the kind of learning landscape we as employees are demanding and business are needing (whether businesses realise they need this is a separate point!).