All comments posted on this blog do not reflect the opinions of any organization that I am affiliated with. These are my personal perspectives only.

Monday, September 3, 2007

4 Tips to Harnessing Informal Learning

I read a Forrester article called "Informal learning connects with Corporate Training Programs". Although the title may not suggest it, it is actually a very interesting article.

One piece of research they discussed that caught my attention is that back in 1986, 75% of the knowledge you needed to do your job was "in your head". Things you would have formally learned. In 2006, only 10% of the information you need to do your job is actually "in your head". The rest is access to information, Internet and collaboration.

The implications are several and most are discussed in the article. The bottom line from Forrester...


The new critical skill is the ability to un-learn and rapidly learn new. Here's a few suggestions I have for you to survive in this new world.

1. Enhance Your Network/Community
If only 10% of insight is useful, then the more connected you are the better the chances you will get the help you need with your network. Personally I prefer the concept of community over a network. Your network/community needs to have a trusting relationship to work. Notice I didn't say build the network. The fact that you have 1000 contacts on LinkedIn is useless unless you are able to really tap into each of those 1000 contacts. Don't just focus on quantity, focus on strength of your relationships.

2. Constantly Learn
Take advantage of RSS & Social Bookmarking! There is so much information out there, how do you find what is of value to you. RSS & Social Bookmarking holds part of the answer.

3. Collaborate
More and more we have opportunities to collaborate. Take advantage of them. If you want to be the lone hero all of the time... You will end up just being alone.

4. Develop Critical Thinking Skills
With the abundance of information, and no clear cut answer on anything. You'll need to personally evaluate what is right and what is even more correct. Tap into the network, RSS, other sources but in the end make-up your own decision.

What else would you suggest?

No comments: