Monday, March 9, 2009

Learning And Work ...

Something i have been thinking about for some time now ... though, for some reason (dont know what that was), i was just not able to write it down ... couldnt quite get to articulating it. Which is why the post by Jay Cross which is looking into the future was something which i quite liked. For the simple reason that he has articulated what i was thinking quite well ...

In a knowledge society, learning is the work.

I quite agree. In a scenario where the nature of business, and hence work, was more or less the same over a period of time, this was not necessarily so. Of course, thats not entirely true, but somewhat so. But, in a scenario where the nature of business, the markets, customers, and hence the work that people do at office changes quite regularly, using static trainings to enable people to find solutions to ever-changing business problems is not exactly the ideal way of doing things. What this implies is that training, for whatever form it takes, must evolve as work content changes. Now, this is a tricky proposition, because noone knows in advance what direction change will take. So, the only possibility i can see is that of developing platforms which can enable people to find the appropriate sources of information (not necessarily training courses) for a particular scenario.

And this, to my mind, can be done through the people-to-people connections which technologies like social computing are bringing to the table. Rather than looking at developing training courses, which are obsolete by the time they are launched (given the lead time of development for some of these, this is not an exaggeration), a training function needs to look at creating a platform which is capable of finding bits and pieces of knowledge across the organization (usually to be found in a highly distriuted scenario), and collating these into some form of a dynamic training course (for want of a better term).

Its like saying ... someone is facing a particular problem ... lets say, client management. Now, there are standard training courses which are available for this. What i am saying, however, is that if the client is a utility company, then maybe a short nugget made up of a write-up about the utilities industry, the specific problem they are trying to solve, and similar experiences from others can be grouped together to make a small capsule. Its not as though this is too far out ... if you see carefully, in the blogosphere, most of this kind of content would usually be already available. Its a question of creating a dynamic book (again, for want of a better word) from specific blog posts (lets say) which is capable to solving the specific problem. Not something which is sort of a one-size-fits-all. There is, of course, still some components lacking from this picture, and i would ask you to fill in these pieces?

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