Hacking Learning at Work

Hacking Learning at Work

I delivered a seminar at last week’s World of Learning Summit in London on Hacking Learning at Work. The core theme of my session was that people need to take more control of their own learning at work. Effective learning needs to be bottom-up not top-down. L&D do their best but mostly they tinker around the edges. Sometimes the senior leadership team identifies a hot topic and L&D jump into action to upskill people in that area. The sheep-dip is open for business. There is little in the way of personalisation or recognition of prior knowledge. Experience tells us that most real learning in organisations is informal. Indeed insights from the 70:20:10 model indicate that 90% of learning is informal with only 10% attributable to formal learning interventions. This 90% comprises a vast range of approaches to learning from watching a video on YouTube to participating in a community of practice or attending an industry conference. The vast majority of these things are learner controlled and are therefore ripe for hacking.

Hacking learning is about employees taking control of their own learning. It involves an assessment of their current level of competence, a plan for how they will upskill themselves and a way of evaluating success or otherwise. They will need to develop their own strategies and tactics for learning based on their individual learning preferences. They will need to become high performing self-determined learners. This requires a deep intrinsic motivation to learn, primarily for their own benefit but also for the benefit of the organisation for which they work. Forget pedagogy, even andrgogy…the focus should be on heutagogy.

Heutagogy – The theory and practice of self-determined learning that focuses on the importance of knowing how to learn as a key skill for the 21st century.

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