In recent discussions with clients and co-workers, the question where do you learn came up a few times especially in light of gamification of internal learning systems. The reality for most of us is that we are learning in an unconscious or subconscious way all of the time. In fact a lot of learning will take place on the fly through a conversation by the coffee machine or at a meeting not classed as learning per se, an article or video you picked up through a social media post, etc. The opportunities presented to us for learning are so abundant that tracking of only formal internal organisational learning is hardly a true picture of an individual’s effort to expand their skills in their field.
We have often suggested the idea of a learning passport, where individuals can add in all of their learning experiences and where possible reference them with links to the original posts or certification earned through external courses. You could envisage adding in informal learning through meetings with experts. From an organisational perspective this means trusting your people to take charge of their own learning and allowing them to self-track those learning moments outside of the organised systems in work.
As the world of work develops more and more towards a portfolio of work instead of any one job. A company transcending system to document your development may well become a standard. In this instance keeping your education and skills levels at the top of your game and industry will be important to keep your portfolio of work filled with gigs.
As a business owner, I have often taken courses or parts of online courses to get skilled or aware of a specific topic. I don’t think I ever stop learning. I also have nobody really pushing me to achieve a certain quota of hours. As an individual I have always loved reading and still read a lot. I also listen to podcasts or audiobooks when I travel or work out. I attend industry conferences like for example Gamification Europe which is coming up in Brighton on the 28th and 29th of November and as a frequent speaker at conferences I tend to also stay around to hear what is alive and interesting in the industry.
I don’t need tracking for me to do this. If I did document it however, my guess would be that I may value my knowledge acquisition strategy a lot more. And maybe it is in this aspect that the true value lies of building up a learning passport or better again as I described as level 3 gamification in my learning gamification framework proof of competency as perceived by myself, my clients and peers.
In a way it could work similar to the LinkedIn endorsements, but based on real life experiences. What should give us competency feedback is projects completed, client and peer related knowledge transfers, coaching and mentoring opportunities and obviously project business results. To counter the randomness of endorsement, like what is the case on LinkedIn, you should be able to control whose feedback you accept and value. On my LinkedIn I keep being endorsed for skills, that I would have valued for previous work, much to the detriment of the skills I want to display now such as gamification design for example. By building up a relevant skill for today, it should also lead to more recognition in this field in my view.
I would be interested to find out where you learn and what would you like to track for what reason?