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What Is Learning in the 'Flow of Work'?

Traditionally, learning practitioners deliver learning to employees in a formal, course-based way.

This is out of line with how people learn in their personal lives, where they will often turn to video tutorials and access the learning they need as and when they need it.

Learning in the flow of work means to provide learning when the need arises and in the way that best suits people’s working day. Talking to employees and managers to identify key learning needs helps facilitate this. Providing learning solutions within hours, rather than weeks and measuring its impact all support successful learning in the flow of work.

Video transcript:

So, what is learning in the flow of work? The key concept of the heart of my book Driving Performance Through Learning is the rapid transformation of work, the workforce and the workplace, and demand new approaches in the way we design and deliver organizational learning.

Learning is seen as something you do away from the day job. But in the fast-changing world of work, that thinking must change.

The concept of learning in the 'flow of work' first coined by Josh Burson focuses on embedding opportunities to learn as an integral part of our work lives. So how does this practically benefit employees? How much more effective or motivational can it be for employees to address a learning need when it matters to them, learning is facilitated responsibly in the context of their unique need. For many of us, that's how we learn in non-work situations.

Now I'm sure you'll have access to an online video when you needed it to solve a problem. But what might be commonplace in our personal lives is far from commonplace at work. Learning in the flow of work requires learning practitioners to adopt new tactics to facilitate learning. As someone passionate about innovating organizational learning, I've written Driving Performance Through Learning to help people professionals make that necessary transition from formal courses to innovative in the flow of work learning approaches.

For that, we need to lay some essential new foundations in learning design, with an emphasis on forensically diagnosing performance needs to target organizational priorities. We need to talk to employees and their managers to understand the key learning needs that they require support for. Moreover, the approach demands more responsive methods where learning solutions can be provided within hours rather than weeks, coupled with a commitment to track learning impact, deliver learning in the flow of work demands a range of delivery approaches, including leveraging digital and technological solutions, facilitating social learning communities, curating content, supporting self-directed learning, embedding, coaching, and valuing mistakes. All of these are explored in detail in the book.

This is an exciting new day, which requires a redefinition of the responsibilities and roles within organizational learning teams. To that end, Driving Performance Through Learning highlights the new mindset needed, and it provides a bold manifesto that must be adopted to underpin learning in the flow of work.

The famous US President Abraham Lincoln is attributed with two insightful quotes on pursuing the future. Firstly, he said you cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by avoiding it today. The transformation of workplace learning is a now issue if organizations are to achieve and maintain high performance For that we must eagerly embrace the range of creative interventions that underpin learning in the flow of work.

Secondly, Abraham Lincoln is also credited with saying, the best way to predict the future is to create it.

If your vision is to transform organizational learning into effective, creative and, most importantly, responsive in the flow of work approaches, then Driving Performance Through Learning is a book for you.

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