Chief Learning Officer (04/11) Combs, Tammara


Corporate learning leaders often try to discuss “social learning” using terms like “learning 2.0,” “social media,” and “informal learning.” However, it is challenging to explain the differences between the above terms and to present social learning as an effective way of learning. These terms essentially indicate that the aim of social learning is to enable staff to share best practices and know-how so they can learn from one another. There is currently so much information available and cycle times so much shorter that learning and development (L&D) departments can no longer work independently. L&D must rely on its target audience to ensure that content remains appropriate and contextual. This calls for a migration to “workforce-centric learning,” with employees altering how they learn and become more skillful in their jobs. Malcolm Gladwell notes in his book, “The Tipping Point,” that social epidemics are closely linked to change and innovation. He defines an epidemic as a widely occurring phenomenon that goes significantly beyond what is anticipated based on prior experience. The concept of social epidemics can be applied to how delivery, consumption, and sharing impact innovation and change within the workforce. If technology in the learning space fails to evolve, this epidemic in learning will continue even in the absence of management’s support.

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EDSI Commentary


Workforce-centric learning will require not only social media apps, but also mobile learning emphasis.