We've always known that informal learning/ on the job learning/ real time learning - whatever you choose to call it, is always more valuable than formal classroom learning.
Now a survey by Bersin & Associates (and tweeted by Josh Bersin) shows that 64% of Learning Executives believe informal learning approaches have higher impact, more than two-thirds of corporate training budgets are spent on traditional formal training.
Why should that be?
- Well to begin with - social and informal learning happens in the real time work environment. It's a space where learning executives are not present
- Spending budgetary dollars would necessitate the need to set up control systems - to find out if they are well spent - and that would actually stifle learning
- Current learning leaders are people who have learned primarily how to impart skills using classroom and e-learning - they understand that world - with its imperfections and shortages. Getting them to think about alternate method of ensuring learning is scary for them
- Clearly formalising informal learning would lead to counter productive results - but firms have to provide infrastructure to aid the process
- Getting people to agree to be observed - and conducting a ethnographic research - to actually find out how this learning actually takes place.
- Collaborate with Knowledge Management professionals - this is overlapping area for both groups in the organization to achieve results