Jan 3, 2010

I'm reading work smarter by Jay cross and friends

I've just read the first hundred pages of the un-book Work Smarter, written by Jay cross and friends. It is a self published book on lulu.com. Up to page 100 [where I am now] it is surprisingly good for a beta book. I will not write a review here. Instead, I will present you with some key sentences and slogans that have catched my eye. I'm a sucker for a good slogan, it will give you an idea of what the book is about as much as a review would do. I'm a reader of Jay's blog, so I am familiar with his thinking already.

The workplace is an open book exam. Indeed, why stuff all necessarily knowledge in your poor head? Nowadays it's more important to find out at the moment of needs by leveraging your connections and all the web content that is available at your fingertips.

Continual learning to problem solving and collaboration is the key. Again, I agree. You can give them a fish, or you can teach them how to fish. The likelihood that we can train people to deal with the exact situations we intend to train for, is small. It is better to train people how to cope with situations they might encounter.

Knowledge workers need leaders, not managers. Their work is better driven by values done by rules. Managing is not anymore when it's used to be. What does a manager know about the ever-changing world of the professional? These days, your hierarchical supervisor can tell you what needs to be done and where to end up, but not how to get there anymore.

Informal learning, the major source of knowledge and innovation, is left to chance. I'm not an advocate of turning in formal learning in perform on learning. Instead, I favor informal learning to be supported, encouraged, made visible, and in the end make it count.

Executives don't want learning: they want execution, they want performance. In a business setting, it's indeed all about performance and the value that performance will generate. In my book Homo competence, I use the picture below. Learning is only important in so far it helps competence.

Modern instructional design needs to focus on creating flexible environments that nurture learning, rather than rigid programs that attempt to force lessons into the head of learners. Maybe we should have a label "learning friendly", awarded by the learners themselves?

Performance support trumps training every time.but there is a lot of pressure to do the training thing. Even if we know we are overloading people at a moment they will forget because not relevant yet. In the defense of the training folks: they don't really get to say whether the training will go ahead, they just get to make it and deliver it.

Your charter as chief learning Officer is to optimize learning throughout the organization, not just in the pockets that once belonged to HR.The attention of learning folks should indeed spend outside of their traditional kingdom into all corners of the organization, its partners, and its customers.

Free range learners. I just like the terminology I can picture them in my head :-)

Too many people who talk about the ROI of learning are focused on being precisely wrong rather than directionally correct. The ancient 'impact of learning' debate.

You must manage what you can't measure. In the industrial age it used to be the other way around: you can't manage what you can't measure. Now you need to. But how? And how to do it in a meaningful and trusted way?

These are the slogans and key sentences that I wrote down until page 100. As I said before, there's nothing major I disagree which. I like his work. But I'm not part of the group that wants a revolution. I rather pragmatic and how we get to the promised land based on what we have today. You can't change false systems like education and corporate training in a small time frame. Not even if you shout at it.

1 comment:

Deon said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.