Comment on Teleconference #1

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In our call on 26Apr, someone asked what problem we’re trying to solve via this reading group. In my view, the answer is simple; we are trying to enable learning in the workplace, using real work with real work people, real work tools, and real work challenges. I often see a, and often do myself, focus on technology as the solution; however, I think we have a more fundamental challenge well before we get to the technology questions/answers.

We need to facilitate a mind set change on what/when Learning is and this change needs to happen from the top of the leadership ladder all the way to the front line, on-the-ground working individual. In Shell, we measure multiple things but most are focused on formal, classroom based, learning – how many participants attended, what is the cost per participant, etc. Wouldn’t it be nice if we measured something like how many “routes” were available for someone to learn XYZ on demand and how frequently these routes were being used – or – how much information is available online for growing each competence and which pieces of information were “scored” as best by users? In addition, I’m already seeing instances where Learners don’t want to participate in virtual learning opportunities because it doesn’t involve travel and travel is a treat for them. Of course, in this instance, it’s not really about the learning as much as it’s about the “holiday” away from real work. That speaks volumes about how some view formal classroom learning events and the value they feel they get from them when it comes to really learning something! So, again I ask, is there something we should be doing NOW to start the mind set change so people (leaders and individuals) will be open to doing things differently, more effectively, once we figure out what those things are? I think so but what and how?

Thanks for listening,
Denise Wilson
Manager of Learning Design & Development
Royal Dutch Shell

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