I recently joined the Corporate Learning Trends & Innovation social network and was able to catch a couple sessions of their April online event: Conversations about Learning in Organizations, that’s taking place today and tomorrow (April 21, 22).
What was great about this event, besides that it was free, was that I could simply log in from my desktop at work and take in the sessions I had time for, and listen to conversations moderated by many thought leaders in the learning and performance industry.
Rather than formal presentations, these sessions were simply moderated conversations, decidedly vendor neutral, that brought together a broad range of viewpoints, and provided time to wrestle with issues of defining terms, understanding broader implications, and basically wrestling with the notion of how organizations can shift from a formal learning model to one that levels the playing field and fosters informal learning.
A few themes that stood out in the sessions I attended:
- Shifting from formal learning to social (informal). How do we as learning and performance professionals help make that shift occur?
- Need to address issues/topics that really matter to people and to businesses.
- Getting out of the silos. Learning and performance needs to bridge the gap with other parts of the business. The CEO doesn’t care about the instructional design methodology that’s use. They care about if the T & D function improves the bottom line. Part of this involves the need to shift between the instructional design methodology side to the business process side, and being able to communicate effectively on both sides.
- Combining social, formal, performance support, CM/KM/LM systems, and mobile learning into an overall strategy.
These were some of the issues discussed, and there was much more. This was first time I’ve attended an online event built around conversations, rather than formal presentations, and I would say the experience, ideas generated, and rich dialog was more valuable than alot of the formal presentations on similar topics that I’ve attended, online or in person, even with a few technical glitches thrown in.