Vote for your favorite learning tool

It’s time to vote for your ten favorite learning tools.

Jane Hart started this poll five years ago. I was the first participant.



Now more than a half million people check out the results. The trends tell the story of how online learning is changing. The past five years bear witness to major shifts, from authoring Push content to discovering via Pull and learning in communities.

What is a “learning tool”? This could be a tool you use for teaching, Continue reading

How to Replace Top-Down Training with Collaborative Learning (3)

Third post in a series. In case you missed it, here are the first and second.

Technological infrastructure for social learning

Work and learning are converging, and as this change happens, the infrastructure of the old corporate learning must go – things like traditional one-size-fit-all in-person training seminars. In its place enters social and informal learning hubs like on-demand content, live online discussions, wikis and forums, and searchable content archives. The Continue reading

Learning my work

I’m having a great time writing white papers and articles for companies. It’s fun distilling complex issues down to essence and then discovering the right metaphor to render them easily understood.

Given enough time, I enjoy writing like a novelist, taking flights of fantasy and letting my characters tell the story and sometimes duke it out. Then I’ll rein myself in, dump most of the text, and sift for nuggets, occasionally finding a zinger sound bite or several paragraphs worth saving Continue reading

Isn’t this how organizational learning cultures progress?

Jane Hart’s post yesterday on The differences between learning in an e-business and learning in a social business got me thinking about the evolution of learning culture in organizations.

It’s all to0 easy to mistakenly think of formal learning as the antiquated, primitive way of doing things, something an organization shucks off as it becomes enlightened and gives its people the autonomy to work on their own. The notion of stages suggests that a corporation hops from one stage to the next, Continue reading

How to Replace Top-down Training with Collaborative Learning (2)

Second post in a series. In case you missed it, here’s the first.

Who’s going to be involved?
Every Kind of Employee – Temps Included

In the Hierarchical organization, employees were the only people who received corporate training. Aside from compliance training and new product introductions, most training focused on novices – either newhires who needed orientation or workers mastering a new skill or subject.

It’s not that seasoned and elder employees weren’t learning; Continue reading

Informal Learning for people in a hurry

Need to get your arms around the essence of informal learning in business in a hurry? Try these ten:

Courses are dead. Just foolin’

Several people have asked me not to denigrate formal learning in the workplace, the 10 of the 70:20:10 model. Indeed. Formal learning has its place. It’s apt for bringing people up to speed in a new discipline or topic. Formal learning accelerates exposure to the landscape, the rules of thumb, the frameworks and specialized vocabulary, and a lot of other things that would be laborious to learn from experience.

Standing around the water cooler is not the best way to learn algebra.

Furthermore, Continue reading

The Geography of Bliss and recent findings on well-being

The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner.

Author Eric Weiner visits the happiest country (Switzerland!), the most bummed out (Moldova), the wealthiest (Qatar), and others, using wherever he is to reflect on happiness and the locals. There are some good basic points about happiness and culture, but Weiner expends too many words laughing at his own jokes. The book was fun but I didn’t find much beef.

Here’s a brief excerpt. And some positive reviews. And Weiner’s description of the book.

What Continue reading

How to replace top-down training with collaborative learning (1)

The Twenty-First Century Corporation

Businesses around the world are transforming into extended enterprise networks but their training departments are stuck in the previous century. In the pursuit of trying to fix what’s broken, let’s imagine what ideal corporate learning would look like if we could start over from scratch.

In the 1800s and 1900s, successful companies ran like well-oiled machines. Workers were mere cogs in those machines. The people were interchangeable parts. Companies Continue reading


Curious video. I’m a raving fan of conversation. “Conversations are the stem cells of learning.”

The video makes conversation very attractive, but it doesn’t tell me how Branch is going to make it better.

This reminds me of the Doonesbury cartoon where Mike Doonesbury has created an ad for a new bicycle that shows a jumble of ecstatic people. Zonker innocently asks, “But where’s the bicycle?”