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How Effective is Training? Laurie Bassi measured how well employees are trained and developed (Delahoussaye, et al., 2002). She writes that organizations that make large investments in people typically have lower employee turnover, which is associated with higher customer satisfaction, which in turn is a driver of profitability (p22). A second driver is manager proficiency — good managers determine if people stay or go, and this is also influenced by training and development.
Malcolm Knowles is generally considered to be the originator of the term “informal learning” through his book published in 1970: Informal Adult Education: A Guide for Administrators, Leaders, and Teachers . Allen Tough was probably the first to really study how adults use informal learning. You can read one of his papers (PDF) here, Reflections on the study of adult learning (1999).
On November 8th 2010 I delivered a keynote at the second Symposium of the Dommel Valley Group in Eindhoven. The theme of the day was “Informal Learning”. My presentation touched on the “Learning DNA” of the company I work for , looked at some of our efforts in the informal learning space and brought up nine (non-exhaustive) things that I see coming up in the near future. Please check out my slides (or download a 4.3MB PDF copy of them): The nine points led me to ask the audience nine questions:
Inspired by Jay Cross, Amanda Fenton asks how her Corporate Learning department could better meet the needs of employees. I think these are excellent questions and the answers form the basis of addressing how to integrate work and learning in the enterprise. Q1) Close to 80% of learning happens informally and 20% formally, yet we spend most of our time and money on the 20%. How could we better support this and shift our time and money?