Author: Harold Jarche Posted: March 26, 2012 1154 views

There are few best practices for the network era workplace, but definitely many next practices to be developed. A good place to start is with an integrative performance framework that puts formal training and education where they belong: focused on the appropriate 5%.

Jay Cross calls the new performance environment a workscape:

Workscape: A metaphorical construct where learning is embedded in the work and emerges in “pull” mode. It is a fluid, holistic, process. Learning emerges as a result of working smarter. In this environment learning is natural, social, spontaneous, informal, unbounded, adaptive and fun. It involves conversation as the main ingredient.

Workscapes are not new structures but rather holistic ways of looking at and reformulating existing business infrastructure. They use the same networks and social media as the business itself, but technology is never the most important part. Foremost are people, their motivations, emotions, attitudes, roles, their enthusiasm or lack thereof, and their innate desire to excel. Technology connects people.

Workscapes go far beyond traditional training and instructional services. Jane Hart has developed a comprehensive framework for the support of workplace learning and performance. Note in the centre that “learning needs to be embedded in the workflow“. This is the premise from which all organizational support must flow.

Another perspective, from Charles Jennings, uses the 70-20-10 framework to prioritize performance support. “If you keep people in the workflow, and provide them with facilities and support for learning, the learning is more effective, faster and efficient.”

A workscape perspective can help management, HR and L&D professionals get away from the trees to see the forest,  because business is a complex, interconnected ecosystem today.

About the author >

Harold Jarche

Harold Jarche passionately believes in the re-integration of work and learning. People have connected with Harold over the past decade, through his blog and consulting practices, for innovative ideas on business, technology, social networks and learning. He also distills heady topics like complexity theory into practical advice. Harold has saved clients time and money by focusing on business objectives and conducting cause analyses, instead of prescribing training as a solution looking for a problem. A graduate of the Royal Military College, Harold served over 20 years in the Canadian Army in leadership and training roles. Harold has held senior positions at the Centre for Learning Technologies and e-Com Inc. His preferred workplace is on his bike, where he gets his best ideas.

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