Performance vs. Learning vs. Performance

Another “shot” across our bows from me about labeling the many and ever evolving set of Web 2.0 “tools” as Learning vs. Performance.

Why is it always about “us” and is seen potentially by others as Web 2.0 being positioned by us to be Learning-centric versus Performance-centric?

Is that our intent?

Learning for the sake of Learning?

Tools needed to Perform on-the-job might need to be Learned on-the-job some times, and when in the job its use can cause learning to occur. But the terminal objective – if you will – is still performance and not learning.

Let’s not be confused: Learning is a means to the ends of Performance.

In the context of Enterprise Learning we can pretty well identify and proscribe the things to be trained (skills developed) at both the terminal (process level) and at the enabling level: develop spreadsheet skills to enable Business Analysis process competence. And things we need Education (knowledge developed) on. And even what needs Communication (awareness developed).

We don ‘t do that for every job in the Enterprise as sometimes it is a more efficient use of limit capital (money) to do nothing and let Informal Learning occur. Or if we configure our content for critical audiences (PUSH) we can ensure that we produce a lot of content that can be shared with less-critical (PULL) audiences.

But all content produced should be aimed at enabling critical Performance and building performance competence in the performance required.

In the context of the Educational System we cannot identify the terminal performance objectives of our students, especially in their early years. But our educators usually have a good sense of what is required post-education for those in the later stages of their education. In the early stages we know that kids need to master math to some level, but in pursuing an Electrical Engineering job one needs very specific math skills/competencies…but those are still enablers for a future set of on-the-job tasks yet to be determined.

So Learning at this level is different because you do not know the terminal objectives and you can only guess at the enabling objectives – and build/deploy your content in that context.

Labeling Might Depend on Where You Sit
So if you labeled all Web 2.0 tools as Learning tools then you should be coming at this from an Educational level of our clunky system and not the Enterprise level of the clunky system.

For in the Enterprise context it is Performance that really counts and not Learning per se. So labeling all that you are trying to sell the Enterprise Executives to invest in as Learning may be less effective than if your focus was and is always on terminal Performance, in the workflow/processes, for the good of the Enterprise. Not for the good of just Learning.

Your thoughts?

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