Learning vs. Sourcing?

A couple of months ago I asked on Twitter something to the effect: “is it LEARNING if you find something online or on paper or via asking someone for data/guidance for one task – and then go on with other tasks?”

I think it is most often Sourcing – and not often Learning.

Why? Learning involves recall during the moment of need. Sourcing involves getting what you need and then: forgetaboutit.

But as always, it depends.

Is using any Social Network/Social Media part of Learning and/or Sourcing?
It can be both right? I might actually later recall something “learned” while on that web 2.0 tool.
But was that the intent?

Or was the intent to provide me and others an electronic pathway to someone and/or something – some content? Again, if it was intended to enable me to recall later – then that’s Learning.
Otherwise it was for Sourcing.

Is using a Knowledge Management System Learning and/or Sourcing?
Again, if I recall something when needed later then learning occurred. But was that the goal?
Was the goal to have me memorize for later recall on some specifics – some data/facts or some task guidance? Most often not. But sometimes. But it probably was not the intent. But a KMS could be used to provide pull access to instructional and informational content.

Is using any EPSS – Electronic Performance Support System Learning and/or Sourcing?
Same as KMS.


What Drives the Choice of Learning Solutions or Sourcing Solutions?
For the various stakeholders’ sake I hope it is the Performance Competence requirements of the individual and teams of Performers (workers) given their process/workflow requirements.

There are Many Alternatives for both Learning and Sourcing.

Yes, and in both the Learning space and in the Sourcing space that will keep on changing with the constant evolution of technology.

Look at what technologies you already have in place, and know which are planned for later – and/or make a rational case for new ones. Ones that will have some legs into the future – and won’t end up being old/dead technology sooner than they can be depreciated by the accountants.

Oh yeah – that reality. The bean-counting reality.

Hey – if it were your Enterprise YOU WOULD be thinking about this aspect too!

What kind of R’s can you get for the I’s?
As in ROI.

Or- what is the R in terms of the “Costs of Non-Conformance” (CoNC)? What is the problem or opportunity worth? And what are the life cycle returns versus just the immediate returns?

And- what is the I? What are the “Costs of Conformance” (CoC)? What will it really cost to put this in place? And what are the life cycle costs versus just the first costs?

Types of Returns
Here is my model for ISD – seven types of Returns/ CoNCs – that a wise Investment might provide. Use it as a framework to help you decide the potential value of the Returns in your context.

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