Formal & Informal Learning At the Right Time, In the Right Place, and For the Right Task

In an Enterprise Learning Context

No one wants to Invest their own money and time in things that won’t have a sufficient Return – dollar-ize-able or not.

Now, sooner or later. The same with Enterprise Investments in Learning.

The Enterprise is hopefully making, wise, well-thought-out, Strategic Bets with its Investments in Targeted Learning for Targeted Performance. If there are Learners wandering through the vast troves of Data and Information available, attempting to Learn “How to do their jobs” – let’s hope that their slow and error-prone approach doesn’t open the Enterprise up to costly Performance Incompetence.

Let’s hope a little Risk Management went into the financial allocations and the assignments.

A Logic to the Learning Content Architecture – Enterprise Wide and Deep

If you scan a typical Organization Chart you might be able to imagine the shared and unique needs of the management ranks – and the non-management ranks – driven by what is common across the jobs at similar levels. And what is common across all management jobs due to certain policies and procedures. And what could be highly shared across many, but not all, of those positions.

Knowledge and Skill Items such as:

  • Conducting the Annual Budgeting Process
  • Sizing the Future Product Marketplace
  • Expense Reimbursement
  • Active Listening
  • Gift Acceptance Policies
  • Password Retrieval
  • How to Personally On-Board Your New Employee to Our Culture

When one is climbing a typical Career Path/Learning Path – one is building upon the Learning – Formal and Informal/Experience/School of Hard Knocks “lessons” and going on – and up – from there. The more Formal that was (and performance authentic) the more it can be built upon. The more Informal that was – the more problematic it is to build upon – due to the varied sets of language, meaning, imagery, etc., etc.

Worry need not often be given to the Informal Learning – but Worry should probably be given to what’s best accomplished initially Formally – due to the R in ROI being Risks Avoided and/or Rewards Achieved.

If neither the Risks nor the Rewards are significant – compared to all such Risks and Rewards across the entire Enterprise – then Formal should be dropped initially in favor of Informal means to initial Performance Competence.

The internal supplier of Content – Instruction and Information – also need to point to other-supplied Content – Instruction and Information –  when asked to do so by their internal customers.

Otherwise their customers will probably self-determine which Sources are best for their use, and which need to be avoided for whatever reason – and which tools and techniques best fit their Performance Context and requirements.

They don’t always need a Learning function to help them with that – although some might.


Increasing appropriate Sharing of Content – requires a Content Architecture, not just some Paths that share.

And elsewhere others have reinvented the same content, over and over and over and over again.

It happens.

Those might be current state costs that could be avoided.

What’s in your Learning Architectural Logic?

Do you have one. Is everyone on-board with using it?

Do you see having one as advantageous?

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One comment on “Formal & Informal Learning At the Right Time, In the Right Place, and For the Right Task

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