World of Learning 2016 – knowledge matters

20381357438_cfdf480183_o Next week, I’ll be participating in the World of Learning conference at the NEC, Birmingham and as part of the event, I’m joining Robin Hoyle, Michelle Parry-Slater and Sukh Pabial for the fringe seminar on Industry knowledge v Institutional knowledge. This is a topic very close to our hearts at WillowDNA – with our history rooted in practical knowledge management, the exploration of what the organisation knows andwhat it needs to know has informed our work for the past 11 years.  So this meant when I got the mail asking if I would take part in the panel, I typed by response quicker than the spell check could track (so no idea what my acceptance mail actually said!) So before the event, I thought I’d share with you an extract from the ‘warm up’ blog for the session (and I also recommend you read the blog that kicked it all off, an excellent piece from Robin Hoyle) “What role does a learning and development function play when there is a ubiquity of content available to anyone with a web enabled device?  Video, social networks, published research, blogs, free courses, MOOCs, hangouts, the list of content that doesn’t require the green light from procurement goes on.  Is it best if we leave learners to self curate and orchestrate learning?   After all they are at the front line of their function. I believe these arguments have been valid for decades – after all if learning and development were simply the keepers of the training catalogue, we could have done away with it years ago!  However, Robin raises a critical point – its not just about the accumulated body of knowledge about a particular function or discipline, both external or internal.  Its all about application to real work challenges and the definition of what that challenge is and how best to address it is often not given the time and resource it needs.  Sure, you could leave it to your people to find the resources they need, but if we don’t have a clear understanding of the business goals we are addressing, how some tools and techniques may work differently in our context or whether actually someone else in the organisation has already solved this challenge, we risk leaving the organisation to waste valuable time, money and resources whilst others leap ahead.  Engaged, fulfilled employees are those who are supported by resources that help make common tasks easier, complex problems easier to solve through the support of others and make available their talents for others to tap into … So what does it take to do this?” You can take a look at the full post on the learnevents website and if you are coming to World Of Learning, make sure you some along to the panel discussion at 13.20 in Seminar Theatre 2 on Thursday 20th October.  Look forward to seeing you there.