While we have an increasing need to learn new things, we have less time to learn. According to Josh Bersin, an employee uses an average of 24 minutes a week for learning. This is one of the greatest paradoxes of working life and business which comes up in every organisation and working community.
This paradox is not resolved by training or coaching alone. Learning should be implemented in everyday work, business goals, and strategy. No magic tricks are required, but rather a new perspective to examine our work.
MAKE BETTER USE OF SHARED TIME
The work in this era highlights the fact that there is not enough time, or there is too much to do – or in the worst case, both. There is no reason for us to try and work faster. Furthermore, we do not need to clear up more time in our calendars, have more team meetings, or introduce new technologies. Instead, it is worth questioning and getting a better understanding of how we use our shared time, how the shared information travels, and in which channels our collective thinking takes place.
Are we able to use the shared time for collective thinking and creating something new, or are meetings just forums for sharing information? Do we have the appropriate tools to work productively, and do we know how to use them sufficiently?
COMBINE LEARNING AND WORK
According to a widely spread framework, 70% of learning something new takes place at work, 20% during common learning times and 10% during formal education. Of course, our work has changed a great deal since the 70–20–10 framework was launched. Taking this into account, we are still thinking too narrowly in attempting to learn something. We organise development days, training or separate development projects. Still, the most important question remains: how can we better link this 70% of learning into our everyday work?
We have never before had such great opportunities to build a working culture that promotes learning. Technological solutions, such as Howspace, Teams, Slack, and many other digital work environments, support interaction and learning. Work has become increasingly independent of time and place. The key factor in new kinds of socialisation and learning is to understand in which work platforms (digitally, face-to-face) our transparent thinking takes place.
MAKE USE OF TEAMS IN PROMOTING LEARNING
The new wave of teamwork is approaching. Several organisations are taking steps towards a team-like operating model. However, this wave has a different undertone. I think that this difference is linked particularly to deeper and more agile learning. Teams are no longer an absolute value, but rather a way to respond to the requirements resulting from changes in work. In part, they provide the answers to the basic questions of self- or joint-direction: How can we respond to the changing needs of our customer and business even smarter than before? How can we improve the understanding and accountability of every employee regarding the organisation’s goals and strategy?