Learning Strategies, an open-source eBook recently released by the MASIE Center, provides advice for stakeholders in today’s ever-changing professional learning environment.  Editor Nigel Paine writes that “in spite of uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, learning strategies are thriving,” and the book features several case studies to highlight best practices in developing those strategies.

The authors, who are senior learning executives in global corporations and government agencies, share perspectives of how their organizations are evolving and implementing unique learning strategies.  The organizations profiled in Learning Strategies include the CIA, Waste Management, Inc., CNN, Shell, and Farmers Insurance.  As diverse as these groups are in their operations and goals, there were several key themes from the case studies that are highly relevant across the professional learning sector:

  • Bring learning closer to the learner: Bob Baker of the CIA highlighted the fact that “learning will become increasingly mobile, social, available in multiple formats and accessible on demand” in the near future. Organizations should focus on the advantages these trends can bring in their learning strategies- especially when they make knowledge more accessible- and leverage them for the benefit of learners.
  • Be able to handle disruptions: When CNN’s Lisa Pedrogo builds her learning strategy at the beginning of every calendar year, she ensures that her team sticks to their plan- but also strives to stay agile within the context of changing learning needs that naturally arise.
  • Know the needs of your organization: With the rapid pace of today’s professional environment, it can be easy to adopt new practices before assessing their applications to your organization.  Ruben Bonales, formerly of Waste Management, would “immerse himself” in the operations of his company to find how learning could give direct support to the business’ priorities.
  • Focus on your strategists: Keith Dunbar of the Defense Intelligence Agency writes that you should be “selective and prescriptive” when forming the group that will articulate your learning strategy.  He believes dedicated groups that are “idea-rich and unfettered” will produce the best results, and even recommends having 30% of the group come from the under-30 age bracket.
  • Avoid ambiguity: Eaton’s Terry Farmer and Evan Ishida emphasize that learning should be “realistic and appropriate for the purpose it was intended.”  They argue that there is “no room” for extraneous training materials or unclear learning outcomes, which can distract learners and strategists alike from meeting the organization’s needs.

Get your e-readers ready!  You can obtain a free PDF copy of Learning Strategies by visiting the MASIE Center website here. Check it out and learn new strategies that will help your organization flourish!

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