Learning in the flow of work
What does this even mean? We always thought that Learning was to be done separately from Work. Learning is when you stop work and then either tune into a video, step into a classroom, or login into a zoom call in the current age.
But guess what, irrespective of what you thought that focused learning would do for you, it always comes short when you are faced with an issue or problem to solve in the real world, in your work.
All the concepts you learned are like pieces of soft clay, ready to be brought together to build something tangible. That something tangible happens only when the thing you solve is closest to or is the problem you are facing at work.
While we may not be realizing it, we are continuously learning, though we don’t call it “learning”, we typically say “solving” an issue or “debugging” an issue. What’s happening in this phase? We are talking to teammates, we are frantically looking at the documentation, or posting a question in Stack Overflow, looking for sample code, downloading a code snippet, maybe trying a different algorithm, and then hoping that it will fix the issue.
You probably are doing it all on your laptop, in your local workspace, and if you keep doing this long enough, it will end up being a bad case of twisted noodles. Too many software versions, too many pieces of sample code, and not sure what works where.
And by the way, this is the way that every software developer follows.
What if there was a better way of doing things?
What if you had a library of ready-to-use environments for trying if that sample piece of code works?
Did you have to deploy this sample application on the Cloud? And did you do with a “burner’ account with a pre-defined set of credits?
And were you looking for a project similar to the one you are assigned to and want to get your feet warm? And if these projects are available as an app in Slack, Teams, or even Zoom?
Maybe also track all the stuff that you are working on, and solving so that your manager knows all the good work you are doing :-)
We at Nuvepro, are working towards enabling this and much more for the software developers. We call this learning in the flow of work, and this is where most of our learning happens.
Don’t take our word for it, a study that was done quite some time ago by 3 researchers Morgan McCall, Robert W. Eichinger, and Michael M. Lombardo at the Center for Creative Leadership, and explained in this link Learning Philosophy | Human Resources (princeton.edu). They came with the 70,20, 10 rule, to describe how learning truly happens and copying from the link above.
- 70% from real-life and on-the-job experiences, tasks, and problem-solving. This is the most important aspect of any learning and development plan.
- 20% from feedback and from observing and working with role models.
- 10% from formal training
Are you ready to enable your employees in 70% of their learning time? Or are you satisfied with the 10%?