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Bob Bertsch, Steve Judd and I presented at the National Association of Extension Program and Staff Development Professionals (NAEPSDP) in December 2015. Our topic of discussion was Building Networks for Organizational Learning. This post is a recap of my conversation on why organizations need to move from training to social learning.

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Social Learning is not a new phenomenon, but rather it is based on the social learning theories of Albert Bandura, Lev Vygotsky, Jean Piaget, and others. These theorist posit that learning does not occur through repetition as behaviorists propose, but rather learning occurs through individuals constructing knowledge through observation or their real world experiences. In essence social learning is learning as we always have, but with utilizing social media tools for access and scalability.

In support of social learning, the 70:20:10 Model holds that 70 percent of what people learn occurs from real-life and on-the-job experiences, 20 percent from people in our network, and 10 percent from training events. This model supports the position of organizations moving to social learning not as a replacement for training programs, but rather as a complement in organizations development programs.

Today, organizations must be vigilant in continuous social learning that is not possible in traditional training. Jane Hart, Founder of the Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies, points out that “workplace learning is no longer something that is wholly owned and managed by L&D; everyone now has access to resources and tools to solve their own problems”. Furthermore, the late Jay Cross gave an excellent illustration of comparing traditional training and development to social learning. In his illustration, he summarized it by comparing organizations of the past as worker-centric and individual focused to organizations of the future who are group-centric and work group focused.

Organizations have to transition from training and development to social learning organizations. Doing this requires organizations to embrace social learning tools and networks for knowledge transfer. Organizations that continue to practice the hierarchical control of knowledge will soon find that they are no longer relevant

Author: Terrence Wolfork (+Terrence Wolfork,@trwolfork )

This post was published on the OneOp blog on January 12, 2016.

Photo from Flickr user Michael Cardus (Autistic Services Team Development) (CC BY 2.0)

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.