Build the bridge to self-learning: Help individuals help themselves

In the workplace individuals learn in many different ways for, through and at work – in what might be termed the 4 D’s of Learning:

  1. DIDACTICS – ie being taught (aka education or training)
  2. DISCOVERY – ie finding out for oneself (aka informal learning)
  3. DISCOURSE – ie interacting with others (aka social learning)
  4. DOING – ie. engaging in activities (aka experiential learning)

Whereas the traditional role of a L&D department has (for well over a century) been entirely focused on providing training for the workforce (ie DIDACTICS), it is clear that the changing world of work means that L&D departments can no longer provide everything everyone needs at work to do their job now and in the future, and that every individual needs to take responsibility for their own continuous self-improvement and self-development – through DISCOVERY, DISCOURSE and DOING – in order for them to thrive in the modern workplace. So how can L&D help with this?

Whilst some L&D teams are happy to tweak the traditional “command-and-control” (DIDACTICS) model by developing modern content and training that includes informal, social and experiential elements and provides more flexibility, other L&D teams recognise that they need to go further than this and build and support the modern (continuous) learning skills and mindset necessary for their people to become self-reliant and take charge of their own self-learning.

Building the bridge to self-learning and self-reliance is therefore likely to be a 2-step process in most organisations – but it is ONLY the second step that will make the real difference. It is also the most difficult step for L&D to take as it requires them to have  completely new skillset THEMSELVES and the confidence to relinquish control and take on a more enabling and supporting role. If you would like some help with the 2nd step to building a bridge to self-learning in your organisation, then take a look at my new online resource and book, Modern Workplace Learning 2019 and/or join one or both of the upcoming online workshops:

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