In this article, Charles Jennings writes that learning is extracted from work rather than added to it. This puts an extra clarification/extension on Harold Jarche’s “Work is Learning and Learning is Work“. This in turn is a more defined expression of the idea that is being promoted lately in the learning community that Learning is about performance support.
I like the way Jennings and Jarche lay out this thinking and I’ve always thought it was self-evident that learning is about performance support, but I feel that there needs to be more. Organizations are always changing. They don’t just need people to do things better. They need them to do new things.
Yes, work is the crucible where this takes place, but in order to do new things you have to have a new framework of understanding. The context for that new idea needs to come from outside the system you are working in. It is at that point that you learn by integrating the new idea into your existing framework and act on it in your work.
I think this task of introducing the context and framework of new ideas into the workflow is still a very important part of the learning professional’s contribution. This adds value as long as it is part of the work and not an interruption.