Tuesday, 24 November 2015

The Uberfication of Workplace Learning

18 November 2015 by 

uber-carI wanted to thank all of you who responded so positively to my post on The L&D world is splitting in two  – either publicly or privately – to tell me about what you are doing to bring about fundamental change in your own L&D departments.
It was particularly encouraging to read that a lot of it has been inspired by my own MWL (Modern Workplace Learning) work, as well as as that of my ITA (Internet Time Alliance) colleagues – Charles Jennings and the 70-20-10 framework, Harold Jarche and PKM (Personal Knowledge Mastery) and Clark Quinn and his Revolutionze L&D book.  I know that many of you are openly sharing what you are doing, whilst others – although quietly confident about the impact you are seeing – are not quite ready to do so. But I look forward to hearing more about all of these new initiatives.
Because of the large number of shares of that post, it was also seen by people who had not previously been exposed to my work. One lady wrote to tell me that only having recently entered the profession, she hadn’t been able to understand why the conferences she had attended were still talking in such traditionalist terms, and not advocating the radical changes she personally believed L&D should be making in their own practices to help their organisation move forward.  Whilst all of us in the ITA do get to speak at conferences around the world, it is probably true that a lot of conferences do only focus on how to improve existing training/e-learning practices – or “how to rearrange the deckchairs on the Titanic”, as one commenter put it! – rather than bring about real change. So that is one of the reasons why, in addition to blogging a lot, Harold and I also offer ongoing public online workshops to help those who want to delve deeper and understand these new ideas and practices, as well as have conversations with others around them.
Of course, my post was not without its critics, but this is to be expected when an industry is being disrupted. After all taxi drivers around the world didn’t remain quiet when Uber arrived in their towns! But just as Uber recognised the realities of the modern world, and offered a radical new model fit for the on-demand economy, modern L&D departments are also beginning to think in the same terms, and are adopting new models/frameworks/principles like MWL, 70-20-10, PKM, etc, in order to offer new services to their organisations (rather than just do “better (e-)training”). However, just as traditional taxis haven’t disappeared entirely, traditional L&D (read Training Departments) will undoubtedly persist for some time to come too. But one thing is clear, the Uberfication of workplace learning is underway.
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Jane Hart

Founder at C4LPT
Jane Hart is an independent Workplace Learning Advisor, Writer and International Speaker. She is the Founder of the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies and every year she compiles the Top 100 Tools for Learning list. Her new book Modern Workplace Learning: A Resource Book for L&D is now available. Find out more about Jane and her work at


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