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The new world of Know-NOW learning


Have you got the Know-NOW? Paul Service surveys the ever-changing world of L&D.
The world of training has evolved enormously over the past 20 years, but are you aware of how to feed the new hunger for 'Know-NOW' learning across your business?
20 years ago if you needed to learn a new skill, you went on a course. A course run by a trainer (A nice man like me), written by an expert, hosted on a specific day usually for a paying audience. We refer to this as 'know-how' or #thegoodolddays.
Today, times have changed. If the skill in question is perhaps 'how to set up a pivot table in Excel', or 'how to set up chapters in Word', most people would simply Google it. And the answer is there in seconds, either in a simple step-by-step guide or, a YouTube video taking you through the entire process with running commentary. This is 'know-NOW' - and it's here to stay.
But for all you trainers out there, don't pack up your flipcharts just yet, this isn't a hostile takeover by the Internet. In fact, if played right this is a genuine WIN-WIN-WIN for all concerned. Let me explain.

WIN for the training providers (well, the smart ones like us anyway)

  1. Know-NOW learning fits within a blended learning strategy and as such should compliment other forms of training, not replace it. It's important to embrace this new form of learning and to build it into training programmes wherever possible - don't fight it, use it to your advantage
  2. There will always be a requirement for specialist trainers - It's just that the list of what is considered 'specialist' has shrunk. What this actually means is that traditional courses can be more focused and more interactive, as anything that can be delivered via know-NOW, will be, leaving you and the learners free to spend more time bringing the theory into life
  3. Let's face it - We all like doing something new, and right now Know-NOW coupled with mLearning is exciting

WIN for the L&D/training departments

  1. What we are really talking about here is learners empowering themselves to learn. Your role will change, becoming less about delivering structured periodic feasts of knowledge, and more about designing and building a modern knowledge feeding framework. Think of it like the evolution supermarkets have gone through, you still need to optimise your store layout for each of your shoppers/learners, you just don't have to have staff on the checkouts thanks to self checkout and 24hr shopping
  2. This freedom allows you to switch your focus to some of the more core skills training - give people the right skills & tools to enable them to be more effective
  3. Delivering blended learning programmes that encompass know-NOW techniques are both more cost effective and deliver better results faster

WIN for the learners

  1. Nobody knows better than they do in terms of what they need and when they need it
  2. Increased engagement as they take more ownership of their learning journey
  3. Still operating within a defined learning framework - but with a pick your own approach
  4. Free from the structure of learning when it suits the trainer - knowledge bites are available at their fingertips 24/7
Let's finish with a couple of questions: 
  1. Are you already an active member of the know-NOW revolution? Do you already Google first - Ask second?
  2. What about your company? Are they still on firmly in the trenches of establishment, fighting with flipcharts and pens against the know-NOW revolutionaries? 
Paul Service is director of CommsLearning

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Paul Service


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