Informal Learning: Rediscovering the Natural Pathways That Inspire Innovation and Performanceby Jay Cross
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Most learning on the job is informal. This book offers advice on how to support, nurture, and leverage informal learning and helps trainers to go beyond their typical classes and programs in order to widen and deepen heir reach. The author reminds us that we live in a new, radically different, constantly changing, and often distracting workplace. He guides us through the plethora of digital learning tools that workers are now accessing through their computers, PDAs, and cell phones.
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What People are Saying About This
—John Seely Brown, coauthor, Social Life of Information, and former chief scientist, Xerox Corp.
"Informal learning is the perfect theme for exploring the next wave of our field. Jay Cross continues to push our thinking on the transformational forces of knowledge, learning, and performance. A must read!"
—Elliott Masie, founder, The MASIE Center's Learning CONSORTIUM
"In an outsourced, automated age, informal learning has become the key to high performance and personal fulfillment. And now Jay Cross has written the very best primer on this woefully neglected topic. This is a book for both sides of your brain!"
—Daniel H. Pink, author, A Whole New Mind
"Jay Cross provides an important challenge for us all—to move our focus from the classroom to the workplace, and in doing so, reframe what we do in ways that much more closely reflect how people actually learn and perform on the job. Informal Learning has profound implications for how we—from trainers to chief learning officers and from frontline business managers to executives—must rethink our ideas and practices, not in some distant future, but right now."
—Marc J. Rosenberg, management consultant, and author, Beyond E-Learning
"This book shows how informal learning experiences connect us with information, help us share ideas, and obtain new perspectives, and even help us create new knowledge together."
—Ellen Wagner, director, Worldwide eLearning, Adobe Systems
"The one sentence from this book that hit me like a train: 'Most corporations invest their training budget where it will have the least impact.' Wow. In an era of demanding ROI, shrinking budgets, and the insistence to do more with less, think of the impact that informal learning could have if it could truly focus learning and efforts for maximum impact."
—Mark Oehlert, learning strategy architect, Booz Allen Hamilton
Meet the Author
Jay Cross coined the term eLearning. He has championed informal learning since designing the first business degree program offered by the University of Phoenix. He served as long-term CEO of eLearning Forum. An internationally acclaimed strategist, speaker, and designer of corporate performance systems, Jay is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Business School.
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Do people learn best by sitting in a classroom taking notes? Not according to "eLearning" expert Jay Cross. Instead, he says, companies should champion nontraditional, informal learning methods, including: "unconferences," "unworkshops," "eLearning," "Courageous Conversations" and even "grokking" (sci-fi writer Robert A. Heinlein's term for "instantaneous, holistic recognition" or understanding). Cross says properly presented informal learning programs can give your firm a better return on its training investment than formal learning. He explains why that is and how to use his approach. Despite some repetition and fluffy filler, getAbstract recommends this book to learning officers, training managers and human resources professionals who want to know more about setting up informal learning initiatives. To learn more about this book, read the following summary: http://www.getabstract.com/summary/11095/informal-learning.html
Cross confirms what I have long believed - training is something best left for dogs and circus animals. Learning and the results from learning are where it's at! While not totally forgoing formal learning, the book provides a much needed perspective on how employees really learn in a corporate environment. Through real life examples (from IBM's Blue Pages to the World Café), Cross stresses the importance of incorporating informal learning. Some chapters drag a little, but overall an insightful read with lots of references (I have added about 8 more books to me "to read" list). The advice is practical and accurate.Cross says you can set up a blog in 5 minutes, I tried it, and you can!