MWL Newsletter No 6

News and articles about Modern Workplace Learning (MWL) selected by – and with commentary from – Jane Hart for the week 19 – 26 March 2017

From around the Web

HOW TO SURVIVE – AND THRIVE – IN A WORLD OF AI DISRUPTION – MIT Sloane Management Review, 1 March 2017

“The challenge we face today is not a “world without work” but a world with rapidly changing work. The response, then, isn’t simply replacing income for workers being displaced by technology, but preparing them to do new jobs that are desperately needed in education, health care, infrastructure, environmental cleanup, entrepreneurship, innovation, scientific discovery, and many other areas.

JH: The article goes on: “Too many business and labor leaders, as well as politicians, have become complacent. They fear a future that will disrupt current models and economies. But the solution to disruption isn’t to protect the past from the future or to freeze the old ways of doing things. That’s guaranteed to fail. The best path forward is to adopt emerging tools and models that not only create goods and services but overall prosperity.”

THE GREAT EDUCATION CONSPIRACY  Nick Shackleton Jones, 21 March 2017

“Sadly, because the industry labours under the myth of ‘learning as knowledge transfer’ or ‘curricula’, the poor practitioners feel compelled to subject people to a ‘content dump’ of information and sometimes a token test in order to preserve the illusion that this is the real return on the investment (test scores, certificates etc.) – which largely spoils the learning experience for delegates as they wade through screen after screen of drivel, desperately holding out for the next coffee-break, challenge or meaningful activity.

E-learning modules are like this, just without the socialising. Or the fun. You don’t learn anything AND the experience sucks (which hasn’t stopped respected educational institutions aggressively converting their rich experiences into lifeless e-learning in a desperate bid for cash).”

JH: Nick argues for the need for resources rather than courses

GOING NINJA AND THE COVERT ART OF HIDING 70:20:10  Gary Wise, 24 March 2017

“Take 70:20:10 for example. That learning framework has been taken and hammered and twisted to make it fit into the training paradigm. I don’t believe that was ever Charles Jennings’s intent. If 70% of how we learn is experiential, I don’t think he was describing insertion of interactive whatchamacallits into Articulate Storyline and calling it good. Hang with me for a second; this is about “DOING” to learn…and doing so to become CAPABLE at the Point-of-Work.”

JH: Gary hits the nail on the head; it’s not about doing better training, but helping people to learn. “Shut up about using 70:20:10. Just do it!” A great read!


“Internal comms teams have an increasingly hard job as they must compete for an ever smaller slice of employees’ time and concentration to get their company’s message across. This is for two main reasons: employees are busier and coping with more change than ever, and also have more access to more information – both outside and inside work – than ever. But this absolutely does not mean that comms teams should be increasing the number of messages they pump out. Quite the contrary; they need to put all their efforts into a few well crafted and targeted efforts. And this includes using the right channels at the right time.”

JH: This article considers how leadership briefings can be very powerful – but only if designed well.

From the MWL Magazine

20 March 2017


What would happen if there were no L&D department?  If individuals know best what they need to learn, what is the role of L&D?  Jane Hart takes a look at some responses to these questions.

Upcoming MWL Workshop


Next workshop runs 8 May – 2 June 2017

There will always be a need for organisational training, but this just needs more relevant and appealing for appealing for today’s workforce. This 4-week online workshop will help you to consider a number off ways to organise modern content and learning experiences – in line with the ways people now learn on the Web.

You may copy, print or forward all or part of this Newsletter to others as long as any use is not for resale or profit and I am Newsletter to others as long as any use is not for resale or profit and I am attributed.

Jane Hart
Director, Centre for Modern Workplace Learning