I love Josh Bersin’s ideas and perspective on HR. Usually. But his recently published article, A New Paradigm For Corporate Training: Learning In The Flow of Work, misses something major in my mind.

His New Paradigm is about formal learning moments showing up in your natural flow of work, with an emphasis on workers not needing to leave their systems of work to engage in formal learning. This is great, but it assumes that there is valuable, relevant learning content available at that native point of contact.

This fails to recognize the bigger issue: most employees don’t find formal learning content all that valuable.

I’d be willing to bet most companies have a course on Excel in their learning libraries. I’d be willing to bet it’s a relatively popular course to take, and we may even report on it as a successful course because lots of people give it five stars when they finish. Sounds like a success story for corporate learning.

Sitting next to that person who gave the course five stars is probably another analyst who gets Excel learning a different way. They searched YouTube and found a video specifically about how using INDEX and MATCH functions can be more flexible than VLOOKUPs*. Or, perhaps even more likely, they simply asked that Excel guru they know for advice. They probably never even thought about searching the formal LMS catalog.

In my mind, the new paradigm for learning isn’t about the platform, it’s about finding, curating, and socializing the best specific content. Delivering it in the flow of work is nice, but the delivery mechanism is not as critical as it being helpful content to begin with. In this era, we need to recognize that the best ideas and most useful learning comes peer-to-peer rather than through formal channels.

I’d love to see Josh pick up on this theme and talk about how companies can crowdsource better learning experiences, and then deliver it in the flow of work.

* Prepare to have your life changed: start here for a text article, then watch the video