Making Time to Learn

From Learning and Training Innovations magazine is the article Making Time to Learn. The author presents several approaches to overcome the problem “lack of time is the major impediment to learning,” including:

  • Make learning an official, voiced company or unit goal (iow, Give your employees permission to learn)
  • Link training explicitly to individual goals
  • Tie training to annual performance reviews

A key quote from the article:

Many companies understand the links between ongoing learning, a knowledgeable workforce, high performance, and ultimate business success. Truly enlightened companies also walk the talk. They make professional development a voiced, company goal, and they support the alignment of corporate, unit, and individual goals (emphasis added by me). Continued learning is an expectation and often a requirement- whether a course required upon becoming a manager, training for specific skills required for a new task, or a training program tied to a company event, such as budgeting, or to a company initiative, such as a change effort.

A lot of discussion of KM involves the relative value/importance of organizational vs. personal KM. A focus on aligning all aspects of the KM spectrum, as in the learning example here, I think is a more appropriate approach than a focus on any single aspect. Obviously, each individual area needs a focus to improve performance at that level, but only if it is not at the expense of the whole effort.