Why Read This
Informal learning continues to gain ground in the corporate training environment as instant messaging (IM), blogs, communities of practice, and expertise location find homes in lines of business. Today's workers enter the workforce expecting access to the same kind of tools they use in their personal life to help them do work. But there's a disconnect; most organizations still spend the majority of their training dollars on formal learning even though most employees now learn primarily through informal activities. There are a few exceptions. Reuters and Subaru have integrated informal tools — such as contextual learning and communities — and both have recorded increased employee performance. As an information and knowledge management professional, you need to become familiar with informal learning approaches and determine whether there's a business process or employee group that would benefit.