The key to informal learning is autonomy

Jane Hart

Jay Cross, the author of the 2007 seminal book, Informal Learning, Rediscovering the Natural Pathways that Inspire Innovation and Performance , recently wrote a blog post in which he explained that although there has been a lot of talk about “informal learning” in the last five years, there has been very little action. They acted as if the natural way of informal learning didn’t exist. Social learning

Network Learning

Harold Jarche

Tweet I mentioned in my last post that the term “personal knowledge management&# ( PKM ) does not adequately describe the sense-making process that I attribute to it. It’s rather obvious that knowledge cannot be managed, as Dave Jonassen has said many times: Every amateur epistemologist knows that knowledge cannot be managed. The big change is not the technology per se , but the underlying structure of web technologies: the network.


Sign Up for our Newsletter

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Network Learning: Working Smarter

Harold Jarche

Tweet “In the period ahead of us, more important than advances in computer design will be the advances we can make in our understanding of human information processing – of thinking, problem solving, and decision making…” ~ Herbert Simon, Economics Nobel-prize winner (1968). The World Wide Web is changing how many of us do our work as we become more connected to information and each other. This information overload has a direct impact on workplace learning.

Finding the time for networked learning

Harold Jarche

Tweet A survey of small and medium sized businesses (SMB) showed workers spend about half their day on unproductive taks: Knowledge Workers are among the largest staff component in a typical SMB. SMB Knowledge Workers spend an estimated 36 percent of their time trying to. Find information. Approximately 14 percent of SMB Knowledge Workers’ time is spent: Duplicating information (e.g. Managing unwanted communications (e.g.

Mind Map: The Networked Society

Harold Jarche

A major theme in my writing has been our shift to a networked society and what that means in how we work and learn. I’m especially interesting in the fact that working and learning are merging in many contexts. Learning (often viewed from the limited perspective of training or education) is not a separate activity, removed from work. This mind map links several concepts and related articles around the theme of the networked society: Working. Learning.

Fluctuating support networks

Harold Jarche

Judith passed on a couple of papers which I found most interesting, as she has looked deeply into the theory behind the need for what I would describe as social learning networks. Judith uses the term, “fluctuating support networks&#. Adopting the basic social process of rehumanizing as a conceptual framework may assist managers and human resource professionals in developing organizational strategies that support a broader humanistic paradigm.

PKM: a node in the learning network

Harold Jarche

Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy , or, in other words, digital networks enable multiple connections, so organizational communications are no longer just vertical. Somebody else, outside the hierarchy, is only one click away, and perhaps easier to deal with and a better source of information and knowledge. This is becoming obvious in the business world and frameworks such as Social CRM (customer relationship management) are one attempt to address it.

PKM 173

The only knowledge that can be managed is our own

Harold Jarche

“Every amateur epistemologist knows that knowledge cannot be managed. Education has always assumed that knowledge can be transferred and that we can carefully control the process through education. The only knowledge that can be managed is our own. In my opinion, knowledge management should be about supporting personal knowledge management in networks, a distributed, not centralized, approach.

2497 and counting

Harold Jarche

What will you have learned during that decade? For example, I have the flow (148 posts to date) of my thoughts on personal knowledge management since my first post in 2004. I have also developed ideas around the knowledge-sharing paradox ; how our work structures drive sociopathic behaviours ; and management in networks. Communities Informal Learning Do you think you will still be working, in some capacity, in 10 years?

We need more sandboxes

Harold Jarche

Earlier this week I wrote that practices like personal knowledge management (PKM), and its potential for enhanced serendipity can give us the underlying structure to become better hackers and more creative. Informal learning environments tolerate failure better than schools. For that, we have a robust informal learning system that eschews grades, takes all comers, and is available even on holidays and weekends. Informal Learning

PKM 185

“you simply can’t train people to be social!”

Harold Jarche

Tweet Over the past year I have been working on change initiatives to improve collaboration and knowledge-sharing with two large companies, one of them a multinational. I have also learned that changing work routines can be a messy process that requires significant time, much of it dedicated to modelling behaviours. . They have to be internalized and perceived as valuable to each person in order to achieve the discipline to use them regularly.

PKM in a nutshell

Harold Jarche

Personal Knowledge Management: A way to deal with ever-increasing digital information. Requires an open attitude to learning and finding new things (I Seek). Aids in observing, thinking and using information & knowledge (I Sense). PKM is related to Personal Learning Environments and Personal Learning Networks. They are different ways of addressing similar issues: How do I keep track of all of this information?

PKM 203

It’s time to focus on your LQ

Harold Jarche

Learning is everywhere in the connected workplace. Networked professionals need more than advice (training); they need ongoing, real-time, constantly-changing, collaborative, support. However, many of us have relegated our own learning to the specialists over the years – teachers, instructors, professors. We’re not used to handling all of this learning on our own. On 11 June 2012 we will start the next online personal knowledge management workshop.

The learning organization: an often-described, but seldom-observed phenomenon

Harold Jarche

This post is in response to the Adidas Blog Carnival on a New Way of Working and Learning and more specifically responding to the question, “What should a true learning organisation look like?” The role of managers should be to manage the system, not the individual functions. The real barrier to systemic change, such as becoming a learning organization, is command & control management. Even team-based knowledge comes and goes.

Variations on a theme of PKM

Harold Jarche

Personal knowledge management is not so much about creating knowledge but rather the development of conscious regular activities from which can emerge new knowledge. The knowledge artifacts created along the way are only as good as the use to which they are put. My idea of Seeking > Sense-making > Sharing is similar to many other descriptive processes about learning and working. Tags: Informal Learning PKM

PKM 149


Harold Jarche

Tweet Part of Personal Knowledge Management is seeking sources of knowledge (Seek-Sense-Share). Wolfgang Reinhardt has looked at knowledge workers, researchers in particular, and examined how they can be aware in their fields of expertise. Wolfgang graciously sent me a copy of his PhD thesis (Awareness: Support for knowledge workers in research networks) which he will be defending on 5 April at the Open Universiteit Nederland in Heerlen. Networker.

Active sense-making

Harold Jarche

Yesterday, during my presentation on personal knowledge management to IBM BlueIQ I was asked about the role of blogging in my own sense-making processes. These are my half-baked thoughts which I make public in order to share and to learn. In my Seek>Sense><Share model, seeking and annotating information is important but cannot stand on its own. Seeking information is an important foundation to PKM online but it’s of little use without action.

PKM starts new workshop series

Harold Jarche

So far in 2012, I have hosted three online workshops on personal knowledge management (PKM), as well as a Summer Camp that included one week on the topic. The format has changed, as Jane Hart and I have learned about what works. It will also be offered as the first in a series of seven workshops at the Social Learning Centre over the coming year. Our theme will be: l earning in the networked era.

PKM 153

Leading through turbulent times with PKM

Harold Jarche

In what BP’s oil spill says about management today , the author talks about the need to deal with increasing complexity, concluding: Navigating a business successfully through turbulent times requires the ability to deal with ambiguity, be resilient in the face of adversity, be authentic and have the innovative capacity to anticipate and respond to the unpredictable environment. Seek, Sense & Share in order to handle the complexity of the networked age.

PKM 133

Sensing and Thinking

Harold Jarche

Tim Kastelle (a great source of knowledge on innovation) discusses how it’s better to have a good idea than a large network to fire off any old idea. As the story of these two posts illustrates, the quality of an idea has a lot to do with how well it flows through our networks. The notion of aggregating/filtering/connecting for innovation is one that I have looked at for personal knowledge management. Tags: Informal Learning PKM

PKM: Working Smarter

Harold Jarche

In PKM in a Nutshell , I linked my various posts on personal knowledge management to make the framework more coherent. Building a trusted network of colleagues (SEEK & SHARE). Improving your personal productivity (SENSE & USE). Here’s the a description and rationale for adopting PKM, individually and within organizations: PKM is a way to deal with ever-increasing amounts of digital information.

PKM 154

Learning by doing

Harold Jarche

The networked market knows more than companies do about their own products. What are doing to encourage failure and learning by doing? We started running workshops at the Social Learning Centre after a discussion about getting connected with our actual customers. For example, in most consulting projects, the client is a manager/exectutive but the end-users are distributed throughout the company. We learned that it’s a lot easier to do these workshops as a team.

PKM 155

The Evolving Social Organization

Harold Jarche

Innovation abounds in the early stages and knowledge capitalization is aided by a common vision of the business. Current management wisdom – based on Robin Dunbar’s research ; the size of military units through history; and the work of management experts such as Tom Peters – considers the ideal size of an organization to be around 150 people. Beyond this size, knowing everybody in person becomes impossible. Knowledge-Based View. Value Networks.


Harold Jarche

The term personal knowledge management (PKM) isn’t about management in a business sense but rather how we can manage to make sense of information and experience in our electronic surround. Personal – according to one’s abilities, interests & motivation (not directed by external forces). Knowledge – connecting information to experience (know what, know who, know how). Management – getting things done.

A personal learning journey

Harold Jarche

I became interested in knowledge management (KM) as I was introduced to it in the mid 1990’s while practising instructional systems design (ISD) and human performance technology (HPT) in the military. In the late 1990’s knowledge management was part of our solution suite at the Centre for Learning Technologies ( CLT via The Wayback Machine). I became a consumer and simultaneously a sharer of online knowledge. personal learning environment.

PKM in 2010

Harold Jarche

Personal Knowledge Management. Personal = according to one’s abilities, interests and motivation (not directed by external forces). Knowledge = the capacity for effective action (know how). Management = how to get things done. PKM is an individual, disciplined process by which we make sense of information, observations and ideas. Engaging others can actually make it easier to learn and not become overwhelmed. Information.

PKM 169

Sense-making with PKM

Harold Jarche

We may learn on our own but usually not by ourselves. People learn socially. In looking at how we can make sense of the growing and changing knowledge in our respective professional fields, I see two parallel processes that support each other. One is internally focused, as in “How do I learn this?” and the other is external, as in “Who can help me learn this?”. Tags are labels that can be attached to digital knowledge objects and an objects can have many labels.

PKM 203

2009: year of the tweet

Harold Jarche

Mavens are the senders and receivers of information. One of my favourites is @valdiskrebs who is not only an expert in social network analysis (a real Maven) but makes an effort to introduce people and sends out ideas like confetti. I no longer read BoingBoing or SlashDot or several other media sources because I know that if something interesting is published, someone in my network will post it. Tags: Communities Informal Learning

Talking about PKM

Harold Jarche runs a regular TweetChat on knowledge management (KM) issues and today’s was on Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) , with the following agenda: What effective means have we found to aggregate, filter and share information? Is personal KM a good foundation for corporate KM, or are they competing efforts? How do we build a corporate culture in which individuals take responsibility for personal KM or personal sense-making?

PKM 144

Effective knowledge sharing

Harold Jarche

The mainstream application of knowledge management, and I would include learning management, over the past few decades has got it all wrong. We have over-managed information because it’s easy and we’re still enamoured with information technology. However, the ubiquitous information surround may put a stop to this. More and more workers have their own sources of information and knowledge.

Making Business Sense of Social Media and Social Networking – Is Blogging Dead?

Luis Suarez

Have you moved all of your conversations to social networking sites? How are you going to build a sustainable, stronger over time, endurable, reliable and effective personal brand? How are you going to keep up with your informal learning activities, as well as that powerful Personal Knowledge Management tool you have built up, with lots of hard work and energy, over the course of the years? Of course, in your personal business / corporate blog!


Harold Jarche

As hyper-connectivity breaks down the walls between institutions and specialists, like universities and professional teachers, so too are the lines blurring between teaching and learning online. The components of Flow for Open Educators are not all that different from what I’ve described as the flow of personal knowledge management for individuals: As learning and working get integrated in our networked lives, we not become lifelong learners but lifelong educators.

Twitter potpourri

Harold Jarche

I’m still figuring out how best to integrate Twitter to my personal knowledge management processes. Here are some of my recent favourites, a follow-on from a related post last month [I've added some letters and words to make it more coherent]: @davecormier RT @arvind: @davecormier Hard core social network research: danah boyd. c4lptnews Leveraging Human Networks to accelerate learning | CLO magazine.

Creating your PKM processes

Harold Jarche

In Sense-making with PKM I described some personal knowledge management processes using various web tools. Personal knowledge management is one way of addressing the issue of TMI (too much information). The power of this process is realized after many iterations when you have created a personally contextualized knowledge base. PKM takes the notion of a personal journal and extends it significantly.

Summer Camp starts Monday 16 July

Jane Hart

The online Summer Camp at the Social Learning Centre runs 16 July – 17 August and is led by Jane Hart and Harold Jarche. Learning is changing. Learning professionals need practical tools and techniques to integrate work and learning while adapting to an increasingly complex environment. Our Summer Camp provides an opportunity to learn with peers and gain some of the essential skills needed to support learning in the networked world.

PKM 138

5th Anniversary

Harold Jarche

Current areas of interest include social networking applications, like blogs, wikis and the use of RSS feeds, which is one reason why I have this blog; to practise what I preach. I’m also interested in the use of open source software platforms for learning. My personal knowledge base is now over 1,400 blog posts with +3,000 comments. Tags: Communities Work Informal Learning

Exchanging knowledge in Ottawa & Montreal

Harold Jarche

On 3/4 Feb I will be presenting a framework for social learning in the enterprise in Ottawa with the Canadian Council for Learning and Development as well as the Knowledge Strategy Exchange Networks. My presentation will discuss: Social media, distributed work and unlimited information are changing our relationships in the workplace. Courses are an artifact of a time when information was scarce and connections were few. for learning professionals.

Summarizing Learn for Yourself

Jay Cross

I just copied a rough draft of my new book, Learn For Yourself , into a free summarizer. It’s all a matter of learning, but it’s not the sort of learning that is the province of training departments, workshops, and classrooms. You are learning to learn how to become the person you wrote the obit for. It’s learning to know versus learning to be. Most of what we learn, we learn by interacting with others.

FAQ 119

Learning in NB

Harold Jarche

Tweet The government is asking how New Brunswick can be the learning province of Canada. Learning at School. Until the structure is addressed, I don’t imagine that any fine-tuning of our current system will address the systemic problem that our schools promote childishness and discourage learning. There is no shortage of good information on how we can improve public education. Learning in the Workplace. Learning in the Community. Learning

The differences between learning in an e-business and learning in a social business

Jane Hart

In my recent webinar I shared a slide that showed the 5 stages of workplace learning. This has attracted a lot of interest, and I’ve been asked to talk more about the differences between “learning” in Stages 1-4 and Stage 5. Working and learning in Stages 1-4 is based upon a Taylorist , industrial age mindset. Similarly e-learning was also about automating traditional training practices. LEARNING IN AN E-BUSINESS. LEARNING IN A SOCIAL BUSINESS. Learning.

Mentoring Results

Clark Quinn

Eileen Clegg from the Future of Talent Institute (and colleague, we co-wrote the Extremophiles chapter for Creating a Learning Culture ) pinged me the other day and asked about my thoughts on the intersection of: The new role of managers in the results-oriented work environment ( ROWE ). The topic of blending the Talent and Learning functions in the workplace. And I would think that the management is NOT directly invested in the product, only in the producer.

PKM 111

Social Learning doesn’t mean what you think it does!

Jane Hart

Learning and self-expression are exploding. The changes we are seeing in Workplace Learning are of course just one part of the changes we are seeing in businesses as whole. Simply replace the word “business&# in the quote above with the word “learning&# and it still makes sense. So, for instance the first paragraph would now read: “Social Learning ” is not about technology, or about “corporate culture&#. We are interested in good information design.

Pick of the Month: April 2012

Jane Hart

1 - Social networking in online education: It is time to revisit the pedagogy - Sachin Dua, 25 April – the quote in bold for me says it all! “Current educational practices that have a set curriculum, norm or standards based assessments and prescribed lesson agendas are often misaligned with an orientation that celebrates difference in learners and learning (Mentis, Quinn, & Ryba, 2005, as cited in Mentis, 2007). Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) skills.

PKM 168