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Informal Learning: Rediscovering the Natural Pathways That Inspire Innovation and Performance 1st Edition
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—John Seely Brown, coauthor, Social Life of Information, and former chief scientist, Xerox Corp.
"Informal learning is the perfect theme for exploring the next wave of our field. Jay Cross continues to push our thinking on the transformational forces of knowledge, learning, and performance. A must read!"
—Elliott Masie, founder, The MASIE Center's Learning CONSORTIUM
"In an outsourced, automated age, informal learning has become the key to high performance and personal fulfillment. And now Jay Cross has written the very best primer on this woefully neglected topic. This is a book for both sides of your brain!"
—Daniel H. Pink, author, A Whole New Mind
"Jay Cross provides an important challenge for us all—to move our focus from the classroom to the workplace, and in doing so, reframe what we do in ways that much more closely reflect how people actually learn and perform on the job. Informal Learning has profound implications for how we—from trainers to chief learning officers and from frontline business managers to executives—must rethink our ideas and practices, not in some distant future, but right now."
—Marc J. Rosenberg, management consultant, and author, Beyond E-Learning
"This book shows how informal learning experiences connect us with information, help us share ideas, and obtain new perspectives, and even help us create new knowledge together."
—Ellen Wagner, director, Worldwide eLearning, Adobe Systems
"The one sentence from this book that hit me like a train: 'Most corporations invest their training budget where it will have the least impact.' Wow. In an era of demanding ROI, shrinking budgets, and the insistence to do more with less, think of the impact that informal learning could have if it could truly focus learning and efforts for maximum impact."
—Mark Oehlert, learning strategy architect, Booz Allen Hamilton
- Publisher : Pfeiffer; 1st edition (October 13, 2006)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0787981699
- ISBN-13 : 978-0787981693
- Item Weight : 1.19 pounds
- Dimensions : 7 x 0.73 x 9.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,604,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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I've long been aware of the high cost and relative ineffectiveness of conventional "butts-in-seats" approaches to individual and organizational learning. The accelerating emergence of relevant learning strategies, methods, technologies and tools over the past decade has been encouraging--necessary but not sufficient. Jay Cross' wonderfully crafted Informal Learning constitutes a major breakthrough for all who care about transforming the organizations they serve.
10 THINGS I LIKE ABOUT THIS BOOK --
1. It does a magnificent job of explaining how we actually learn. It turns much "conventional wisdom" on its head. It provides us a cornucopia of innovative ideas for how to stimulate a culture of learning and innovation throughout an organization.
2. It's clear, clean and creatively written/formatted. I was pulled into and through the book by Jay's open, straight-talking, conversational style. His use of a variety of illustrations and juicy sidebar tidbits kept luring me to go just a bit further. The accessibility of information is superb.
3. It's alive. It's up-to-the minute and it anticipates a future where organizations are becoming increasingly alive and conscious because they've mastered the art of encouraging and nurturing informal learning.
4. Jay has distilled hard-earned wisdom from a rich collection of experts and pioneers--transformation-minded innovators and practitioner-theorists who I deeply respect--infinite players such as John Seely Brown, Etienne Wenger, David Cooperrider, Juanita Brown, David Sibbet, Verna Allee, Bruce Cryer and George Leonard.
5. Informal Learning is extraordinarily comprehensive and discerning. Jay has cast a wide net and presented us with only that which is value-adding. He has separated the wheat from the chaff.
6. It's an out-of-the-box paradigm-shifting book. He shakes up our traditional ways of thinking about learning, training and education in organizations. Informal Learning provides a variety of cures for "hardening of the categories."
7. It challenges and supports HR and Training departments to multiply their effectiveness in promoting and sustaining a vibrant informal learning culture. It provides pragmatic guidance in creative ways of weaving the work of people development throughout the fabric of an organization's operations.
8. It both challenges all organizational leaders to take direct responsibility for creating and maintaining an environment--a "learnscape"--where informal learning will naturally take root and flourish. It then provides a plethora of ideas for how to make that a reality.
9. I can easily visualize a number of generative ways of planting this book in organizations--ways that will cause relevant ideas to germinate, take root, grow and spread.
10. Best of all, Jay has built a strong case for treating an organization's approach to learning as a potential core business strategy. As we move into an era of ever-increasing change, an organization's capacity to learn and to innovate will become increasingly crucial to it's sustainability.
So -- Thank you, Jay Cross! Your book is a great piece of work--a major contribution to the world of organizations, leadership development, organizational design, learning and change. Leaders and practitioners everywhere will gain much by accessing and experimenting with the many ideas and insights you have provided us in this book.
I know that informal learning is effective in the proper context. I ride motorcycles and learn a great deal around the motorcycle groups and sites. But if I needed a structural engineer then I want to see some paper showing experience backed up be a degree where they had to take formal classes and tests.
One point he makes I have found to be accurate in that much training is wasted. Same with advertising. Trouble is you don't know which is the waste until you do it.
Top reviews from other countries
The content is thought provoking, it's a really easy read, it's structured logically and I absolutely loved the summary of the book at the end. I would suggest that you buy the kindle version as you'll be highlighting a lot