Every organization, regardless of age, size, or other factors, has a learning and performance ecosystem. It’s the environment in which learning and performance support takes place. It’s there, even in organizations that don’t have a training department. It’s not a question of IF you have a learning and performance ecosystem; it’s a question of how well supported it is. An ecosystem-based strategy focuses on supporting the environment in which learning and performance takes place.
The Building Blocks of Ecosystems
However, in order to build an ecosystem-based strategy, you first must have an understanding of the current state of your organization’s learning and performance ecosystem. That requires an awareness and understanding of the infrastructures and workflows of the organization, and includes answers to questions like:
- PEOPLE: Are people able to connect with each other? Is sharing encouraged in your culture?
- CONTENT: Where is information stored? Is information and content readily available to workers where they need it, and when they need it?
- PROCESSES: Do the processes of the work themselves enable learning and performance, or do they create barriers to productivity? Are there policies in place that restrict productivity?
- TECHNOLOGIES: Do workers have the right tools to do their jobs? What technologies are available that can be used for learning and performance support?
As you can see from this list of questions, there are a number of moving parts in a learning and performance ecosystem, and a well-supported ecosystem has the right resources available to the right people in the right context. An ecosystem, by definition, needs balance in order to thrive.
Visualizing Your Learning and Performance Ecosystem
Being able to visualize your learning and performance ecosystem, mapping out the different components and understanding the interconnected nature of the different nodes, is a critical first step in building an ecosystem-based strategy. But this is no easy task, and something that most learning and performance professionals have little experience with.
That’s one of the reasons we’re excited to be welcoming Tom Wujec to the Learning and Performance Ecosystem Conference in Orlando this March. In addition to kicking off the conference with a keynote exploring the Return on Imagination, Tom will be conducting a double-length session Friday morning that takes you on a journey to visualize and contextualize your organization’s Learning and Performance Ecosystem.
This session, available exclusively to attendees of the 2015 Learning and Performance Ecosystem Conference, offers attendees the opportunity to pull together all of the information and insights gained during the conference and create a visual map of the learning and performance ecosystem that’s right for each unique organization.
Tom Wujec is an expert on visualizing ideas – you can check out his new TED Talk on the power of drawing toast included at the end of this post. Were thrilled to have him available to help attendees of Ecosystem 2015 visualize their organization’s ecosystem, building a framework upon which an ecosystem-based strategy can be formed.