Last week, Harvest welcomed Thomas Kupetis II, Managing Director of St. Charles Consulting Group to Dublin. St. Charles is one of USA's leading consultancies and thought leaders in the areas of: the future of work and how organisations can future-proof themselves to continue to attract and retain talent. Harvest is working in partnership with St Charles to bring some of their future-focused and innovative thinking around learning to our clients in Ireland.  

Tom was the key note speaker at our Client Event on the morning of 2nd October in the historical St Stephen’s Green Hibernian Club. A large group of our clients and guests gathered to hear Tom’s speech entitled ‘Moving from Managing Knowledge Workers to Enabling Learning Workers - Harnessing the Power of Curation to Unlock Learning Potential’. Here are some of the key messages from the talk: 

There are six key trends affecting learning organisations that are forcing us to rethink how we operate: ways of working (mobility of workers, globalisation etc.), speed of information, organisational pressures (to do more with less), changing demographics (the multi-generational workforce), organisational evolution (in the form of creation of new roles) and technology development

Learning organisations can be assessed using a maturity continuum, which ranges from Compliant – Responsive – Consultative – Collaborative – Transformative. According to Tom’s experience, most organisations are somewhere around the middle of the spectrum and are looking for ways to move towards the Collaborative/Transformative end. It is not easy to achieve, and he assured us that traditional L&D still has a role in organisations for a while yet. 

The key to creating effective and engaging learning strategies is to keep the organisational strategy at the heart of everything you do in L&D. L&D can add credibility and get to the table earlier by ensuring that everything they do is organisationally impactful (financial/strategic/performance impact) and at the same time, meaningful at an individual level. The business question to answer is: How do you marry learning speed with instructional soundness to make sure business performance improves? One of the ways this can be done is through learning curation. 

St Charles defines learning curation as “The process of finding, validating, and aggregating external and internal content which is delivered/offered to employees in the context of their roles, as well as their needed competencies and business objectives thus enabling continuous learning and speeding time to competency in the digital and global workplace.”

The purpose of learning curation is getting the right experiences in front of the right audience at the right time. It is one of the tools to ensure your learning strategy caters for the new trends affecting work and learning. St Charles recommend ‘instructional curation’, which is a blend of sound organisational (instructionally designed) content with curated content to give the learner an effective, efficient learning experience (E³). 

Simply compiling reading and learning materials together (aggregation) is not the same as curation. The availability of contents is usually not the issue within organisations, but rather the lack of structure and organisation. Curation builds a learning pathway and an instructional thread which includes strategically placed opportunities to reflect on learning and to share it on a social learning platform to reinforce the learning transfer. 

Tom left us with some suggestions for how to get started with curation, regardless of, or even without a technology platform. His first advice was to define what curation means to you, and whether it’s at the centre or the periphery of what you do as L&D. He then suggested looking up ‘freemium’ (i.e. premium and free of charge) resources and beginning the process of training your L&D specialists in instructional curation.    

Harvest is looking forward to working with our clients on this topic and sharing our advice on how to make it work for you. 

Author: Milla Clynes - Director of Operations and Senior Learning Specialist