“Hitting a stationary target requires different skills of a marksman than hitting a target in motion.” – George Siemens (2006:93)
We are all knowledge workers who struggle with knowledge abundance – too much information.
Our ability to learn is heavily dependent on our ability to connect with others. How well are we able to collect, process, and use information? Individually, we have learned the behaviors that enable us to anchor (stay focused on important tasks while undergoing a deluge of distractions), filter (extracting important elements), recognize patterns and trends, think creatively, and feel the balance between what is known with the unknown.
These behaviors “to prioritize and to decipher what is important” are “a bit of an art”, we say. How do we learn them? These knowledge competencies – and the learning processes that foster them – are central to our everyday work, and require explicit reward and recognition (for example, in job descriptions and performance evaluation), support, and improvement. Yet they remain tacit. The aim of learning strategy is to uncover them, demonstrate their value, and determine ways of actioning them as levers to improve continual learning.
Figure based on Robert Kelley’s How to Be a Star at Work: Nine Breakthrough Strategies You Need to Succeed, Times Books/Random House: New York, 1998. Ideas on 21st Century knowledge skills are grounded in George Siemen’s Knowing Knowledge (2006). Photo: Old rusted anchor chains at Falmouth Harbour (StooMathiesen/flickr.com).