Factory whistles (pwbaker/flickr.com)

Wishful thinking

Reda Sadki Learning strategy

Stopping work to learn remains the ideal. After all, many of us carry the memory of residential higher education as a powerful moment of personal growth, at the end of our teenage years and prior to entry into the workforce. Formal learning in the present includes both in-service workshops and trainings as well as various forms of continued professional development (CPD) offered by training providers and higher education institutions. These were traditionally face-to-face and are increasingly delivered at distance (online). Why do we wish so earnestly for more formal learning? Our expressed wish reflects our willingness to stay current and improve. However, wishing for more time to stop work and engage in formal learning is likely to remain wishful thinking because of at least four factors: Time – time is the scarcest resource and formal training requires stopping work to learn, in a learning culture that values task completion. Applicability – learning formally then …

Nails (Adam Rosenberg/flickr.com)


Reda Sadki Learning strategy

Applicability is the brick wall of formal training approaches. Not only do we first have to stop work to attend a training, but once the training is completed, the challenge is then to figure out how to apply what we learned to daily work. It is estimated that, on the average, applicability of a well-designed workshop using the best participatory methods (such as simulations, dialogue, problem-solving, etc.) is around ten percent. Nevertheless, we apply new knowledge and skills from formal training, especially on managing teams or administration-related tasks such as finance or procurement, not directly related to our core technical skills. Yet, many of us have fond memories of formal training – irrespective of whether or not we were able to apply any of our learning to our work. Despite difficulty in recalling both the content of formal training and how we were able to apply, we remain willfully optimistic about …