I am happily reading Jay Cross' new book, Informal Learning. As one would expect, Jay writes well and I can easily recommend the book to anyone interested in organizational learning.
While I will chew on this book more intelligently in weeks to come, I am struck by a basic paradox. Can one criticize formal learning models in a book? Isn't a book the epitome of what one is suggesting is the wrong model?
I write this in part because when I attend any of Jay's events, he is the anti-presenter and runs anti-workshop workshops.
I write this also because I have the same issue in writing about simulations.
The answer to the paradox is non-trivial, and fairly important for our industry. In my mind, even though a formal learning experience is not the complete answer, it can be a really productive first step. Reading Jay's Informal Learning is a great first step towards the work of developing a better learning culture. Hopefully reading one of my books is a great first step towards the same goal, just along a parallel path.
In fact, the justification for all formal learning experiences has to be no more and no less than being great first steps. Honestly accepting this truism, in fact embracing it, at all levels of the design, funding, and measuring stages, seems necessary for success.