Curating a Learning Organization

By Gina Ann Richter, Learning Experience Strategist and Senior Consultant, Conduent

Gina Ann Richter

We live in a world of information overload. The data points are staggering. Recent estimates suggest that by 2020 we’ll be creating more than 1.7 megabytes of new information per second for every person on the planet.

This is a challenge for all of us, but no more so than for the world of organizational learning. Today’s workforce is increasingly made up of digital natives who are used to getting answers to their questions at the speed of a search engine or a social media post.

For organizations, the danger is being left out. If we don’t supply the continuous learning that employees increasingly demand, our workers will find it themselves.

But supplying the learning doesn’t necessarily require employers to become mini-universities. It does mean they should learn the art and science of curation.

A great curator is able to filter and aggregate all of the content that is coming into an organization in a way that makes sense – with context, introductions, transitions and more. At Conduent, we integrate all of the above to turn the raw streams of content into pathways for learning. The goal is to create ever-evolving, efficient and effective learning experiences!

Our ecosystem is built around the learner and his or her profile. Based on that information, we deliver daily, customized learning. Not only that, we also have enabled a portable profile, meaning that employees can take their profile profiles with him if their career takes them beyond Conduent. Curation allows us to meet the learner where they are in support of their development.

Often curation can be done through the use of what we refer to as “freemium” resources, which are from free but respected professional sites, like Harvard Business Review or Forbes. Our ecosystem also enables our learners to store and track all of their learning, refer back to it, and build their experience points based on the learning they are doing daily. All of this enables them to beat the “forgetting curve,”because they can always go back to these brief but key lessons, specific to their needs.

So, the next question is: How do you curate? You need technology in place that supports your curation goals. Our ecosystem includes an environment, powered by Degreed, that enables us to leverage curation effectively. It includes all of the abilities we discussed earlier regarding the use of “freemium” resources, personalized learning, and a daily learning feed, just to name a few.

No matter the tool you use, there are a few differences regarding how you might approach the design of a curated learning experience. First, there are a ton of topics that lend themselves nicely to free curation through Freemium resources. But some do not. For example, technical topics generally are very difficult to include in a curation strategy using “freemium experiences such as videos, articles and podcasts.

The topic is specific enough that you  will likely need to invest in premium content to ensure alignment with certification. This is why you need to start with the end goal in mind. What is it that a client wants to accomplish, and how will they measure success? Then, you move quickly to a discovery phase.

It is through the discovery phase where you can figure out if curation is the solution or just part of it. You can identify gaps where you might either need to fill them with purchased resources or ones that you create.

Curation is an amazing opportunity for all of us in the world of organization learning. But it should be smartly designed as part of a system and a process, with clear end goals in mind. Such a system  provides us with an opportunity to leverage so many of the wonderful insights we are inundated with on a daily basis, but in a way that makes sense for our clients. Go out, be great, and curate!

4 thoughts on “Curating a Learning Organization

  1. Gloria April 4, 2017 - Reply

    Great article!
    Thanks Gina for sharing the concept od curation, it´s to be key in the upcoming worldwide learning environment.

  2. Just like art, fashion, and wine can be curated, our organization learning can also be curated. I love the analogy, and look forward to expertly curated L&D content.

  3. Thanks, Gina. These are wonderful insights on the art of curation. There are strong parallels between curating L&D content and Marketing content.

  4. Devraj Menon July 18, 2017 - Reply

    A crisp article providing a good insight to curation – the new benchmark and the curator – the new gatekepper, in this age of data overload. This overload is going to get worser, and curation is currently the one way out.

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