A recent posting by David DeLong in the Harvard Business Review titled “When Learning at Work Becomes Overwhelming” addresses the problem of employee education in a world where technology is advancing at a rapid pace. DeLong points out that MIT economists insist we’re now in a race between education and technology, if workers’ skills are to stay economically viable. I’d argue that talk of a “skills gap” in any field (whether real or imagined) is evidence that education — both formal and informal — is losing the race with technology.
- What is a realistic amount of learning to expect of people in this job?
- What are learning priorities?
- How can we make learning more practical and efficient?
DeLong writes, “Probably the most important thing you can do to improve on-the-job learning is to enhance the mentoring capabilities of your most experienced employees. Just because someone is an expert in part of your business doesn’t mean they can teach others about it.”
This is good advice, and the article is worth a good read and contemplation.