Leadership development and micro-learning

June 27, 2018 by Wally Bock

Leadership development is changing rapidly. One reason is the development of technologies that make new things possible. David Creelman writes about one of them on the SABA blog in his article: “What Does It Take to Deliver Slow, Cumulative Learning?” Here’s a key quote.

“Micro-learning makes it easy to spread out small chunks of learning over a long period of time. What I’m proposing is that we plan learning interventions with a multi-year time horizon using modules designed to cumulatively add up over four or five years. Let’s call it cumulative micro-learning.”

That sounds laudable, simple, and achievable. I agree with the laudable part. The idea is to make something we’ve always done more effective.

Leadership development has always included micro learning

We didn’t call it “micro-learning” or anything else, but every human being has done it. As we go our merry way learning the craft of leadership, we hit something we need to learn about. It might be how to document an incident we didn’t witness. It might be how to recommend a team member for a special bonus or a developmental assignment.

When that happens, we find sources to help us learn what we need to learn. Making the information we need more easily accessible is a good idea. But imagining that we can “plan learning interventions with a multi-year time horizon using modules designed to cumulatively add up over four or five years” is either a daydream or a hallucination.

Leadership development, micro-learning, and the future

Micro-learning is sure to be a part of leadership development, just as it always has been. Learning software will improve micro-learning by making more information more easily available. That’s all good.

While the software makes learning easier, it doesn’t make planning any more accurate. As my friend, Art Petty, likes to remind me, “Man plans. God laughs.”

Wally Bock is a coach, a writer and President of Three Star Leadership.

Posted in Leadership Development

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