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Small Business Digest


How to Harness the Power of Informal Learning

Informal learning - learning outside the classroom - is growing in importance to businesses, and a new report tells executives how to harness it.

StreetSmarts® Inc. announced the availability of a white paper designed to address the key challenges surrounding informal learning in a business. The free white paper, "Unlock the Secrets to Informal Learning in the Enterprise," outlines the issues that organizations need to address to take learning in the workplace to its next logical level.

The paper outlines today's state of informal learning - the learning that takes place outside formal classroom-based training and study programs in the workplace.  The paper also highlights why the informal way of learning has risen to the top of the chief learning officer's agenda and discusses how the economy has shifted toward a greater need for informal learning initiatives, how the rise of the Millennials (the generation born in 1980 or thereafter) in the work force are driving organizations to rethink their informal-learning strategies, and the role technology can play in harnessing informal learning across the enterprise.

"Informal learning in the workplace has become so topical over recent years, but has been that elusive 'holy grail' that many learning leaders have aspired to but never really known how best to tackle," said Dave Batt, StreetSmarts® CEO and founder. "With the growth of enterprise social networks and the rise of the Millennial, or Gen Y, demographic, informal learning is now firmly back in the limelight. This paper outlines why companies should pay attention, how they can make a start, and, more importantly, how they should address some of the key concerns within an enterprise setting, such as compliance, security and business-process management."

The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) and The Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) released a report in 2008 that outlined the paradox informal learning possesses in the enterprise. The study showed that more than 70% of the knowledge that employees acquired came from informal-learning experiences. Yet the same report says 78% of companies surveyed allocate less than 10% of their training budgets to informal learning.

The white paper is available with free registration at

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