People acquire the skills they use at work informally — talking, observing others, trial-and-error, and simply working with people in the know. Formal training and workshops account for only 5% to 20% of what people learn from experience and interactions.
Informal learning is the unofficial, unscheduled, impromptu way most people learn to do their jobs. Informal learning is like riding a bicycle: the rider chooses the destination and the route. The cyclist can take a detour at a moment’s notice to admire the scenery or help a fellow rider.
Most corporations over-invest in formal training while leaving the more natural, simple ways we learn to chance. This is foolish, for there are many ways to encourage informal learning and they boost the bottom line.
Where to start
Informal Learning: Rediscovering the Natural Pathways That Inspire Innovation and Performance
Read a free chapter
Chapter 7: Learners.
Articles and Commentary
70:20:10 Learning Approaches, Charles Jennings
Introducing Informal Learning, Marcia Conner
Eight Reasons Why You Should Focus on Social and Informal Learning by Charles Jennings
Not Without Purpose, Jay Cross
Focusing on Strategy & Governance, Charles Jennings
Towards a definition of Informal Learning, Jane Hart
Guide to Social Learning, ibid
Informal Learning Works for New Hires, Harold Jarche
PKM & Informal Learning, ibid
Driving formal & informal from the same place, Clark Quinn
Seed, Feed & Weed, ibid
aprendizagem informal – os outros 80%”, Jay Cross and Luiz Algarra