Before L&D formalized into the discipline that we know today, it generally took the form of on-the-job training. This training would be standardized, independent of an individual worker’s particular job experience.
While this traditional approach does a good job of boosting productivity, it takes a very nearsighted perspective on learning and development. Namely, it only includes learning that occurs in the workplace, related directly to the technical skills needed for successful production.
In contrast, a learning ecosystem describes learning that occurs both inside and outside of the workplace, including formal and informal means. In other words, a learning ecosystem includes all the social, cultural and technological learning sources that can affect an employee’s performance. This approach is a breath of fresh air for people entering industries that emphasize L&D and who are looking for a more personal training experience.
Included in an employee’s learning ecosystem is everything from company-hired educators to friends they interact with outside of work. Every learning source in this ecosystem has one thing in common: Each has the potential to affect the performance trajectory of an employee.