What if workplace learning became democratized. The needs of the learners would rule. The learners would have the right to learn what they needed when they needed it in a way that served their level of understanding. There would be a safety net to catch those that fell short of the performance outcomes. There would be support systems to nurture damaged learners back to being self-motivated, curious, reflective practitioners.Democratization of workplace learning would over-rule the imposition of most mandatory training requirements. There would be a decline of compliance training driven by policies or fear of competitive rivals. Informal, social, and distributed learning would provide the learners with freedoms, not further accountability pressures. Blogging would enhance workplace learning, (as Dave Lee promotes) rather than increasing the monitoring of blogs by "thought police".
Democratization is part of a natural cycle of governance. It follows a phase of piracy. When the democratizing of citizens, employees, students or patients becomes an established thing -- the closure brings about the next phase. Democracies become bureaucracies. Protecting the rights of the citizens then calls for layers of management, mountains of paperwork, countless committees and oodles of budget overruns.The staggering costs, inefficiencies and stagnation provokes a privatization phase. An aristocracy takes control, consolidates power, imposes standards, and adds short-sighted incentives. This phase takes away rights of the citizens and expands the ranks of the abused, over-ruled and exploited peasants. This launches a counter-offensive of piracy, Robin Hood tactics, and guerilla warfare. The aristocratic controls are dismantled and democratizing comes back around.
Thus democratizing is on the rise whenever piracy dismantles the aristocracy. Most of the current corporate cultures appear aristocratic to me. Companies have become lean, mean revenue machines with drones making Powerpoint presentations. Needs of the learners are "off-radar". Demands of the manager are "front and center". (as Geetha Krishnan mentioned in his reply to the December Big Question on the Learning Circuits Blog)Piracy has broken up the consolidated control of the music and film production and distribution aristocracies. Are you seeing any signs of corporations losing their control of: workplace learning, "staying on message" and conformity of employees?