Mind map, contents, and more from the Working Smarter Fieldbook

Working smarter is the key to sustainability and continuous improvement. Knowledge work and learning to work smarter are becoming indistinguishable. The accelerating rate of change in business forces everyone in every organization to make a choice: learn while you work or become obsolete.

2011 edition. $24. 426 pages. Downloadable.

Special: eBook: $12.

By Charles Jennings, Harold Jarche, 
Clark Quinn, Jane Hart & Jay Cross

This is the first edition of the Fieldbook to incorporate QR codes. That’s what these funky-looking little bar codes are called. Point your smart phone at a QR code, and you’ll be led to a location on the net with more information. To take advantage of the QR codes, download any bar code reader to your smart phone, for example QuickMark. (QR Codes by Paul Simbeck-Hampson)

We’ve added a more lucid description of workscapes, streamlined the social learning chapter, updated some cheat sheets, and included a glossary.


Working smarter is the key to sustainability and continuous improvement. Knowledge work and learning to work smarter are becoming indistinguishable. The accelerating rate of change in business forces everyone in every organization to make a choice: learn while you work or become obsolete.

The infrastructure for working smarter is called a workscape. It’s not a separate function so much as another way of looking at how we organize work. It’s the platform where learning and work transpire. It’s an organization’s learning ecosystem.

Workscaping helps people grow so that their organizations may prosper. Workscapes are pervasive. They are certainly not lodged in a training department. In fact, they may make the training department obsolete.

Old-style training enraged many managers because it was separate from work. Why isn’t Sally at work today? Because she’s in training.

No, no, no. Learning is the work,
not apart from the work.

It needn’t be this way, particularly since knowledge work and learning are nearly indistinguishable. A major part of modern instructional design is actually workscape design.

Workscape designers, like landscape designers, start with the existing environment. They assess what’s given, imagine a more harmonious arrangement, and prescribe additions and adjustments to accomplish it. By contrast, instructional designers are accustomed to building new programs from the ground up, like architects who begin by chopping down trees and leveling contours so they can plan from a blank sheet of paper.

Industrial age workers created value in factories. Knowledge workers create value in workscapes. A workscape is a platform where knowledge workers collaborate, solve problems, converse, share ideas, brainstorm, learn, relate to others, talk, explain, communicate, conceptualize, tell stories, help one another, teach, serve customers, keep up to date, meet one another, forge partnerships, build communities, and distribute information.

In most cases, the knowledge work pays the freight; the informal learning comes along for the ride. If an organization is committed to Microsoft Sharepoint, IBM Lotus, Salesforce, SAP, or another proprietary solution for in-house communication and project management, the workscape designer tweas that platform for optimal learning rather than trying to replace it.

An online workscape is a network tuned for learning and collaboration.

A typical workscape features these components:

  • Participant profiles, expertise locators
  • Information flows, feeds, subscriptions
  • Information repository, archives, search engine
  • Forums for written discussion by topics or by teams
  • Facility for online discussion, instant messaging, video conferencing
  • Unfettered access to the resources of the internet

Our current work involves figuring out how to inject best practices from adult learning theory, brain science, social psychology, business execution, and elsewhere into workscapes.
Organizations must stop thinking of learning as something separate from work. The further we get into what Dan Pink calls the conceptual era, the greater the convergence of working and learning. In many cases, they are already one and the same.

Workers in a workscape learn by solving problems, coming up with fresh thinking, and collaborating with colleagues. They don’t learn about these things; they learn to do them.

The workscape is the aspect of an organization where learning and development become never-ending processes rather than one-time events. The workscaping viewpoint helps knowledge workers become more effective professionally and fulfilled personally. A sound workscape environment empowers workers to be all that they can be.

Workscapes match flows of know-how with workers solving problems and getting things done. They are the aspect of workplace infrastructure that provides multiple means of solving problems, tapping collective wisdom, and collaborating with others.

Workscapes are not a new structure but rather a holistic way of looking at and reformulating existing business infrastructure. They use the same networks and social media as the business itself.

Technology is never the most important part of this. Foremost are people, their motivations, emotions, attitudes, roles, their enthusiasm or lack thereof, and their innate desire to excel. Technology, be it web 2.0 or instructional design, social psychology, marketing, or intelligent systems, only supports what we’re helping people to accomplish. 

As business de-emphasizes industrial-era command-and-control systems to make way for agile, sense-and-respond networks, the structure of business adapts to its new environment.

Preface 20
Cataclysm 20
Internet Time Alliance 22
Working Smarter 23
Terra Nova 23
Workscapes 26
Motivation 34
Sources of knowhow 35
What’s wrong with most training? 39
Payoff 41
The Learning Lifecycle 44
Network Effects 46
Business Results 53
What can we do to improve this informal learning? 54
Techniques and Patterns 56
Reflection 57
A learning pattern language 57
Issues 60
Technology is moving ahead, with or without you 63
What’s holding us back? 63
What counts 64
Getting Started 66
Informal Learning
Johnny Appleseed 68
The Informal Learning Poster 72
Where did the 80% come from? 90
What Would Ivan Illich Do? 94
Social Learning
Social Learning in the Workplace Today 105
The State of Workplace Learning in 2010 105
Social Learning Tools 120
Twitter and the Law of the Few 123
10 Ways to use Social Media for Professional Development 127
A framework for social learning in the enterprise 129
Making social learning work 132
Analyzing social learning 133
The Results of Connecting 134
If not now, when? 135
Social Learning Strategy Checklist 138
Culture 139
Approach and Methods 139
Planning 141
Launch Activities 143
Technical Stuff, Legal, Compliance 144
Learning Communities in the Extended Enterprise 145
Community Management 146
Professional Development, Skills, Competencies 147
The Business Case
What keeps executives awake at night 148
Results Even a CFO Can Love 149
Speak the Language of Business 151
You and your sponsor 153
The Metrics Cycle 153
Don’t just talk like a business person; become one 155
Informal Learning: A Sound Investment 156
ROI is in the mind of the beholder 159
The Business Case for Soft Numbers 160
Intangibles Rule 162
Why Waste Money and Resources on Training? 164
The cost of inefficient methods 165
The evidence 167
Upwards – Following the Dotted Line 171
Performance Support Trumps Training Every Time 172
Decisions, decisions. Business decisions. 174
Conceptual Workers 176
Training Directors 177
Managers 178
Executive management 179
The Future of the Training Department 182
Twentieth century limited 182
Century 21 183
Embracing complexity 184
Inverting the Pyramid 185
A New Model for Training 186
Next? 187
Become a Chief Meta-Learning Officer 187
The View From the Balcony 188
Close the Training Department 191
Assess Opportunities for Process Improvement 193
Network Era Productivity: Not Your Father’s ROI 194
Traditional ROI 195
What You Can’t See 196
Making Decisions in the Network Era 197
Identifying and Measuring ROII 199
Increase in Network Size 200
Increase in Connection to Valuable Third Parties 200
Increase in Number of Projects 201
Informed Judgment 201

Develop Your Elevator Pitch for a Learning Initiative

Workshop structure 204
What makes a good pitch 205
Project Planning Form 207
Hints for developing your plan 209
The Issue 209
Impact 211
People 211
Methods 212
Financial Impact 213
Implementation 213
Vision 213
Timing 213
Name 214

Cheat sheets

Donald Clark: 10 ways to shorten courses 215
Lessons Learned from a 12 social learning implementations 217
Quotations from Clark Aldrich 218
Cybernetics with Paul Pangaro 219
Donald Clark: 10 techniques to massively increase retention 221
Five Easy Steps to an Instant Infrastructure for Social Learning 223
Jennings/Reid-Dodick “C” Curve for L&D 227
Five Ingredients of Making eLearning Work 228
Dimensions of Clark Quinn’s Learning Environment 232
Five Big Factors of Personality – OCEAN 233
Four-factor Mobile Learning Framework 233
Four Predictions for 2010 234
10 General Principles for Leading and Managing in the Interconnected Knowledge Workplace 235
John Medina’s Brain Rules 236
The World Café 237
Concepts from the Net 238
SMARTER Approach to Workplace Learning 240
Jay’s First Principles: People 240
Jay’s First Principles: Things 241
Jay’s First Principles: Technique 243
Clark Quinn: Performance Environment 243
Dave Snowden’s Cynevin Framework 245
Dan Pink’s Evolution to the Conceptual Age 247
Andrew McAfee’s Characteristics of Enterprise 2.0 248
Dion Hinchcliffe’s Update of McAfee’s SLATES 249
Dion Hinchcliffe: Social Business Models 251
Charles Jennings on Governance 252
Don’t Take Jay’s Advice 253
Clark Quinn’s 7 C’s of Natural Learning 253
Responsibilities of Chief Learning Officers 254
Donald Clark: Do happy sheets work? 254
Donald Clark: 10 reasons to dump lectures 255
Donald Clark: 10 proven facts about learning 257
Instructional Design 2.0
Designing for an uncertain world 262
Instructional Design or Interactivity Design in an interconnected world? 265
Who Needs Training, Again? 270
Collaboration 276
Trust 276
Trust and Getting Things Done in Organizations 277
Trust and ‘A Seat at the Table’ 277
Different Types of Trust 278
Moving L&D up the Agenda 278
Come Together 279
Collaborate or Die 281
Collaboration rules 282
Many Happy Returns 282
Why bother? 283
Social media for collaboration 283
Whose Learning? 292
Personal Knowledge Management 294
How to Kick Off Collaborative Project Groups 295
Gain team member commitment 297
Who Knows 300
Emotions Trump Logic 302
Meta-learning 302
New Roles for Instructional Professionals 304
Personal Intellectual Capital Management 305
Storytelling 307
The Value of Not Re-inventing the Wheel 309
Unmeetings 311
Why Wiki 313
Content 315
What People Need to Know 315
Social data 316
Access is power 317
Living with dynamic knowledge 317
New focus for training: Forget the ephemera and get down to core skills 318
The Core of Learning Content in the Internet Age 320
Traditional Model – Content-centric learning 322
What’s Worth Knowing? 322
Third Order Find Skills 324
When it’s just so obvious NOT to train it’s painful to watch it happen 325
Visual Learning 328
Where Performance Support Trumps Training 328
Forever Beta 329
Environmental Design 331
Community 333
Professional Development 333
How does one become a professional? 336
How do workers learn to do their jobs? 336
How much has eLearning changed in its dozen-year lifespan? 337
Stories of Working Smarter
Stories 340
Stop the Presses 341
IBM’s Social Media Program 343
Booz Allen 345
Océ 346
Pitney Bowes & Yammer 347
Telus 348
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) – Intellipedia 350
Pfizer 351
EDR’s Commonground 352
Social Snippets 353
Each one teach one 356
Intelpedia 356
The value of not reinventing the wheel 356
Comply 360
Tap into collective intelligence 360
I think, therefore, where are my keys? 361
People like us 362
Empower your ecosystem 362
SAP Developer Network (SDN) 363
Wikipedia 363
Xerox Repair 364
Ace Hardware 365
FindLaw 365
Ford Motors SyncMyRide 365
Cook Medical 366
Google 366
Proctor & Gamble 366
Innocentive 366
Cisco’s Idea Zone 367
Scottrade 367
Cienna 368
Caterpillar 368
British Airways 368
Twitter 101 at Dell Computer 369
BesyBuy’s Twelpforce 370
British Telecom Dare to Share 371
SFR 372
Agilent Technologies 372
Worldwide Fund for Nature: learn2perform 373
Nationwide Insurance 373
Dirty Words 375
Rethinking learning in organizations
Connections 378
Learning is not enough 380
The Future Shape of Business 380
Back Matter
What comes next 383
Glossary 384
Bibliography 405
People 408
About the primary authors 409
Where Jay is coming from 411
About Internet Time Group 414
Evolution of the Unbook 417
Turn on to Working Smarter 420
About Internet Time Alliance 420
Internet Time Lab 425