Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Information Literacy in the Workplace

A old friend of mine, Mark Hepworth, who specializes in information literacy and learning asked me 2 questions today. I want to share my quick thoughts.

Firstly, why do people generally shy away from thinking about how they learn. I think this is because they do not 'shy away', they just don't think about it, this is what they do 'naturally'. Thinking about 'learning' or 'thinking' is a higher level skill which perhaps educators/organization development managers (perhaps also parents) think about. And if these people do a good job, it would become so seamless to the students/employees/children, and therefore the students/employees/children again don't need to think about it. But most importantly, the outcome is that 'they are learning'.

Secondly, why do organisations seem unwilling or don't appreciate the need to spend time and money developing people's information literacy and information management skills i.e. their information processing capacity? I think this is because all knowledge workers are expected to have certain level of skills to process and use information, this is what they do everyday (but they may not be calling it information literacy/management skills). If one starts to introduce these skills out of context, it becomes meaningless and out of touch with the 'real business'. However, when one starts to put it into context, the phrase 'information management skills' or 'information literacy' disappear, it becomes marketing, strategic planning, innovation program, helpdesk FAQ support, knowledge management, sales etc.

They are tricky questions and it is a real dilemma that I try to handle tactfully/polically/carefully in the workplace. I avoid the 'woolly' labels in business. I need to use the language that clicks with senior leaders/businessmen.

Read more on my Libri paper:

No comments: