Why curation is king

by Brett Henebery28 Feb 2017
The words “content curation” is often synonymous with the work of archivists, librarians and scholars, but in today’s workforce it is also synonymous with L&D.

The reason for this is due to the widespread use of social media, including the storage and transfer of digital images, web links and movie files.

In this way, content curation has come to mean the act of sorting the vast amount of content that’s available on the web and presenting it in a coherent way, organised around specific topics – and it’s a job which L&D professionals are increasingly called upon to perform.

Bruce Tulgan is the founder and CEO of RainmakerThinking. He is an adviser to business leaders all over the world and a sought-after keynote speaker and seminar leader.
He told L&D Professional that content curation is a trend that is quickly becoming mainstream in organisations – and is how people of all ages increasingly consume information.
“The more information that is produced in any area, the more it is true that we can find an infinite array of answers on any subject,” Tulgan said.
“Expert vetting and sorting and highlighting of valid and useful information in specific areas will – for the foreseeable future – be the most necessary and useful information management service in most areas of interest.”
Tulgan added that ‘Big Data’ and people analytics is becoming critical to the assessment of L&D programs’ ROI.
“Performance metrics are key to making the business case for L&D programs generally and for making the case for particular approaches to L&D based on outcomes,” he explained.
“Some outcomes do not require big data and people analytics. Individual competency or achievement or satisfaction based measures, for example, do not require big data or people analytics.”
However, Tulgan pointed out that if you want to be able to tie L&D to broader ROI – such as employee morale, employee performance, bottom line outcomes and retention, this requires more complex equations taking into account much more data and making correlations.
How curation builds culture
According to Marie Duncan, the learning development manager at Kibble Education and Care Centre, content curation is fundamental to create a culture of self-directed learners.

“The amount of information staff have access to can be overwhelming and curation creates a focus towards what is current and ‘hot’ in relation to the particular field of work,” she told L&D Professional.

“Curation should be linked to the organisational strategy and direction of travel so that you can support staff to develop knowledge and skills around prevalent subject areas without having to spoon-feed it or provide face to face training.”

She said that effective strategy can be created by speaking to learners about how they are searching, finding and sharing information and then basically helping them to improve this.

“If your staff predominantly use social networking channels in their personal life – how can the same model be used to curate content? If your intranet is the focus for knowledge sharing then how can that be expanded or adapted?” she said.

“New tools or platforms can often be more of a deterrent than an attraction, as can over structuring. People learn best when it’s organic and self-directed so we should be scaffolding opportunities that allow for this to occur.”

At the Learning & Development Masterclass being held in Melbourne on 6 April, Anne Le Blanc, GM of Learning & Development - Global Learning at Telstra will present a case study, based on creating, curating and socialising content.

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