Conversation as a Core Business Process

by Jay Cross on September 17, 2006

Consider for a moment that the most widespread and pervasive learning in your organization may not be happening in training rooms, conference rooms, or boardrooms, but in the cafeteria, the hallways, and the cafe across the street. Imagine that through email exchanges, phone conversations, and bull sessions with colleagues, people at all levels of the organization are sharing critical business knowledge, exploring underlying assumptions, and creating innovative solutions to key business issues. Imagine that the “grapevine” is not a poisionous plant to be cut off at the roots, but a natural source of vitality to be cultivated and nourished.

Hold it a minute. Is this Jay, once more spouting his informal learning dogma?

Not hardly. This is the beginning of a great article Juanita Brown and David Isaacs wrote ten years ago.

Facilitating meaningful conversation is the most powerful thing you can do to improve informal learning.

Read the article — unless you’ve already read their book, The World Cafe.

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