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Training vs. Discovery: Organizational Learning in the Age of Google and YouTube

It used to be if you wanted to learn about a topic, you’d have to find a source of knowledge—say a user manual, or an encyclopedia, for example—and then pore through it to find the information you needed. It took a lot of time. Depending on what you wanted to learn, it might be difficult to even get your hands on the right reference. Mastering a subject required training, whereby an expert builds a curriculum and then teaches it. It’s an event—even if it’s delivered digitally—that happens separately from the practical application of that knowledge.

Nowadays when you want to know or do something, you often as not look it up on Google or YouTube. Chances are you’ll find an article or a video that gives you exactly the information you were looking for. That’s discovery. It’s great for when you want to look up the word for the fear of the number 13 (triskaidekaphobia) or how to tie a half Windsor knot, but that’s not really the type information that helps most employees in their jobs. And there is obviously a lot of company-specific information you don’t want to put on YouTube and Google where just anyone can find it.

Why Discovery Matters in the Workplace

There’s a lot of knowledge required for employees to do their jobs. They need to know their own functions and keep up with evolving changes. Formal training helps here. And training is important, but much of what is learned in a class is forgotten in a shockingly short timeframe, so having a way to quickly refresh knowledge in the moment is critical. Google and YouTube can also help here—if employees have the time to sift through it all to find and consume the relevant info. That’s a big if as time is a resource most workers don’t have in abundance. Plus, it can be hard to separate reputable content from junk. When information comes from the company, you know you can trust the source, but how easy is that information to find?

There are three key challenges that organizations must address to enable widespread and ongoing learning through discovery. First, they must make it easy for the people who have knowledge to capture and transfer it. Second, they must make it easy to find and retrieve that knowledge when needed. Third, because it’s impossible to document every piece of information an employee might need, they must make it easy for information seekers to collaborate with subject-matter experts.

Enabling Organizational Learning Through Discovery

Retrieve addresses all three of these challenges so employees, partners, and other organizational constituents can leverage discovery, as opposed to training.  

  1. Easy knowledge capture. Leverage existing text, graphical, video, and PDF materials and create new content—even videos—quickly without onerous production requirements.
  2. Fast information retrieval. All content—every spoken or non-spoken word—is easily retrievable with search that delivers a manageable set of relevant results.
  3. Effective collaboration. Chat in flexible, searchable, and secure media threads using videos, images, text, and documents to communicate.

And it’s all delivered in the palms of your employees hands—literally—in an easy-to-use app. Retrieve integrates with LDAP, CRMs, and other systems to allow administrators to control who has access to content and communications. And best of all, you can get started with what you already have today—no need to reinvent any wheels. Try Retrieve for yourself—for free. 

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