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Evolution of the Unbook
A constantly changing new media. Two years ago, I wrote the following in Chief Learning Officer magazine: “Reality is an endless stream of knowledge, culture and ideas that flows faster and faster.
Traditional books are snapshots of that stream. The swifter the stream, the shorter the life of the book. A book is an event. We need a process that outlasts the moment — a movie in place of a photograph.”Well, I’ve been working on a solution. Let me present: the unbook. Unlike traditional books, unbooks are in perpetual beta, are frequently updated and accept input from their readers. Recently, the mid-2010 edition of an unbook titled The Working Smarter Fieldbook was released. It is the successor to the January 2010 edition. Let’s examine the changes and additions to reveal both the evolution of the unbook concept and what has gained importance in learning and development in the past six months. Since this unbook is targeted at business managers, the word “learning” does not appear in the title. Learning is the means, not the end. To managers, the L-word triggers thoughts of schooling, classrooms, boredom and the cessation of work. Learning has become the work.Why target managers? L&D professionals already know the importance of increasing the reach and impact of learning. This is news to many executives. They haven’t thought of learning as a component of strategy execution. Our aim is to speak directly to managers — or to provide L&D professionals with the ammunition to make their case.In nonfiction, the single-author concept is a conceit. As the saying goes, the sum is greater than its parts. My colleagues Jane Hart, Jon Husband, Harold Jarche, Charles Jennings and Clark Quinn wrote many of the words here. Our thoughts are inextricably intertwined; we couldn’t separate them if we wanted to. Most of the book is written in a single voice.Like all unbooks, The Working Smarter Fieldbook is not finished. This is the sixth edition in less than two years. We’d rather be current than polished. We warn readers to expect some rough edges and redundancy in this version. Further, readers learn more from tentative material than from text that’s set in stone. This goes for all learning events, not just unbooks.Informal learning, social networking and interactive Web technologies make learning and development a richer but more complex field. The midyear unbook is 120 pages longer than the January version — and that’s after chopping out 50 pages deemed irrelevant.
Leveraging the Latest in Brain Science to Deliver the Next Generation of E-Learning
May 29th 1:00pm - 2:00pm CT
2013 CLO Breakfast Club, Boston
September 12th - 12th, 2013The Westin Copley Place
Fall 2013 CLO Symposium
September 30th - October 2nd, 2013Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa
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