Informal Learning in Organizations

Following the success of Complete Training: from recruitment to retirement, Learnworks’ senior consultant and MD, Robin Hoyle, has been  commissioned to write a second book, called Informal Learning in Organizations.

The book is now available in all good retailers.


We can all remember something we just picked up as we went along, a skill learned, a concept understood.  Everyone has learned informally, sometimes apparently by accident.  In a connected world, informally learning is under the spotlight.  Is it how we learn most things?  Can it be managed? If it’s organised, can it still be informal? As the pace of change heats up, especially at work, can we possibly keep up without learning at an ever increasing rate?

In Informal Learning in Organizations: How to create a continuous learning culture, Robin Hoyle argues that if informal learning is to be more than muddling through and making things up as we go along, it needs to be approached strategically. Informal learning works best when we understand when it works, how it works and why.  It needs a comprehensive and coherent view of an individual’s needs, the environment in which they work and the organisational culture in which they are immersed.  To learn informally, individuals need to move beyond information seeking to being critical explorers in a rich sea of information, opinion, fact and belief.

This book is for anyone interested in improving capability:  Personal capability and our own role as effective agents in our own continued development and the capability of people in our organisation as the only true source of competitive advantage.

From case studies and examples of how and why informal learning resonates with people, how it works and when and why it doesn’t, this book seeks to help those involved in developing skills and knowledge in organizations. The book examines the behaviours, skills and knowledge of those who are effective in making sense of their connected environments in order to take control of a culture of continuous learning.

Recent research into how people learn most effectively at work is combined with sound learning theories and case studies of informal learning in action. A series of checklists and challenges will help readers plan to create a continuous learning culture with those with whom they work.

To see the full table of contents, click here.

Speaking Opportunities

In writing this book Robin has surveyed a significant amount of the literature on informal learning; he has talked to learners, strategists, trainers and senior teams to understand how informal learning can be promoted, harnessed and incorporated into an organization’s strategy.  He has also built on almost three decades of personal experience as someone who has designed learning, managed learning strategies and advised some of the world’s largest organisations how to manage the continued development and maintenance of their most valuable asset – their people.

The book will be launched in September 2015 to coincide with the World of Learning conference, of which Robin is the Chair. Robin will also be talking about his research and findings at Learning Live – the Learning and Performance Institute conference in London in September 2015.  If you have an event at which you would want Robin to speak and share his experience, research and practical ideas for promoting and managing informal learning, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Email Robin here.