Harold Jarche: Popping the L&D network bubble
Harold Jarche (that’s Jark-ee) is a Partner at Internet Time Alliance and will be headlining our Symposium. He’s passionate about how L&D is shifting into the digital era.
When you ask him about what he does, he’ll tell you he’s in the learning business, but that he’s “ABC” (Anything But Courses). “I learn from my network,” Jarche says. He’s had to because he lives in Sackville, NB. “I don’t have a local professional community…the Internet has been my window to the world,” he says.
That window has allowed billions to connect, which he believes is popping L&D’s bubble, by changing our relationship with knowledge. But it’s not always the loose connections that make a difference. “140 followers on Twitter? Big deal! You need people you can confide in, get good information from, trust you and promote you,” he says.
“It’s really important to have these relationships and they take time,” he says. Although he has found a bit of serendipity among his Twitter followers – he just returned from Barcelona and felt no qualms about asking his followers who was going to be there, and if they would have liked to meet up.
But it’s the close-knit relationships Jarche has learnt the most from. Sometimes, he even hosts private online sessions with people in his network who are worldwide experts in a certain area, just to learn from them. “My network is making me smarter. I can’t know everything. I know that within my extended network, we’ve got pretty well everything covered,” he says. As cliché as it is, he’s learnt in the last 10 years that it’s not about what you know, it’s who you know.
One of his go-to groups are within the Internet Time Alliance. The four of them live in different countries are time zones – so they make it work using platforms like Slack, but Skype is currently his tool of choice to connect with his international group, across eight time zones.
Although technology has helped him to connect with others in an inexpensive way, he recognizes that some downfalls of the medium. “Most texting makes you sound a little tougher…voice and video are really important. That’s why emojis cam about,” Jarche says. “Even though texting is easy, it’s important to take the time with your closer relationships.”
When it comes to learning through his close relationships, “you can express so much more in video than the written word…it’s much more human,” he says.
Harold will keynote the 2016 Symposium, hosted by The Institute for Performance and Learning, on June 16 in Vancouver. Find out more.