Finding information on the internet is not a problem.
In fact, Domo has just released their fifth annual infographic looking into the world’s data generation and online behavior, called “Data Never Sleeps 5.0.” You can check out their infographic from 2016 here to compare.
In general, the Internet population has grown by 7.5 percent since 2016 and now includes over 3.7 billion humans. In terms of data usage, well, it’s a lot. On average, the US alone churns out 2,657,700 gigabytes of Internet data every minute. Yep, you read that correctly, 2,657,700 GIGABYTES per MINUTE.
One might ask – with all this readily available information on hand, why do I have to be responsible for organizing it? Can’t people just use the Google machine?
In short, yes. They can.
But wouldn’t it be cool, if they had help from a source that thoughtfully, built a curated library so the people didn’t have to shift through the bazillion pieces of interwebs information to find what they need? In most cases, we may not even be talking about shifting through the internet. It could be making sense of the information that is hidden and buried in your own organizations SharePoint site, LMS or intranet.
The numbers tell a story
According to findings from the High-Impact Learning Organization study by Bersin by Deloitte, employees find it most difficult to learn, NOT because there isn’t enough content, but because there is TOO MUCH of it, and they cannot find what is valuable.
Bersin by Deloitte discovered people spend upwards to 41% of their day just searching for information they need. if someone, you, could help them…well, forget Captain America, you’ll be the next person hoisted unto shoulders and celebrated! Simply because you’ve helped the learning journey to be smooth, and a smooth journey creates more motivated and active learners.
Here’s the thing. Many future-focused learning and development people have adopted content curation as an important effort to their L&D strategies. It is time you did too.
But first, what is content curation?
I have always equated content curation like the curator of a museum, museum curators tell a story with each section of the museum. Each piece helps scaffold knowledge as a person walks through each display, telling an engaging story through art or cultural pieces. Ultimately, keeping information relevant, fresh and engaging, so people keep coming back.
In learning, content curators are equally responsible for sifting, sorting, and sharing the best content for the workplace audience. Helping people do their jobs, better, smarter, faster, cheaper. Content curators do this by continually finding, grouping, organizing and sharing the best and most relevant content on specific issues or topics.
Curation is the art/science of identifying the best information for the organization and providing context and order to it. – Bersin by Deloitte
Why you? Why Now? Here are 5 reasons why content curation will win the day!
- You will be giving people what they want and need, to do their jobs. Formal courses only account for about 10% of how we learn. The rest of our knowledge comes through informal and social learning from each other. Rare is it that people are screaming to participate in courses. Most people simply want the piece of information to get the job done. When you need to build a pivot table in excel, do you take an excel class? No, you go to YouTube to find the bit you need.
- You will be giving people back precious time in their day. In line with the above, today’s workforce studies tell us that 2 out 3 people barely have time to do their jobs, much less participate in a training program. Today’s world is about being able to easily access important and relevant information. You can be that person who gives back time by bringing information to the masses. IDC estimates that the average worker spends 9.5 hours a week searching for information. If you could reduce that number, you’d be giving back time. The most valuable gift EVER.
- You will bring the value of knowledge sharing to your organization. Rather than producing courses that become less relevant over time, you will be continuously keeping teams up-to-date on information that matters to them. Through content curation you are building an engine that will help teams share insights and work out loud. Organizational curation breaks down knowledge silos.
- You will help people become masters of their own learning journey. 88% of learners want to take charge of their own learning experience and 76% of people simply want to be able to do their job better/faster. Curated content supports self-directed learning. It’s not a linear experience like a course. With appropriate content curation, you’re serving up the most relevant and helpful content for people to access when they need it, when the business needs them to have it.
- You will be helping people perform at the highest level. You are eliminating the hassle, pain, and frustration of trying to shift through sands of content. If you could say to your organization that you can help teams stay up to date on any topic, helping the perform better than before, in less than 10 minutes a day, with no need for a course…I think they would appreciate the efforts and start listening.
Bonus: You’re building your own expertise! A great side-benefit is, as you curate, filter, and make sense of information – you are reading, watching and learning. Therefore, you are growing your own knowledge and staying ahead of the game. Think of content curation for your own personal development, it’s a great way to develop your own skills and stay ahead of the learning curve. You are fine tuning your own learning journey.
As a learning professional, you know how critical it is for you to keep learning, growing, and innovating. As a content curator you must keep an eye on the story you are trying to tell and keep discovering new resources to make sense of information. Take cues from team feedback, what are they saying they need? Create a strategy to stay on top of content management, current information and delivery trends so that you can offer valuable content to help people be the best they can be.