You know when you hear someone say something that makes a light bulb go on over your head? I had that experience yesterday. The person I was talking to mentioned in passing the difference between content and resources. Now this might be blindingly obvious to you but in the context of the conversation we were having, this stopped me in my tracks.
What’s the difference?
I’ve been curating content for years – academic research, articles in business publications, videos and so on. I’ve organised these into four high-level categories:
- social dynamics
- organisational enablers.
The simplicity of the diagram is misleading. Each of these categories quickly unpacks into sets of interacting themes. I’m very aware of two things: that this is all context-free content, and that context is king.
It has never been my intention to create a curriculum, where topics and themes are learned just in case you need them. This push approach is giving way to a just-in-time and just-for-you pull approach to practical workplace learning.
The internet is obviously awash with information and content. So how does context-free content become a resource? That happens, I think, when people question content for relevance. And that means having a view on what they think they see happening in their own organisations.
Starting with a dialogue around a specific context (we all see things differently), people can ask questions and create dialogue around both context and content. What do we think is good about this insight, approach or model? It might have worked for others, why might it not work here? Could it be adapted? How? Why? What else is there?
Publicly available content becomes a resource when someone questions it for relevance, adapting it if necessary and then using it to do something. That, for me, is the difference.