THIS – Shaping InteractionsStrategy Consulting & Digital Agency in Düsseldorf
E-Learning & Blended Learning

The democratization of learning: The 3-dimensional learning culture

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The demands on employees and their skills are rapidly changing. Merely prescribing learning content is not enough anymore. Employees need to develop a personal interest in continuous learning. We recommend democratizing learning in companies and actively involving employees in shaping the learning content.

New Work disrupts familiar corporate structures and work models. Companies are becoming more agile and holocratic. Rigid hierarchies are breaking down, and employees are taking on more individual responsibility. Flexible work schedules and remote work cater to the desire for personal freedom.

However, these changes also significantly impact the required competencies within the company. Employees must quickly acquire new skills. In the agile work environment, it's unclear what they will need to know specifically tomorrow. In short, everything is becoming faster and more complex. Companies are finding it increasingly challenging to independently impart all the necessary knowledge to their employees.

The 3-dimensional learning culture

We are convinced that both employee interactions and the ability for employees to actively shape the learning process within the company are essential.

To address this, we have developed a model: The 3-dimensional learning culture.

The 3-dimensional learning culture

The first dimension: Management to employee

Management must establish standards and make the required knowledge available to employees. Most companies already practice this today. Typical learning content includes work processes, compliance, or product training.

The second dimension: Employee to employee

Employees share their practical knowledge with their colleagues, such as when experienced, older employees train new, younger colleagues or provide short-term support when someone has a question.

As remote work and various work schedule models become more mainstream, and informal exchanges among colleagues become more challenging, special attention is needed here. Companies need to prioritize how they encourage this type of exchange.

The third dimension: Employee to management

Employees independently work on topics and share identified knowledge gaps with management. For example, a company launches a new product and provides all sales information to the sales department. In sales pitches, a sales representative notices a recurring objection from customers. The sales representative communicates this to management so that this gap can be closed for other colleagues.

For companies to evolve, employees need to be motivated to be active participants in the learning culture. This requires the democratization of learning within the organization.


As the required competencies within companies continue to change, businesses must establish a practiced learning culture to keep evolving and remain competitive in the future.