Few people would question HR’s role as champion and keeper of learning and development within the organization. Training programs and learning initiatives have traditionally been in HR’s wheelhouse...
Thought provoking post that coincides with our recent experience in Maryland (Maryland Association of CPAs) with a forum of public company finance & accounting officers. They identified learning and talent development of their finance teams as their # 1 issue and specifically cited a need for innovation and insight as competencies to develop. They asked for our help in forming a collaboration structure whereby they can connect people inside their organizations with others across other public companies and beyond.
Which seems to be spot on with your basic premise and the founding purpose of our organization (in 1901) - connecting CPAs to each other to learn and improve their Profession. The group then asked for us to help them facilitate this group and a collaboration was born.
I plan to use your three ideas to help solidify and expand this collaboration and you would be pleased to know that the next meeting will include the HR/Learning professionals to have this conversation. I will use this post as a conversation starter.
Which brings me back to an obvious, but often overlooked resource for HR and companies. That is professional associations, like ours. We exist and have core competencies in collaboration and facilitation and are all about connecting professionals across companies, whether it be committees or chapters or events, these are all ripe for innovation and learning. They are also places for "planned serendipity" which you talk about in your book, "The Power of Pull". I would encourage HR departments to encourage membership with participation in professional associations a way to jump start "outside" connections, provided they have a way of bringing back that knowledge (we try to help our "groups" by capturing output and sharing back (see slide deck in this post http://cpa.tc/2un).
An IBM 2012 Global CEO Study identified collaboration as the # 1 skill needed for the future and your post seems to confirm this with the notion of collaboration outside your organization can help you increase your rate of learning.