Corporate E-Learning
Monday, April 25, 2005
Beat E-Learning Inertia

Tracy Lowles has laid down a set of strategies, common sense, that would make your corporate e-learning strategy produce the effect you expect. These are so much common sense that you may think the list is reductant. But it is nice to keep it handy just in case.

  • Support from senior management

  • Create a peer support programme

  • Provide a space to learn

  • Work with your marketing team to spread the word

  • Get on the road

  • Share success stories: Good news travels fast

  • Reward learning success

  • Be a true learning organisation

  • Measure results and evolve your learning programme

  • Tagged as
    Sunday, April 24, 2005
    Outward e-learning design

    Lee LeFever of Common Craft has a post called You Might Not Need "Community" which points out the difference between "community" and "social strategies".
    Social strategies are concepts and plans for bringing people together on a web site to achieve some specific outcome.
    Community is a state of mind that is a by-product of successful social strategies.

    I agree that community is a state of mind of the users, not the tools which enabled the exchange to create the community. While having a final goal in mind when you design your outward e-learning (i.e. to create a community which embraces your product and services), the selection of tools and the implementation strategies should be your focus. Only if the "social design" is successful that we can see the benefit of having a community to support your endeavour.

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    A valuable lesson learned

    Steve Crescenzo opens,
    I learned a valuable lesson in how to deal with senior leadership yesterday, and I wanted to share it, in case any of you find yourself in a similar position.

    He then continues to describe one of his consulting assignment. Please read it yourself. It is well worth the time.

    The lesson learned, as he summarises
    In corporate America, when you deliver bad news, someone is going to be defensive. Be ready for it, prepare for it, defuse it, and get ready to move on towards solutions.

    I believe it is generally true beyond corporate America. This is a general human behaviour to set to defence when you are being attacked.

    This also reminds me a post I did earlier in Random Walk in E-Learning.

    Tagged as
    Friday, April 22, 2005
    What is Workflow Learning?

    Workflow Learning is the convergence of learning and work.

    The four dimensions reviewed by Jay Cross are:
    * Performance-Centered Design
    * Exponential Acceleration
    * Living Information Systems
    * Dense Interconnections

    What is interesting in the analysis is the notion of inter-connections. Know What, Know How, Know Where and increasingly Know Who. Inter-connections is about knowing who you will call and work with to solve a particular problem. The more inter-connections you have, the better chance you can find a solution.

    However, maintaining the connections is without a cost. I am seeing a new profession coming to be of increasing importance - "relationship manager". But I have seen really bad ones already.

    Wednesday, April 20, 2005
    7 guidelines for effective corporate e Learning

    This is a very informative post from soulsoup posted in March. The seven guidelines are:

    See the original article for details.

    Friday, April 15, 2005
    Impact of self-serve technology on e-learning direction and future

    I wrote about 3 kinds of learning in corporation not long ago. However, I already start to see the disappearing of the first type of training, i.e. Task related support training will be gone soon.

    Why I say that? Look at the trend today in the adoption of self-serve technology. Bank automatic teller machines are now common place. Supermarkets are installing self serve check out. There are 85 self-serve counters installed in 48 McDonald restaurants in USA.

    Besides checking ourselves in for flights at the airport, we may soon be checking out rental cars at our destinations without talking to anyone, and then checking into hotels at a lobby kiosk that, first, displays a diagram of all the rooms available and then, after we choose one, pops out a room key.

    [ The Toll of a New Machine from Fast Company]

    Repetitive tasks are going to disappear and replaced by machine. These machines do not need training. Gone are the people who used to do these jobs. Hence no need to provide any training to them. The corporate become smaller (in number of employees - not necessary in asset). Compliance training requirement drops. Whoop... a collapse of corporate eLearning!!!!

    No, not quite there yet - until we have self-repairing machines! So, we need training to the maintenance crew, right? Wrong! These are outsourced!

    OK, these maintenance companies would need training, right? Wrong! They are in developing or under-developed countries and their training/compliance requirement is not as high as us (those in the developed world).

    So, Albert, you are saying that the corporate e-learning industry is doomed?

    No, but yes as it is today.

    It is the third type, you see?

    What's that again? Corporate or Personal Development OK, also known as Organisational Developers.
    Friday, April 01, 2005
    Trainers evolving into Organizational Developers

    Godfrey Parkin has a good description of trainers and Organisational Developers.
    Training focuses on improving the performance of individuals and teams; [Organizational Development] focuses on a bigger picture, improving the performance of systems, structures, and processes, as well as looking at the people. The "as well as" is where the conflicts between OD and training arise, and where the synergies are to be found.

    One interesting observation, reported by Godfrey as well, is the effectiveness of just-in-time informal learning among on the job peers. He wrote,
    people apparently learn four times as much through the informal on-the-job learning than they do through structured formal training. And the best place to leverage local learning is deep in the workflow, not from a central campus.

    Godfrey's post focused on the issues between trainers and organisational developers:
    So why are so many trainers re-labeling themselves as organizational developers? It may be because trainers don’t get taken seriously enough by management. The “trainer” label is a handicap that constrains their perceived effectiveness areas, and deprives them of the ability to credibly voice the need for changes beyond the knowledge and skills of employees. And it puts a barrier in the way of their influencing or driving those changes.

    OD professionals are often horrified when trainers attempt to go beyond their brief. Granted, OD people are highly trained in what they do, and a bumbling amateur can do more harm than good. But experienced trainers often have a much deeper hands-on insight into the issues than anyone gives them credit for. In pursuing OD initiatives, I have always sought to tap into the organizational expertise of trainers, because trainers are the nervous system of an organisation. They see, hear, and feel more than many managers do, and they are exposed to the systemic problems, and opportunities, through the eyes of their learners.

    Another implication is the dilemma to e-learning vendors who are pushing centralised LMS, KM systems or repositories. If trainers are either evolving to organisational developers, or decentralised into independent sub-units supporting the training and learning needs of smaller operational units in an organisation, to whom should these vendors sell their wares?

    From an organisation point of view, do we want to see all trainers gone and become OD?
    Musings during my journey into elearning implementations for the corporates

    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Conversation With My Evil Twin Learning for 2020  Asynchronous Collaborative Learning Activities

    March 2005 / April 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / August 2006 / September 2006 / February 2009 /

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