Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Role of the Learning Function in an Acquisition

This Fast Company article, How to Survive an Acquisition and Live Profitably Ever After, reminded me of an experience I had when a company I worked for bought two fairly large competitors. It was an enormous opportunity for the business, and as the director of learning and development, I wanted to make sure the learning function contributed to the success of the newly acquired people. We thought we could accomplish this by taking the time to socialize these new people into the culture of our organization.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Practical Ways Social Learning Can Enhance Formal Learning

In a recent Chief Learning Officer Magazine article, How to Create a Dynamic Social Learning Space, Julian Stodd makes the point that social learning is not a replacement for formal learning, but a “supplement” to it. In a practical sense, this is true, and the good news is that learning experience (LX) designers do not have to think about how to replace formal learning with informal or social methods. However, LX designers do need to think about how existing formal learning can be augmented by social learning.

Social learning is happening in our organizations already. People talk, ask questions, look up ideas on Google or Twitter. But that type of social learning is entirely led by the individual. LX designers should not venture into the realm of individual-led social learning. People will decide for themselves what they want to learn, and you have nothing to say about it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

On-boarding New Employees with Jam Sessions

It is timely that I found this article in Fast Company about jam sessions because I am planning a new hire on-boarding program for senior managers in which I am designing a jam session called “Product/Client Jam” to educate new managers on our products and client segments. According to the article, a jam session is defined as an experience that is “designed to foster novel insights and accelerated learning,” not to mention they help people make “accidental discoveries.”

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Subject-Matter Experts and Keeping Up with the Demand for Learning

In the quest to run efficient training departments, learning and development professionals wrestle with the conflict between staffing resources and keeping up with the demand for learning services. There are rarely enough resources to support all of the learning projects that most businesses require from the training department. To help solve this problem, learning organizations are moving towards a model in which there is a small core team that is surrounded by the use of outsourcing, learning technologies, and subject-matter experts (SMEs) to design and deliver training.

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