Rewiring Corporate Learning

First Understand Where You Need to Go.

This series of short think pieces focusses on rewiring corporate learning. But we should start by asking why?

Not simply for the sake of learning, not to amuse the learning staff or give them new challenges, but for something more fundamental and substantial: keeping up with the way work is changing. McKinsey published a list of the ten massive technological changes that would transform business during the next five years and at least five of these have a direct impact on the learning operation. In no particular order they are:

 

1. Distributed co-creation moves into the mainstream 

2. Making the network the organisation
 
3.Collaboration at scale
 
4.Experimentation and big data
 
5. Innovating from the bottom of the pyramid
 
Let me add a sixth:  work is learning and learning is work.

 

What are these saying in general terms:  quite simply that there is nowhere to hide in twenty-first century organisations.  The days of isolation, non-communication and internal baronies are coming under pressure. Learning outside the workflow is ineffective learning. Also, clear dividing lines between what you define as core staff, and whom you define as suppliers or customers or indeed contract staff are now dead in most places and dying in others. If you develop one group with out the other groups you make less impact and deliver fewer performance gains. How about corporate learning? What does it do in response?

If anyone is naive enough to believe that the learning team can continue to operate in the mode of the last century, unencumbered by the swirls of change sweeping through the rest of the organisation, then think again.

If you want an agenda then address those six ideas and work out how you will respond in the context of your employer.  What are they doing, how can you you step upto the mark?  If they are doing little about this, then your task is to image the future by taking the lead.
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