Enterprise Learning Culture Puts People Before Technology
Your people are at the core of the new enterprise learning ecosystem. They’ve always been the most important part. But as our industry underwent it’s first transition away from the classroom in the ‘90s, we put the technology first and learner second. As I look back on our history it makes sense because we needed to figure out how the technology would integrate into our models/systems of education and training. But over the last 20 years technology has changed so much that the entire model for enterprise training has changed. Supporting the learning process is now more important than the training event.
The enterprise learning ecosystem is not new. But having technology to support and enhance the learning process within it is. Technology has enhanced employees' ability to connect with subject matter experts, create and share learning content, and collaborate with peers in real time from anywhere in the world. And when it comes to formalized training content, employees expect it to be short, exactly what they need, and delivered to them at the right place and the right time. Employees also expect to have access to SMEs, existing content, and groups of like minded professionals. The desire for this is not new, but our ability to have it is.
Corporate training events meant to promote individual learning are no longer made up of a single teacher, presenting some content, to a room full of learners. And while events like this still exist, we now know that employees learn most of what they need to know through alternative means. Some call this informal learning, but let’s just call it the human experience. When you work amongst other people you talk too them. You learn from each other. You collaborate to solve problems. You experiment with new ideas. Its the human experience. And within that human experience there is a lot of learning happening without formal training events.
How Content Has Changed Within The Enterprise Learning Ecosystem
Content has always been king. But in a 21st century enterprise learning ecosystem content must share the throne with people connecting, and collaborating…in real time. That content also needs to discoverable. What good is it if nobody can find it? And more often than not, the right content cannot be found. So who's responsibility is it to create it? It's everyone's responsibility. And it's easier than ever. We’re all capable of creating digital content and the amount of content generated by employees is only going to increase. Employees of the 21st century workplace will create what they can't find.
The Most Comprehensive Enterprise Training Event Solution
Given the technology that exists today, it's critical that training departments make the best use of resources. The traditional model of course creation cannot keep up with the pace of business today. We need alternatives. Thankfully, we have more options available too us than ever. But some of the options have proven themselves to be more impactful than others.
The Recorded Live Online Training Event
The recorded live online training event is one of the best examples of this new ecosystem involving people, content, and groups/collaboration. The event starts as a traditional classroom-style event delivered online. However, the technology gives us the ability to scale up the classroom to many more participants in any location with connectivity. There is content in the form of the presentation files, but also in the form of a recording after the live event occurs.
The digital artifact left behind after a webinar in the form of a recording is valid content. But it was created by recording a live event. Which content is more important? The presentation slide deck, or the recording of the conversation based on that slide deck? That depends on the learner. Both are easily created, searchable, and sharable. So whether one is more useful or not is not for us to decide. It's just as easy to make both available, and allow the learner to choose.
The new training event includes an instructor/SME, pre-planned content, learners interacting and engaging, and a final recording of that experience. A similar "class" event happening 20 years ago would have been completed, and mostly forgotten, at the end of the event. But with the recording, the experience can be re-lived by those who attended it live, or experienced by others who missed it. Search tools and discussion technologies give employees the ability to continue conversations after the event. Maintain relationships or connect more deeply with those employees that shared the original experience.
And as an added bonus for the training department. The recording and continued collaboration offers a valuable opportunity to learn how to make these training events better. You don't need to take the word of an attendee about issues they noted in their survey form. You can now check it against the recording, and quickly connect with other attendees and ask about their experience. And this is all possible through new technologies not meant to push training events, but support the learning process.
When some of the new enterprise technologies used for training are evaluated on their own, training professionals can easily find what is lacking. But when you look at the subtle simplicities of what the new tech offers you begin to see the enterprise business value. The new enterprise ecosystem is filled with technologies supporting the learning process. Training departments and L&D orgs can enhance their impact by addressing existing technologies to scale up learning at the speed of business. Many of these existing technologies like WebEx and Gototraining integrate nicely with your Litmos installation. Integration is the key to scaling up your training department to meet the needs of your enterprise as it grows.