Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Executive insight into the new blend of learning

What is the New Blend of Learning?
- Lots of questions, lots of tools
- Extreme diversity

This is a session where CEOs, executives share what's important to them, how do they choose their learning avenues. Interesting. Cost and money saving came up three times in the first 5 minutes of the conversation. Obviously, one of their major problems is that the learning environment is changing so rapidly, but their roles in the corporations are stagnant and slow to change. First line item to be cut in the organization's budget: training budget. One has to provide extreme value in order to be comelling to an organization. I know these are not new things, and we know them, it is interesting to hear from these people personnally, though.

The change in technology is what everyone thinks is shaping the transition to the new blend of learning. The power of the network is amazing. What do we do with the significant percentage of employees that are reluctant to make the change, though? The message is strong on this point: they have to change or there is not life left...

Efficiency is what matters to all of these folks. Better, faster, no paper, interesting, compelling. There is a strong need for STRUCTURE in the instructional design, though. Too many are offering "cool" tools, that are overwhelming. Not everyone is there yet. What we can do, though, is set the structure and be ready when the demand is there.

The problem that they all see is that the new, young learners think they know what they need to know and that does not necessarily match with what the employers think they need to know. It's interesting that the entire pannel is formed by baby boomers and it is not surprising that they agree that they know what the young learners need to learn. They are open, however, to teaching them by using different methods then the PowerPoint. Thank you! It's a tough world out there!

Cool comment: " I think we are all trying very hard to place the learners in boxes and describe their needs and wants". The ultimate effort and, I believe it what brings the most value, is to figure put what the learner's motivation is and cater to it.
One of the Pharma companies CEO's response: "Make the training mandatory. That's the only way you motivate people". Hmmmm..... I wonder if he's Romanian?

"Focus on competition" works but only in US. Europe and Asia don't go for that.

Are evaluations of learning important? ABSOLUTELY. Nobody does it, though. These are our clients talking here: they want to receive training incorporating the pre and post training assessments. Communications programs to drive the importance of learning evaluations and behavior observations are very much needed. People are willing to pay for this.


  1. lol...sounds like we need to educate the CEOs.

  2. I hear you. There were actually people that went up and talked to these guys and said: "we have been trying to sell the assessments and did not have much luck". Their response was a very emphatic " oh, all that is changing now". :-)

  3. We need to figure out a way to help our clients see the future and let us help them prepare for shit like this. It is our clients who stand in front of these kinds of resistors and have to answer these inane questions. If they do not differentiate themselves and continue to fail to innovate forward, they will find themselves out of a job soon.

  4. I'm with Tina on this. They said this was all changeing 15-20 years ago when I got into the learning arena... They are not willing to put out the money to make it real, because it does take a lot of money, resources, and time.