Trends that will shape e-learning in 2010
The coming year will bring dramatic changes to
corporate learning. Here are the biggest trends to
consider as you make learning resolutions.
Formalize informal learning.
programs must incorporate elements of social learning,
embedded learning, on-demand learning, coaching and
Formalizing informal learning is an imperative for
all training organizations in 2010. Doing so will likely
touch many aspects of the organization and could
require you to revamp the instructional design process,
retrain and reallocate staffers, re-evaluate the role of off-the-
shelf content, reallocate budget dollars and more.
Embrace social learning.
Social learning is one
of many elements of informal learning but deserves
special focus because of its pervasiveness in our
culture. With so many employees now accustomed
to using Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs and
wikis, many organizations are leveraging these and
similar tools. These include The Federal Reserve
Bank of Cleveland, BT, Sun, Microsoft, Accenture,
Qualcomm and Cisco.
To get started, organizations must first embrace
“we-learning” and its collaborative philosophy. Accept
that some of the best knowledge resources are found
within the company; employees often learn best from
peers and credible subject-matter experts; and powerful
learning can transpire when people collaborate.
Communities of practice, wikis, blogs, discussion
groups and expert directories are just a few of the
ways to help employees solve problems faster while
bringing new efficiencies to learning. While many
of these tools are already standard for IT and other
types of technical training, consider them for all
other types of training, including managerial, leadership
Focus on deep specialization.
The recession has
forced us to cut back on many training and infrastructure
investments. As a result, focus is on the programs
that drive greatest business value.
Unexpectedly, some organizations are finding an
upside to budget cuts. Doing less means they can
focus on building deeper levels of expertise in their
audiences. Businesses that have done well over the
last year have focused on core competencies, such
as product design, engineering, consulting, research,
sales and marketing. CLOs have the opportunity in 2010 to re-engineer programs for even greater levels
A case in point is the worldwide on-boarding
program for wind engineers and support professionals
at Vestas Wind Systems. As one of the world’s fastest
growing energy companies, Vestas needs to hire
thousands of professionals worldwide. Its products
are highly engineered (consider the fact that a wind
turbine blade the length of a football field can only
have a few millimeters of variance). The company has
invested millions of dollars in a global on-boarding
program that teaches new hires about all the important
elements of wind energy and power distribution. Vestas
will continue to be successful in 2010, in part because
of its attention to specialization. IBM, Accenture and
Boeing are among organizations with similar stories.
principal and founder of Bersin & Associates