Okay, Okay, I have been a bad blogger. I didn't even bother to answer the April Learning Circuits Big Question because I think it is obvious I need to get better at fitting blogging into my hectic schedule. I am setting up some time on certain days to research, think about, and write for my blog. I promise to do better.
Speaking of being busy, I was at the Skillsoft Perspectives 2008 conference last week which is basically a user group for Skillsoft products. There were about 500 attendees from large and small companies, non-profits, and government entitites from the U.S. and abroad. There was a pretty large contingent from Australia and besides presenting on some interesting programs they have developed, they were a fun group to party with (not that I would do anything like that!). I decided to pull out the themes and messages that were echoed among the keynote speakers, customer presentations, and general conversations among peers. They are not new or earth-shattering, but they definitely popped up everywhere I went.
- Learning needs to be aligned in the talent and HR areas because the only way to attract and retain good employees is to ensure ample learning opportunities from the start. For example, an Aberdeen Group study shows that companies that align Learning, HR, marketing, and Lines of Business are more profitable and successful. (Hey, I am in the Talent Acquisition and Development area - woohoo!)
- The only way to retain good talent is to provide opportunities to learn and move into different positions. The corporate ladder is being replaced by a web of opportunities; and this isn’t just for Gen-Y, either.
- Training/Learning is a process, not an event. This referred to orientation, leadership development, and training in general. This was often referred to when programs involved many types of offerings from Web-based, to traditional classroom, to reference books, and more. And most programs I saw involved many delivery types.
- Give learners nuggets. Everyone was referring to giving learners nuggets, that is, little bits of information when they need it. They did this by offering books online as reference material, encouraging learners to access parts of courses when needed, etc.
- Most people are not tracking course completions for non-compliance courses or if they are, they are doing it begrudgingly. They want to encourage learners to use the courses as reference materials (see "give learners nuggets") so they aren’t as concerned whether someone takes the entire course, how long they spent in it, or if they passed a quiz.