Maybe it’s because I recently completed an eighty page e-Learning Strategy for a client, but this article by my good friend Kevin Moore succinctly spells out the value of creating a learning strategy. Many companies forgo this exercise because they see it as a waste of time and/or money. My experience has shown this saves money and time in the long run — it also saves a lot of grief and headaches. Check it out.
By Kevin Moore
Recently I’ve had the opportunity to work with some very large organizations (large to me = billion or more in revenue and 10 to 20 thousand people) who are wonderfully talented and really smart but fail to have a strategy in place to help them navigate this learning and performance world. Taking time to develop a strategy is one of the most thoughtful, professional, and organizationally responsible things any leader can do for their organization. Simply put, it allows you to make better decisions and align and link your group’s achievements to the rest of the organization. This makes everything you do within your group more effective and efficient, rather than unorganized and uncoordinated. These are not hard to do….really! However, I will recommend using a consultant organization as they can set up and run meetings, interviews, and group data collection activities across organizations that are sometimes limited by politics and positions from folks who are within the organization. Also, I wouldn’t pay for a lengthy engagement but I would hire a group who has done learning strategy analysis, has a methodology, can show you some past successes, and can get in and get out in a limited amount of time. This article is taken from an opening chapter in an eBook that was published by the eLearning Guild earlier this year. I wrote the opening chapter but you should also take a look at some of the other chapters as they are written by some folks who I consider pretty accomplished and credible. You decide….
You can go download the entire book from our website. Look on the left side menu there is a download button. What I’ve taken from the chapter for this article is some of the background information, intent of the strategy, and what it should encompass.
A learning strategy describes the input, output, and measures of the system and should have organizational, departmental, business unit, and individual references. This should be a far reaching document that details how the organization is going to facilitate continuous improvement in its employees. This implies a focus on the development of a learning culture. To achieve this goal, the utility of knowledge must be increased through three key components:
- Capture/creation of data, information and knowledge assets in support of each individual’s performance functions across the organization. Links to knowledge management and document management practices.
- Intelligent storage leveraging useful taxonomies, search, and retrieve capability that better manages and improves access to content.
- Dissemination/access practices, including but not limited to: e-Learning, instructor-led training, documentation, mentoring/coaching, and outside sources.