Sometimes e-Learning leaders and professionals act out the "pigeon dance." Pigeons keep on doing what they do because it worked in the past. They are slow to adapt to new ways or finding them. E-Learning leaders and professionals can break the habit by focusing on what executives look for in e-Learning.
Why do top executives make e-Learning Systems a business strategy? I have worked with CEOs and top level executives in training, human resources, sales and marketing and operations. I observed this trend. An e-Learning system becomes a key business strategy when it is vital to growth, market share and change in the fundamentals of the business.
E-Learning leaders and professionals need to find these opportunities and make them priority areas for e-learning contributions.
Growth is at risk – For many reasons the company faces a risk in slow business growth because they are not able to hire and train people fast enough; they can not find well-trained people within the organization; they can not identify high-talent and promote managers to open new stores and operations.
Case in point: A large financial services company had to expand their e-Learning system and LMS to allow it to track high-potential staff to join fast-track management development programs. Hiring externally would cost them $125,000 per manager. Hiring internally drastically reduced the costs and improved morale.
Urgency to capture and protect market share – Executives want to be the first to corner a marketplace or ensure that the entry and/or the exit from that marketplace are high. They want to be the first to provide add-on services and usually, training the staff of clients solidifies the dominance in the marketplace.
Case in point: A large paper production company provides its customers training on all the logistics and profit-making ideas on using their paper products. Topics include: cutting waste, storage, showing clients’ customers solutions, safety, etc. Because of this training, clients experience higher sales and superior support and are less inclined to use the competitors’ products.
Game-changing technologies and business models – Executives realize that unless they change the nature of how they do business, they may not survive long enough. The business is under assault with the demand to cut costs and shorten the time to deliver products or services.
Case in point: A large retail company selling over 5,000 products with over 2,000 stores and with low-end product price points. Training was largely on a long, inconsistent buddy system, taking employees away from valuable selling time. Solution: they acquired PDAs or handheld devices that present short training on products in audio, image and text when the employee scans the product. This is training as needed. Furthermore, they are experimenting on providing customers the PDAs so the latter can learn (train themselves) more about the product.
There are many other reasons, but the ones mentioned above often make executives look at e-Learning systems and find out that e-Learning is a good business strategy. E-Learning Systems can impact costs, competitiveness and growth.
Ray Jimenez, PhD www.vignettestraining.com
"Helping Learners Learn Their Way"