Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Sometimes I wish Tony Soprano is working for me - The Politics: Culture change and implementation in e-Learning

Have you noticed that, whether we observe and admit it or not, e-Learning is not free from the politics of project implementation in organizations? Sometimes, I get so frustrated with internal politics that I wish Tony Soprano were working for me.

Don't get lulled into feeling that e-Learning will be accepted just because it is "cool" or a novel way of learning. Someone can torpedo your e-Learning projects and bring them to a halt.

To be forewarned is to be forearmed. What do you do? Consider these ideas.
  1. When implementing an e-Learning program, commonly known as LMS (Learning Management System), identify your sponsors, champions, and leaders who are recipients of the programs.
  2. Educate them about the business impacts, benefits, and potential challenges of the e-Learning program.
  3. Using an OD (Organizational Development) term, you need to provide theappropriate "unfreezing process". Most of your sponsors are frozen in time with old practices and hang-ups. Invest in time and effort to make them current. For example: One time I needed to convert a video about a CEO to enable it to be shown in an iPod and show how the iPod works!
  4. In most cases, organizations learn and apply changes incrementally. If it is appropriate for you, introduce small e-Learning programs. Pick those topics that the business is really "hurting" about.
  5. Metaphorically, there is no harm at all that you identify a Tony Soprano (the command and control leaders or "I'll break your leg or I will fire you" leaders) in your organization. In fact, more than we want to accept, having a muscle supporting your e-Learning works!

Ray Jimenez, PhD
"Helping Learners Learn Their Way"

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