A new study titled “ Learning on the Go: Tips & Trends in M-learning,” reports the worldwide market for mobile learning products and services reached $5.3 billion. The five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is 18.2%, and revenues are set to more than double to $12.2 billion by 2017.

The North America region dominates the mobile learning market at $23.8 billion, 4.4% CAGR. By 2016, it will reach $27.1 billion.  Asia and Western Europe follow at $6.8 billion and $7.1 billion in revenues  for 2013, respectively.

Global Trends

— Copies of the report: http://bit.ly/10isLvV

Published in Trends

The 5th Annual Learning! 100 Award, honoring the top global learning organizations, is now open for nominations. The award program recognizes public- and private-sector organizations for innovation, collaboration and/or learning culture that drives organization performance.

Join past alumni, including Verizon, American Heart Association, 2U and NASCAR to become a Learning! 100 organization. Applications are accepted until Feb. 1,2015. The top 100 will be honored at the 2015 Learning! 100 Awards Dinner & Reception on June 9, 2015 at the Enterprise Learning! Conference in Manassas, Va. Get recognized for your team’s hard work by applying today at: http:// learn100.b2bmediaco.com/award/ form_100.php

Published in Latest News

As organizations move further into the post-PC era, staff are just as likely today to collaborate on content through their own personal smartphone or tablet as they are through the corporate laptop. Recent research conducted by Ipsos MORI found that 73% of office workers in the U.S. (61% in the U.K.) are downloading personal software and apps on enterprise- owned tablets. Meanwhile, 52% of U.S. workers (59% in the U.K.) use personal laptops, tablets and smartphones to store and work on enterprise content.

The Millennials — Gen Y workers in their 20s and early 30s — are the worst offenders, according to the study. For example, some 70% of 25- to 31-year-olds in the U.S. (and 56% in the U.K.) download personal apps and software onto enterprise smartphones.

This burgeoning demand for personal devices and applications is eroding the concept of the corporate network. As mobile working becomes the modus operandi, organizations need to consider how they can stop company data from walking right out the door with their people, and what measures need to be put in place to ensure teams can get their jobs done without compromising security. Providing teams with enterprise-grade apps that support collaboration on the move, as well as being simple to use, will help ensure they don’t start using consumer tools to provide easier ways to access the information they need.

Published in Latest News

The 2014 “State of Workplace Productivity Report” of 2,009 U.S. employees cites the biggest hindrances to productivity in the workplace. Key insights:

>> 68% say they’re overworked, compared to 54 percent in 2013.

>> The No. 1 productivity killer in the workplace is work overload — and 52% say it’s gotten worse in the last year.

>> 65% think a flexible and remote work schedule would increase their productivity. An additional 65% agree that in-person meetings can be completely replaced with the right technology.

>> In-person collaboration is still preferred by 63%, compared to 28% who say online collaboration is preferred and just 10% who say phone or video conferencing is preferred.

>> 80% would be motivated to use company-provided wearable technology that allows employers to track their health and wellness data, and 76% would be willing to allow employers to track job performance and productivity — in exchange for rewards.

— Source: Kelton Research

Published in Latest News

Nearly half of training professionals (48%) say their organization’s sales training content isn’t engaging enough to work, while 25% say the materials created don’t match sales teams’ needs. Perhaps it’s no wonder that only 32% describe their organization’s current sales training programs as “effective.”

In addition to struggling with training content that falls flat and/or is irrelevant, respondents cited other content-related challenges, noting that, on the whole, their organizations find that sales training materials are:

>> Too time-consuming to create – 50%

>> Too hard to create – 24%

>> Too expensive to create – 31%

>> Too hard to update – 32%

>> Obsolete by/before delivery time – 15%

Survey results show that the most prevalent methods for sales training for organizations today are: live classroom (80%), live Web conferencing (65%), on-demand training (67%), video (49%) and social learning (28%).

–Source: Brainshark, Inc.


Published in Latest News

ELC15 will move to June 8-10, 2015 and be hosted at the Hylton Center in Manassas, VA. The event hosts the annual Learning! 100 Award and Innovations in E-learning Symposium with partners from Defense Acquisition University and George Mason University.

The ELC15 Call for Papers is now open and seeks presentations from learning executives on best practices, strategies and technol- ogy at work. Presenters from corporate, government, education and non-profit entities are invited to submit. Submit your paper at: http:// www.2elearning.com/events/ELC2015

Published in Latest News

As Ben Franklin Once Said: ‘Without Continual Growth And Progress, Such Words As Improvement, Achievement And Success Have No Meaning.’

By Candy Osborne

Saying that there aren’t enough people to perform all the jobs in the world isn’t really the reason why organizations have talent gaps. There are more than enough people in the world to get the jobs done. According to McKinsey & Company, within the next five years, the global labor market will face a deficit of nearly 85 million skilled workers. Specifically, that’s a potential shortfall of 38 million to 40 million high-skill workers and 45 million medium-skill workers. The gravity of the gaps suggest that doing what we’ve always done will not suffice. The imbalances aren’t in the human population per se, but the skills to perform the jobs that will be required and having the right people in the right place at the right time. And as research demonstrates, the challenge to learning leaders will be “skilling up” the workforce proactively to meet the demands of the pace of change in the world around them.

 Making Learning And Productivity Ends Meet

 We all know that learning leads to growth, but why does it feel like our learning behaviors take a 180-degree turn after the school years? Think about it; for the first 18 years of life, we attend formal schooling, most likely in a standard classroom-based environment and then onto college, apprenticeships, and/or the military where there is more instruction, reinforcement, and application of what is learned in the classroom.

At some point in our lives, we settle into our first job with that cumulative knowledge and — all of a sudden — the constantness of “learning” has disappeared, the rug pulled out from under us. After attending onboarding, we find ourselves needing to know tangible, impactful skills-related things, like how to create a pivot table, how to problem solve, how to manage a complex project, and how to deal with a stubborn co-worker. A shift in our learning modus operandi has occurred. Instead of participating in mandatory training to fulfill a milestone or requirement, we find ourselves needing to learn skills that are applicable to our day-to-day lives. We may find ourselves with more questions than answers as our needs and understanding progress. At this point, we find the need for self-directed learning, but without constant access to it, our individual progress and that of the organization is hindered.

The answer to getting ahead in business and in life, is to practice continuous growth and progress. Organizations that haven’t established a continuous learning culture also are likely the same ones that have the most to lose — because if they can’t catch up with skills gaps, how will they possibly innovate and out think the competition?

According to a Brandon Hall Group study, more than half of the organizations surveyed “felt that their employees needed to connect with learning resources on a weekly or daily basis to effectively perform their job." Yet there is often a disparity between the opportunities employees have and what they need to perform their jobs and move the needle for their organization.

Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” If Honest Abe knew that it was worth it to take time to sharpen the axe, why do we have such a hard time applying that to today’s world once the formal learning years end? Stephen R. Covey talks about the same concept of “sharpening the saw” as Habit 7 of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. He states that it’s necessary to find balance to avoid burnout and that by taking the time to sharpen the saw, we will find better balance. Imagine the results of an individual, a team, or a workforce that is better balanced. So, how does an organization create a culture of continuous learning ripe for growing individuals and the organization? Perhaps that is best answered by what not to do.

 Relying Solely On Event-Based Learning Is Risky Business

Event-based learning conjures up images of classrooms, whiteboards, instructor-led training (ILT), and workshops. At some point in our professional lives, we have participated in event-based learning. We went to a great class or conference. We got a ton of incredible information. We may have even gotten motivated and charged up about everything we learned. Then, we got back to our job, got sidetracked with day-to-day responsibilities and may have missed opportunities to reinforce what we learned while we were away. And because of that, we forgot. A lot. Think about it; you probably have a stack of business cards, some handouts, and notes from the last event-based learning you attended. But how much have you actually retained since the event?

Industry leaders question whether event- based learning programs are sticking and creating desired behavior changes. Rightly so, it’s quite typical to forget. (See The Forgetting Curve.) According to the Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve, without context, here is what we can expect:


>>  50 percent of what we learn is forgotten in one hour

>>  80 percent of what we learn is forgotten after two days

>>  90 percent of what we learn is forgotten after 31 days

To make matters worse, sometimes it’s just a small group of employees or managers that are selected to attend event-based learning, often away from the office, begging the question: How does the rest of the employee population learn? Unless learning is reinforced, just a mere 10 percent of knowledge will be retained after a month by that small group of employees. Aside from expense reports and empty workstations, what does an organization have to show for that 10 percent? Was it worth it? Are learning leaders seeing desired behavior changes as a result of that training?

Not only can we see a correlation that most of what is learned at an event is lost very quickly, we also see that the investment we made when sending employees away for training events is likely wasted. To make matters worse, event-based learning programs are not scalable. With the rapid need for skill development and transfer to keep up with the pace of change, organizations need learning solutions with enterprise-wide scalability.

Because of these reasons, learning should not be viewed as an independent event; rather, learning should be infused in the day-to-day and available anywhere and everywhere employees need it.

 The Great Potential Of A Continuous Learning Culture

To support a continuous learning culture with optimal learning transference to job performance and business growth, the entire employee population should first have access to succinct, on-demand resources — and the resources must be embedded into daily workflow. This can be achieved across a variety of functions and platforms. Imagine sales representatives with access to miniature courses on key negotiation skills at their fingertips when they log into the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System each day; global project managers with access to videos on cultural customs; and I.T. professionals with access to a secure social learning collaboration site on their corporate intranet.

Further, the learning activities must also be aligned to business objectives. If learning programs aren’t aligned to the needs of the business, it’s akin to training to play baseball but being asked to compete in tennis and expecting to see better results on the tennis court.

The right learning program, one built on the foundation of a continuous learning culture and aligned to business objectives, has great potential to decrease cycle time, reduce costs, and increase sales. Yet many organizations have not unlocked the full potential of their learning programs to demonstrate business impact. According to Aberdeen, only “30 percent of organizations combine talent data with business data to measure the impact on organizational performance.” In order to measure the results, the alignment needs to occur. In The Value of Learning: Gauging the Business Impact of Organizational Learning Programs, the point is very clear: “If learning activities are to positively affect organizational bottom lines, or even achieve high effectiveness, the strategies underlying them must tie to the specific results (outcomes) the organization seeks to achieve.”

Learning leaders who desire to shift away from counting course completions to demonstrating business impact with their learning programs can do so by ensuring a tighter connection with business leaders in the organization. The Corporate Executive Board (CEB) offers advice for those trying to make the shift: “The best organizations are oriented around three opportunities for shifting L&D from simply building capabilities to influencing the business:

>>  “Focus L&D staff on the behaviors and activities that matter most.

>>  “Enable L&D staff to effectively apply those behaviors and execute key activities.

>>  “Utilize day-to-day work to develop critical capabilities."

 From Learning As An Event To Learning As A Lifestyle

Learning is not a one-and-done event. To get ahead in life and on the job, we need to change our mindset to embrace learning weekly, if not daily. Continuous reinforced learning aligned to business objectives will give organizations clear competitive advantage. It’s time we start asking, “Where will we take our organization tomorrow with what we learn today?”

—Sources: McKinsey Global Institute (“The World at Work: Jobs, Pay, and Skills for 3.5 Billion People," report, June, 2012); BHG (“Relationship Centered Learning: An Adaptive Learning Model Industry Perspective," report, February, 2013); Hermann Ebbinghaus (“Memory: Contribution to Experimental Psychology," experimental study, 1885); Aberdeen (“Talent Analytics: Moving Beyond the Hype," research report, April, 2014); ASTD (“The Value of Learning: Gauging the Business Impact of Organiza- tional Learning Programs," research, 2013); CEB (http://www.executiveboard.com/exbd- resources/pdf/human-resources/learning-de- velopment/Improve-the-Impact-of-the-LD- Function-on-Business-Outcomes.pdf)

—The author is the senior marketing manager at Skillsoft 

Published in Top Stories

Sales and marketing alignment has become a hot topic as leaders realize that getting the two groups on the same page yields greater revenue growth, shorter sales cycles and higher customer retention. Many organizations, however, struggle to create sales and marketing synergy that delivers a measureable business impact. They fail to recognize and address one of the key barriers to alignment: a lack of marketing training.

Marketo's "2013 Sales and Marketing Alignment Study" reported that in organizations with one to three days of marketing training annually, 21 percent of MQLs (market qualified leads) close. Increase training to eight to 10 days a year, and that closing percentage jumps to 35 percent. Organizations with more than 10 days of marketing training per year see closure rates of 60 percent of sales qualified leads that had resulted in proposals.

Why does training make such a big difference? One possible explanation: well-trained marketers deliver more effective programs. They're better equipped to create the types of messages, experiences and calls to action that resonate with their audiences. They're also more likely to understand how to track program results and optimize based on past success or failure.

"In the past, sales has had personalized, one-to-one conversations with prospects, while marketers have delivered higher-level messages targeting broader audiences," notes Valerie Witt, MarketingProfs vice president of Professional Development Solutions. "Now, marketers are challenged to deliver more personalized communications that leverage what they know about someone based on their behavior. It's a different approach. There's also greater emphasis on using technology and data to deliver more effective marketing campaigns. Companies that commit to developing their marketers' skills give themselves a competitive advantage."

While investments in sales-centric learning and development are increasing according to the ASTD "2013 State of the Industry" report, marketing training is not keeping pace. In fact, investments in marketing professional development are shrinking as companies attempt to maintain flat budgets while adding in new marketing technologies and tactics.

The recent "CMO Survey" reported that spending on marketing training and developing new marketing capabilities have steadily decreased since August 2012. The survey also found that while companies expect to increase spending on marketing analytics over the next three years, less than half believe they have the right talent to fully leverage analytics.

"Most businesses are asking marketers to think differently and use new tools without preparing them to do that," Witt says. "Until companies invest in learning for marketers the way they invest in leadership, management and sales development, they're unlikely to realize true sales and marketing alignment."

Published in Ideas

A global provider of learning solutions, Tata Interactive Systems (TIS) and KnowledgeAdvisors, a CEB company, signed a teaming agreement recently to co-market products and services in the North American and Indian region. By combining TIS's expertise in design, development, consulting and delivery with KnowledgeAdvisors' extensive learning benchmarks and analytics platform, both entities are uniquely positioned to help organizations optimize the impact of L&D investments on corporate performance. TIS will distribute the KnowledgeAdvisors product "Metrics that Matter" as part of a larger learning analytics solutions to clients in India.

Published in Deals

You're Missing The Boat If It's Not Part Of Your Learning Strategy.

By Linda Galloway

When Andi Campbell joined LAZ Parking in 2010 as director of learning and development, she started with a blank slate. The company had few learning resources and no consistent strategy for grooming new managers — a key business imperative, given the company’s rapid growth and commitment to hiring from within. The company’s 7,500+ parking employees, most of whom work out of 1,900 parking locations across the country, had no way to access learning resources or collaborate with each other. Many did not even have corporate emails, although most had personal cell phones.

In less than two years, Campbell found ways to dramatically strengthen employee engagement, improve manager collaboration and processes, and build a pipeline of high- potentials for new management opportunities capable of sustaining the company’s growth — all with minimal financial investment and staff support.

Campbell, who is now vice president of human resources, cites three key ingredients for success:

1 a business-aligned strategy with buy-in from all senior executive;

2 the implementation of an integrated LMS and social networking platform that was very easy to administer and use, was designed to manage all types of resources, including video, and offered an excellent mobile experience; and

3 a reliance on content curation to build out the company’s learning resources and provide a dynamic learning experience for all employees.

Campbell’s team regularly seeks out podcasts, TED Talks, YouTube videos, and other web-curated content to add to the LAZ U Learning Center and to share on the company’s two social networks: LAZ Na- tion Tribe, open to all LAZ employees, and LAZ Parking Manager Tribe, for current managers and executives and those involved in management development. These resources are complemented with inter- nally-created learning objects on topics such as leadership development, business processes and acumen and professional development; monthly virtual, instructor-led classes on a variety of actionable topics, most of which are conducted by company executives and managers; and select purchased courses (on Microsoft Office training, for example).

Campbell is one of many executives recognizing the valuable role of content curation for learning and development and for fostering employee engagement. When content curation is incorporated into a learning strategy, learning organizations save time and dollars, better keep pace with ever-evolving learning needs and business change, offer more relevant, personalized experiences for diverse employee audiences — and gain some much-needed street cred as business and topic experts.

In general, content curation is the process of collecting, organizing and sharing information relevant to a particular topic, an area of interest and a specific audience. In his book “Curation Nation," Steve Rosenbaum talks about a three-legged stool for effective content curation: gathering links and articles from the Web, which are then filtered for relevance and quality; inviting others to share their own content; and supplementing curated content with your own content.

Curated content can be used as resources affiliated with a formal learning program; for discussions and assignments in a coaching program; to keep employees and peers up to date on relevant business events; to capitalize on internal subject matter expertise; for sharing winning best practices. And that’s just for starters.

While we all curate content to some extent (sharing that New York Times article on Facebook or Twitter counts), professional content curation requires a range of learned skills spanning online research, analytics, technology, informa- tion organization and communication. Curators must have a solid understanding of the topics involved in research, so they can discern relevance and quality and can add meaning-ful context to curated resources. Curators should also have an understanding of the law, ethics and business best prac- tices for content sharing. And, because part of the job should involve encouraging content sharing and commenting from others, curators need to understand the human dynamics involved in information sharing and collaboration.

Following are several basic considerations to keep in mind as you begin to formalize the role of content curator and incorporate shared content into your learning strategy:

>>  Always add context to shared content. Don’t throw out a bunch of article links, podcasts, or Power- Points and expect employees to automatically relate the information to their jobs or the business.

>>  Vary the content you share in terms of content type, source, length and perspective. It’s also a good idea to mix up evergreen content — that which doesn’t go quickly out of date — with news-based content, which typically has a relatively short shelf life. Be sure to include in your content mix internally created content and imagery. By varying content, you’ll establish yourself as someone who has a pulse on the business or particular topics — and you’ll keep your audiences interested.

>>  Filter content for quality and relevance. This is hugely important and one of the primary values of effective content curation. By demon- strating that you know your audience’s needs and interests, you’re saving everyone the time of doing their own wide Web searches, asking around for that sales deck everyone has been talking about, or digging through manuals to find an answer to a customer’s technical question. By focusing on quality content, you’re also establishing yourself as an informed authority. 

>>  Take advantage of content discovery, aggregation and filtering tools. Many free or inexpensive tools can help you find, filter and even organize content finds. Google, Feedly, Newsly, Scoop.it and IFTTT are just a few ex- amples. The right combination of tools depends on your goals and needs. Some tools even automate the sharing of content. It may take you a couple of hours to evaluate the offerings and do the re- quired set up, but you’ll save hours and find content you’d likely never discover on your own.

>>  Make sure your enterprise technology facilitates all aspects of content sharing. Ideally, your LMS and social learning platform make it easy to upload any kind of content — including videos — and don’t restrict who can share. (If upload and sharing rights are avail- able only to administrators, you’ll not be successful in creating a sharing culture.) Additionally, your solutions should make it easy for us- ers to find and filter shared content of all types.

>>  Make it mobile. As you’re planning your content curation and sharing strategy, be sure you include a way to offer an optimized mobile experience for your users. And you yourself will want to have the ability to share newly discovered content from anywhere, at anytime.

This article merely scratches the surface of what is sure to be a very important role for learning organizations in the coming years. Don’t miss the boat. Make content curation — including the development of a content cu- ration strategy and the identification of individuals responsible for managing and performing content curation. — a priority for your organization.

—The author is president of insidHR Communications, a consultancy focused on the corporate learning and HR markets.

Published in Ideas
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