Improving employee engagement (65%), personalizing learning and improving leadership skills (56%) are the top drivers for investing in learning today, reports the “2015 E-learning User Study” conducted by Elearning! magazine. The study queried 436 learning leaders across public and private sectors, 62% of whom held management titles.

Leadership development is a perennial driver. However, personalization of learning and improving engagement jumped to the top of the list in 2014. In 2013, personalization was only 4% of the respondents; it’s now the second-most-important objective. Why the shift? Wayne McCulloch, senior vice president of Salesforce, attributes it to personalization due to available technologies. Personalization was not conceivable in 2011, but with digital content, evolving learning ecosystems and data analytics, this is a reality for leading enterprises.

Learning leaders are leveraging various learning solutions to achieve these business objectives.

>> 86% are focusing on enterprise-wide learning; 61% across multiple locations and 30% multi-nationally.

>> 43% use virtual learning; 22% plan to purchase solutions within the next 12 months

>> 36% use social networking, 15% plan to purchase

>> 32% use mobile learning; 28% plan to purchase

>> 21% use MOOCs; 9% plan to purchase

>> 16% use gamification; 21% plan to purchase

>> 12% personalize learning; 14% plan to purchase

— Source: 2015 E-learning User Study at 2elearning.com

Infographic available here:  http://www.2elearning.com/images/topbusinessdrivers.png

Published in Top Stories

 

Marshall E-Learning, an equality and diversity specialist consultancy, has launched a tool to help businesses and their employees to better understand unconscious bias in the workplace.

Developed in partnership with the Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion, the free tool enables managers to ask staff to reflect on their own biases and help businesses achieve a clear understanding of how best to manage their employee’s personal biases professionally, which is imperative for creating discrimination-free, fair, inclusive and commercially competitive organizations.

A trial of the tool is available, giving businesses a taster of the training with up to 10 of their own team. The taster helps employers to assess the business case for investing in unconscious bias training for their whole organization, from the boardroom to front line staff.

—More info: www.marshallelearning.com/unconscious-bias-tool

 

Published in New Products

 

This year’s Online Learning Consortium (OLC) Fellows are:

>> Elizabeth Ciabocchi, St. John’s University, for exemplary service to the OLC and exceptional leadership in blended and online learning administration and leadership development in private higher education institutions.

>> Charles Grahm, Brigham Young University, for outstanding achievement in advancing theory, research and effective practice in online and blended learning.

>> Kathleen Ives, OLC, for her leadership in developing the OLC Institute and the transition from the foundation-supported Sloan Consortium to the Online Learning Consortium, a fully, self-sustaining member-supported, professional association.

>> Jack Wilson, University of Massachusetts, for his visionary leadership in online education as a professor, CEO of UMass Online and President of the University of Massachusetts and nationally recognized advocacy.

The four new Fellows join 38 individuals who have been recognized as Fellows since 2010.

The 2015 Special Board Awardee is Dian Stoskoph, for leadership and conceptualization of eArmyU with follow-up and collaboration with OLC to form a Council for Academic Management (CAM).

—More info: http://onlinelearningconsortium.org/fellows_program

 

Published in Latest News

 

Collaboration apparently is king for all staff when it comes to learning, according to new research that originates in the U.K.

Ninety-one percent of respondents say that team collaboration is either essential or very useful for learning what they need for their job. That number rises to 96 percent for those who have been in the company for less than six months, but drops to 84 percent for those in sales roles.

Additionally, 80 percent of staff are willing to share what they know with their peers. This rises to 96 percent for those new to their role and drops slightly for those over the age of 50, to 70 percent. However, when it comes to sharing online, 15 percent of managers and sales staff and 26 percent of new starters say they’d like help in getting started.

The study also shows that formal learning still has an important role to play in helping staff do their jobs better. While the classroom is not dead, neither is online learning, with 50 percent of the respondents rating e-learning courses, mobile learning and live online learning as “essential or very useful” to help them learn what they need to do their job. In fact, 75 percent are motivated to learn online because they want to do their job faster and better, with half looking for a promotion, or just to learn for personal development.

Other quick facts from “The Learner Voice Part 2” report:
>> While three in five struggle to find the time to learn on line, two in five can’t find what they need or think that current offerings are not relevant to their need.
>> Line managers and new starters are most likely people to learn online when travelling to and from work (56 percent and 59 percent, respectively).
>> Sales people are most likely to learn at the point of need (49 percent).
>> This sample shows few significant generational differences with older and younger both showing similar rankings when rating the usefulness of online, face to face and collaborative practices for learning
>> Older staff are twice as likely to find poor technology a barrier to learning online that their younger peers in the same sample (29 percent vs. 16 percent). Younger people are 50 percent more likely to struggle with not finding what they need (45 percent vs. 29 percent).
>> Younger staff members are twice as likely to want to learn online for personal benefits than older staff/
>> Eighty-one percent of all staff say that manager support is essential/very useful for learning what they need for their job, but
>> Only 58 percent agree their manager makes time for them to learn at work,
>> Only 33 percent agree that objectives are discussed with managers prior to learning, and
>> Only 49 percent agree their managers expect them to apply learning after a course.
>> Understanding how staff learn what they need to do their job is a core characteristic of top learning organizations, however only 36 percent of L&D professionals do this.

—Download the full report: www.towardsmaturity.org/learnervoice2

 

Published in Top Stories

Transparency and engagement are two key trends that switch the focus of human resources departments from processes to people.

Other key observations about the evolving HR function in companies, from a new whitepaper:

>> A time and attendance system is uniquely qualified to promote both transparency and engagement in an organization. Unlike other systems which focus on a user group — like customer relationship databases for sales — nearly every employee in an organization uses a time and attendance system. With this powerful tool sitting at the heart of an organization, it can shift the focus from processes to people.

>> A people-focused time and attendance system can encourage open communication and active engagement with confidential communication, automatic benefit accrual, mobile access, and personal information management. These attributes help employees experience how much an organization values their time, engagement and satisfaction.

The whitepaper is titled “HR Tech Trend: People-Focused Time and Attendance.”

—Download the paper: www.attendanceondemand.com/resources/whitepapers/hrtech-peoplefocus.html

Published in Latest News

Hybrid Event Attracts Nearly 2000 Attendees

The learning industry came together at Enterprise Learning! Conference hybrid event with the three-day live event held in Manassas, VA June 8-10, and the two-day virtual held July 16-17. Eighteen hundred and ninety-seven learning professionals registered for the hybrid events to learn, network and share best practices from corporate, government, and higher education leaders.

ELC15 Hybrid conference theme of "Building Smarter Organizations" provided attendees four distinct learning tracks that included:
• Learning Environments for the Next Generation
• Smart Connected Things in Learning
• Learning Analytics & Performance in the Big Data Age
• The Learning! 100 Best Practices

"The way we conduct business and train our employees in today's world is different than any other era and the popularity of having the option to attend an on-site or virtual, from-your-desktop learning event was reflected in the robust attendance for both events," reported Catherine Upton, Group Publisher & Event Producer.

The July online event featured 6 live sessions and video broadcasts of the most popular onsite sessions. A fully live Q&A opportunity was made available to all virtual attendees during the Keynote address by Wayne
McCulloch as well as the Learning CEO Panel featuring Todd Tauber from Degreed and Malcolm Lotzof from INXPO. These live sessions included:

• Keynote: Transformation of Learning Systems – presented by Wayne McCulloch, Salesforce
• Learning CEOs Power Panel: Trends in Tech & Practices – presented by Todd Tauber, Degreed & Malcolm Lotzof, INXPO
• Agile Talent Development Strategies – presented by Davina Collins & Ryan Rose, CISCO
• Managing Your Video Assets Enterprise Wide – presented by Jeff Fissell, KZO Innovations
• 7 Tips for Creating Great Video Learning – presented by Emma King & Emma Meyer, INXPO
• Creating Engaging Virtual Learning Experiences – presented by Emma King, INXPO

Other highlights from the on-site event which were recorded and featured in the virtual event included two cutting-edge keynote addresses from: Dr. Jennifer Golbeck - Director of Human-Computer Interaction Lab, University of Maryland shocked the attendees with Analyzing the Social Web Implications for You, Your Career & Your Organization revealing how much of our personal data is out there without us even knowing! And, finally a riveting presentation by Col. Ronald Dodge- CIO & Associate Professor, West Point Military Academy. He discussed Next Generation Learning Environments and Cybersecurity and disclosed that the greatest threat to your company's Cybersecurity is the users!

The conference programming was designed by our partners, George Mason University, Defense Acquisition University and Elearning! Media Group. Over 50 sessions were hosted onsite and 20 sessions are available at ELC Online. Those that missed the event can still view this valued content, Q&A and chats on ELC Online platform. The ELC Online content can be accessed on-demand through October 16. To register and view the on-demand content, click here.

Learning! 100 Awards
The highlight at ELC15 is always the Learning! 100 Award ceremony and conference sessions. Celebrating 5 years, the Learning! 100 are comprised of 60 corporate enterprises and 40 public sector organizations. The top winner in the corporate enterprise category is Salesforce (www.salesforce.com) and the public sector winner is Defense Acquisition University (www.dau.mil). Both were honored at the 2015 awards dinner and reception on June 9th at the Hylton Center, Manassas, VA.

ELC15 hosted twenty Learning! 100 winners who share their best practices and strategies. Topics range from:

- Building the 2020 Workforce by AT&T and IBM
- Learning Culture at American Heart Association and Advance Auto Parts
- Sales Enablement at ADI- Honeywell and Allied Barton
- Next Generation Learning Systems at Waddell & Reed & US Navy,
- Talent Strategies at Leumi Bank of Israel, Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate & Cisco
- Going Global at McDonald's Corporation.
- And others including GMU, DAU, Choice Logistics, FCC, DHS, DISA

"The Learning! 100 recognizes the top 100 global learning organizations for high performance. These organizations are innovative, collaborative and have a truly immersive learning culture," reports Upton.  "Organizations from 2 to 1.6 million employees are honored this year, and shows size does not matter when it comes to making a difference in the learning field."

About Enterprise Learning! Conference 
Enterprise Learning! Conference 2015 (ELC15) hosts the exclusive Learning & Workplace Technology Conference for corporate, government and higher education executives. ELC15 also hosts the Innovations in E-learning Symposium, in partnership with the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) and George Mason University (GMU). At ELC15, attendees learned from learning technology academia, share best practices from the top corporate university — Defense Acquisition University — and networked with the top global learning organizations, the 2015 Learning! 100. Altogether, ELC15 provided executives a collegial environment to network, share and learn from leaders across government, education and corporate enterprise.

Enterprise Learning! Conference 2015 Partners

About Defense Acquisition University
Defense Acquisition University is an award winning corporate university for the 150,000 members of the Defense Acquisition Workforce. DAU uses classroom and Web-based training and certification programs to keep all acquisition workforce members abreast with the latest trends, developments, resources, and information available for the acquisition community. While DAU faculty use a variety of proven teaching techniques to impart information to students, including both lecture and case-based curriculum, they are also on the forefront of innovative teaching techniques such as flipped classroom and distance-learning via Telepresence suites to reach remotely located workforce members while maintaining a low per-student cost. DAU faculty not only provide the certification training that qualified acquisition professionals need now, but continuously develop the body of acquisition knowledge to meet future learning requirements. Learn more at: www.dau.mil

About George Mason University
George Mason University is Virginia's largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls more than 33,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity, and commitment to accessibility. Mason is setting the gold standard for the modern, public university. Its dynamic culture and innovative academic programs prepare Mason's hard-working students for 21st century careers. Its commitment to teaching excellence combines with cutting-edge research that enriches the academic experience and is literally changing the world. Mason is also one of the best values in higher education, producing graduates who lead all Virginia schools with the highest annual salaries. Learn more at: www.gmu.edu

About Elearning! Media Group
Elearning! Media Group is owned by B2B Media Group LLC. Elearning! Media Group consists of eleven media products including: Elearning! Magazine, Government Elearning! E-Magazine, e-mail newsletters, Alerts, Websites, Web seminars, the Enterprise Learning! Summit and Enterprise Learning! Conference. Elearning! Media Group serves the $220 billion learning & workplace technology market. Suppliers and practitioners can follow us: online at www.2elearning.com ; on Twitter: 2elearning or #ELSummit; via Facebook: Elearning!-Magazine or LinkedIn: Elearning! Magazine Network or Elearning! Summit.

 

Published in Latest News

Great e-learning motivates learners and provides a great employee learning experience. Great e-learning means writing great content. How do you make a great e-learning course? Here, I would like to share six tips.

>> Making Raw Content into Good E-learning Content
Reading through the raw content and writing the content in a simple and easy-to-understand way is the first step. Flow of the content is very important and provides information in consecutive steps; otherwise, learners will get distracted and may not focus on the course.
>> Writing Better Learning Objectives
Writing good learning objectives gives clarity about the purpose of the course and instills learner confidence. Learning objectives need to be clearly defined, specific and measurable. Learners need to know what they get after completing the course.
>> Presenting E-learning Content
Present the content so that learners can easily understand what is being shared. Chunk the content into smaller parts, and keep each screen to a minimum duration. Giving lengthy information in one screen and long duration of slides are boring. Ensure consistency of presentation patterns throughout the course.
>> Making It Interactive
Involve learners in the course by making them participate in an activity. Add interactive elements like click-on tabs, slide shows, gaming interactivities and internal assessments such as FAQs. With these elements, we can make courses interesting and prevent learner humdrum.
>> Summarizing
At the end of the course, summarize the key points that have been shared. This provides information about key takeaways in a nutshell. This also enables learners to recall and re-visit the information.
>> Final Assessment
It is a good practice to end the course with a summative assessment. This tests the extent to which a learner has mastered the topics covered in the course. Prepare the questions such that they test your learners on content that has been shared during the course. In other words, the questions should be based only on the course's content. This helps learners re-visit the portions that they have not answered or found difficult to answer.
Good e-learning courses go a long way toward engaging your learners and meeting your learning needs effectively. By using these tips, you can develop top-notch online courses that captivate your learners and deliver first-rate training.

The author, Mahammad Shafi, is a project manager at CommLab India, an e-learning design and development company. He is responsible for managing multiple e-learning projects for Fortune 500 clients and responsible for meeting timelines with good quality. More info: www.commlabindia.com

Published in Top Stories

In today's volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world, employees are looking for organizations that honor people, planet and profits, and leaders are looking for organizational frameworks that increase engagement, productivity and performance. The place where these groups intersect is evolving as a new landscape for how businesses of the future may operate and succeed. In this conversation, we speak with Michelle Maldonado, Associate Vice President of Corporate and Strategic Relationships for American Public University and the Co-Founder and Chair of the Northern Virginia Conscious Business Alliance, about the fundamental principles of Conscious Capitalism® and how they are shaping the modern workplace and the next generation of leaders, culture and community.

Q: What is Conscious Capitalism®?

Michelle: John Mackey, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Whole Foods Market nicely captures the essence and framework of Conscious Capitalism by describing it as "a more complex form of capitalism that reflects and leverages the interdependent nature of life and all of the stakeholders in a business."

Q: What are the four principles of Conscious Capitalism, and what are some high performing organizations putting them into practice?

Michelle: There are four key principles of Conscious Capitalism that present a guiding framework for operating a healthy and sustainably successful organization. Today, numerous organizations are embracing Conscious Capitalism in some form – many of which we are familiar with. I'll share some of these with each of the principles below.

1. Higher Purpose
The first principle, Higher Purpose, ensures that your business reason goes beyond the singular purpose of profit. Ed Freeman, University of Virginia professor and originator of the Stakeholder Management Theory offers this helpful analogy: "We need red blood cells to live (the same way a business needs profits to live), but the purpose of life is more than to make red blood cells (the same way the purpose of business is more than simply to generate profits)." So, within the context of Conscious Capitalism, conscious businesses operate both for purpose and for profit. For examples of organizations that do this well, we can look to several industries, such as retail, hi-tech, Internet, and biotech including companies like Google and Genentech. There are also companies in traditional blue-collar sectors, like manufacturing, that successfully embody this first principle including Barry-Wehmiller (a global supplier of manufacturing technology) and Pantheon Enterprises (a green manufacturer of industrial chemicals), whose mission is to transform the industrial chemical industry by removing toxic chemicals from the environment. Pantheon Enterprises is known for its tagline "Conscious Chemistry."

2. Stakeholder Orientation
The second principle of Conscious Capitalism is Stakeholder Orientation. In contrast to organizations that operate solely to maximize a return on investment for their shareholders, conscious businesses focus on their whole business ecosystem. They create value for all of their stakeholders, understanding that engaged stakeholders lead to a sustainable business. To help understand the interconnectedness of an organization's stakeholder community, Rajendra Sisodia, co-author of the books Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business, and Firms of Endearment: How World-Class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose (Second Edition), explains its composition of stakeholders using the acronym, S.P.I.C.E., which stands for:

Society,
Partners,
Investors,
Customers,
Employees.

Businesses that align the interests of all stakeholder communities recognize that, without employees, customers, suppliers, investors, communities and a life-sustaining ecosystem, there is no business. This framework offers a "win-win-win" proposition where the natural outcome is a healthy return to shareholders. Organizations that are known for doing a stellar job with stakeholder alignment include The Container Store, Costco, and Whole Foods Market.

3. Conscious Leadership
Conscious Capitalism, Inc. describes a Conscious Leader as someone who, "understands that their role is to serve the purpose of the organization, to support the people within the organization and to create value for the all of the organization's stakeholders. They recognize the integral role of culture and purposefully cultivate a Conscious Culture of trust and care."

Conscious Leaders are inspired within and are also able to motivate and influence others in a way that creates value and, ultimately, profit. In a recent white paper by Dr. Barrett Brown entitled, The Future of Leadership for Conscious Capitalism, Dr. Brown keenly observes that "there are already leaders who have achieved a level of development beyond the glass ceiling. Approximately five percent of leaders in the West operate with the mental and emotional capacity needed to manage complex, systemic change and reliably generate organizational transformation. They are at the leading edge of human development and represent the future of leadership . . . ."

Dr. Brown further acknowledges that Conscious Leaders understand that today's leadership development is dependent upon a combination of vertical and horizontal learning. Vertical learning includes mindsets based on deep connection, courageous action, vision, outlook and self-transformation. In contrast, horizontal learning is based on development of competencies and functional expertise. Both are necessary to be efficient and effective. Several modern day examples of Conscious Leaders include Meg Whitman (CEO of Hewlett-Packard), Tom Gardner (CEO of The Motley Fool), Tip Kindell (CEO of The Container Store), Anne-Marie Slaughter (CEO, New America Foundation), and Jeff Weiner (CEO of LinkedIn).

4. Conscious Culture
To reference Rajendra Sisodia's work once again, we are provided another helpful acronym to describe the fourth principle, Conscious Cultures. These are organizational cultures that possess the following T.A.C.T.I.L.E. characteristics:

Trust,
Authenticity,
Caring,
Transparency,
Integrity,
Learning,
Empowerment.

Conscious Capitalism, Inc. describes this kind of culture as one that "fosters love and care and builds trust between a company's team members and its stakeholders." When done correctly, the culture becomes the force that unifies the leaders' and stakeholders' communities as the living representation of the organization's higher purpose. Sample organizations include Zappos, Southwest Airlines, Luck Companies and Trader Joe's.

Q: Can you explain how the principles of Conscious Capitalism build upon one another?

Michelle: Yes, we must first start with a Higher Purpose so that everyone is aligned with the same "why." This helps inform how organizations will move forward with everything from strategy development and execution, hiring, training and development of its people, and treatment of stakeholders which, ultimately, create the elements of a strong culture foundation.

Next, leaders need to set the tone, model the behavior and "walk-the-talk" for how the organization not only competes, but thrives, in dynamic workplaces. It is in this way that Conscious Leaders further the "why" or Higher Purpose. After all, organizations are nothing more than communities of people striving toward a common goal or purpose. These leaders also hold the key to Stakeholder Orientation and set the bar high as to how their stakeholders will be viewed, treated, integrated and valued as part of the business. Once the Higher Purpose, Conscious Leadership and Stakeholder Orientation principles are embraced and woven into the fabric of people performance and behavior and organizational operations, the natural outcome is the fourth and final principle, a Conscious Culture.

Q: Does Conscious Capitalism really make a difference to a company's bottom-line?

Michelle: In the book Firms of Endearment, several publicly traded companies were studied that embody these qualities. The book concludes that when they compared these companies over a 15-year period, a majority of them outperformed the S&P 500 index, in terms of annual and cumulative returns (earnings per share), by a factor of 10.5. So, I would say that, yes, it has a positive impact on the bottom line.

Q: What resources you recommend to our readers to learn more about Conscious Capitalism?

Michelle: Here are a few resources that may be interesting to our readers:
Organization: Conscious Capitalism, Inc. www.consciouscapitalism.org
White paper: "The Future of Leadership for Conscious Capitalism" by Barrett C. Brown, Ph.D., Metaintegral Associates.
Books:
"Conscious Capitalism: Liberating The Heroic Spirit of Business," John Mackey and Rajendra Sisodia.
"Firms of Endearment: How World-Class Companies Profit from Purpose and Passion," Rajendra Sisodia, John Wolfe and Jagdeth Seth.
"Uncontainable: How Passion, Commitment, and Conscious Capitalism Built a Business Where Everyone Thrives," Tip Kindell and Casey Shilling.
"Working For Good: Making A Difference While Making A Living," Jeff Klein.

About Michelle Maldonado
Michelle Maldonado is a former corporate attorney with 20 years of leadership experience in strategic planning, operations and partnership development across the Internet/technology, e-learning and online media industries. She currently serves as Associate Vice President of Corporate and Strategic Relationships for American Public University System (APUS) and is the creator and managing editor of
The Inspire Leadership Series. Michelle is also Co-Founder and Chair of the Northern Virginia Conscious Business Alliance. As a business leader, Michelle utilizes an authentic and consultative approach to partner with industry organizations to form strategic alliances that support overall institutional growth strategies and leverage key academic resources for talent development and engagement. Michelle can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

 

Published in Top Stories

Veronica Zaman, vice president of Human Resources and Learning at Scripps Health in San Diego, Calif., believes that learning culture and programs play an important role in the success of any large company. Here's what she has to say:

Q: How important is it for other learning leaders within an organization to get upper management on board with learning strategies?
A: One of the most critical changes learning is facing today is preparing a new generation of leaders and front-line staff to meet the needs of an ever-changing and demanding environment. Leadership and learning play a crucial role in enabling organizational growth, transformation and — ultimately — achievement of strategic goals. The vitality of every industry depends upon its outcomes. Aligning learning as a strategic priority ensures excellent organizational results are achieved. The talents, knowledge and experience of our employees enable us to create an environment of innovation and collaboration to deliver on quality and business outcomes.

Q: What are the key components of a solid corporate learning culture?
A: Organizations must continually focus on the effective developmental activities that are needed to engage their employees in growing the skills and knowledge needed to maintain individual and organi¬zational capability. They must encourage flexibility, collaboration and a willingness of employees to continue to learn while they leverage subject-matter expertise to drive continuous positive outcomes. A focused introduction to the mission, vision, values and principles illustrates the key role that each person plays in supporting the strategic growth of an organization. A culture of learning at all levels is the organization's leverage to engage staff and leaders across the continuum of their career span.

Q: How can e-learning tactics contribute to the total learning strategy?
A: Learning can be used as a powerful tool to create, translate and communicate strategy. By using e-learning tactics, carefully crafted leadership and learning strategies can support the continued gaining of knowledge and knowledge application to ensure sustainability of desired outcomes for success. Learning tactics support full understanding of the issues that are being faced, creating a meaningful message as to why it is crucial to leverage skills and knowledge, thus engaging employees from the front line up to the C-suite in an organization's success. Through comprehensive opportunities for growth and learning, organizations encourage and invest in personal and professional development at every career stage, thus ensuring a culture of continuous improvement and quality.

Q: What challenges do you foresee in the future for learning professionals?
A: In today's marketplace, maintaining a strategic advantage and a strong corporate culture requires the continued growth of top-notch talent, breakthrough ideas and exceptional services. Learning professionals must build on a vision of innovative, continuous learning in an environment that energizes, inspires and constantly challenges. Innovation in learning requires creativity, engagement and visionary thinking at a time when we are experiencing a variety of generations, each with unique learning needs. A robust, nimble educational presence is crucial in sustaining the return on the investment in learning! Never before have learning professionals been asked to move beyond the "way it was" into an innovative and out-of-the-box learning world!

Published in Top Stories

Failure takes place when the business case:

>> is not in line with strategic business objectives;
>> lacks recognition of what is important to the CEO and CFO;
>> requests spending without financial benefit projections; and/or
>> uses HR and learning industry terminology that is a "different language."

These failures all have one thing in common: They all relate to an L&D-driven agenda and not a business-driven agenda. To develop a successful business case, you must consider how it is perceived and how it will impact the greater good of the organization.
According to CEB (Corporate Executive Board), the average number of individuals involved with today's buying decision is 5.4. This buying team will often have differing agendas. That means that in order to get a Cloud-based learning business case approved, you'll need to identify each of the buying team stakeholders and then secure their support by tailoring it to their specific priorities.

Stage 1: Define the Business Issue
>> Identify the business opportunity or problem to be solved.
>> Create a succinct description of what your proposal will deliver.
>> Create objectives to help your organization reach its overall goals and be aligned with the priorities of senior management.
>> Develop an opportunity statement to describe the benefits of solving the problem or seizing the opportunity.

Stage 2: Analyze Alternatives, Select Best Option
>> Ask those closest to the issue for their ideas on possible alternatives.
>> Research case studies of those inside and outside your field that have faced similar challenges and solved them.
>> Collect information about each alternative to weigh them in financial terms, intangible benefits and risk level.

Stage 3: Prepare the Business Case
>> After analyzing the alternatives.
>> The template you use to lay out your business case should have a simple and sound structure:
1) Executive Summary;
2) Current Situation;
3) Analysis, Recommendation;
4) Conclusion.

Stage 4: Deliver the Business Case
>> Rehearse with an informed, invested colleague.
>> Plan the forum and format with care.
>> Select the time, place and approach that suits the stakeholders best.
>> Keep your presentation focused and concise. Avoid going into unnecessary detail.
>> Be prepared to deal with questions that may arise.

—Source: www.executiveboard.com/blogs/when-emotions-impact

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