According to CorpU's Alan Todd and Dr. George Siemens of the University of Texas Arlington's Link Lab — No.  The pair takes issue with Bill Gates's 1996 contention that "content is king," writing in "Wired" magazine that "context is king" in the business world.

"The concept of the 'business MOOC' seems to be gaining some currency, with leaders won over by the idea of access to the brightest minds in business theory available via affordable technology solutions," they write.

"Unfortunately, in a business setting, MOOCs fall short. Completion rates are low; outcomes are uncertain. Most importantly, the learning experience does not promote the same types of engagement and collaboration that businesses need. Corporations are inherently social; businesses, on average, reorganize every seven months, requiring new relationships be built and reporting structures developed. Additionally, research shows that more than half of the knowledge workers today collaborate with, and attempt to influence, at least 10 people every day."

—Read more:

Published in Latest News

Organizations spent an average of $1,208 per employee on training and development initiatives in 2013, a slight increase over 2012 spending, according to ATD's "2014 State of the Industry" report, sponsored by Skillsoft and the Ken Blanchard Companies.

The report's findings paint a stable and consistent picture of the talent development industry. The report shows the use of technology is significant in the delivery of training, while the role of instructors remains firm.

The report is based on a survey of 340 organizations of various sizes, industries and locations. The findings for the report are pulled from two data sources: a consolidated source of all organizations; and a data source pulling from 33 BEST Award-winning organizations.

Key findings:

>> Per-employee spending slightly increased in 2013, at an average $1,208 per employee ($1,195 in 2012).

>> 10% of expenditures went to tuition reimbursement.

>> Direct expenditure as a percentage of profit increased from 5.9% to 7.5%.

>> Employees averaged 31.5 hours of training in 2013. Employees in BEST organizations used 35.5 hours, substantially lower than in 2012 (57.7).

>> The average cost per learning hour dropped from $89 to $74.

>> The top three areas of training content in 2013 were: mandatory and compliance (11.5%); managerial and supervisory (11.5%); and processes, procedures, and business practices (9.1%).

>> Instructor-led classroom delivery continued to be the most popular method of formal learning in 2013 (54.6%).

—More info:


Published in Latest News

We hear a lot of talk about getting more learning out into the business. That's a given. What the industry really needs is more business in learning. After all, learning is a business process. Never thought about it quite that way? Well, it is.

A business process is a series of logically related practices that perform together to produce a result. In learning, the result is quantitative and qualitative business impact.


Published in Top Stories

The third largest parking company in the United States and one of the 2014 Learning! 100, LAZ Parking operates more than 1,900 parking locations in 24 states. Its workforce is comprised of approximately 7,500 culturally diverse employees, most of whom are hourly workers.
Two years ago, the company's management team set out to address two business challenges:
• Increase employee engagement to reinforce the company's people-first philosophy and its overarching mission to create opportunities for employees and value for clients.
• Build a management pipeline capable of meeting the company's aggressive growth projections.
In this webinar presentation, attendees will learn how social learning, an emphasis on on-demand, mobile accessible content, and coaching for on-the-job application comprised a cost- and time-efficient learning strategy that had rapid impact.

Published in On-Demand

Receptionists, clerks, secretaries and administrative assistants are the "gatekeepers" of business. An experienced gatekeeper is usually adept at screening cold calls and recognizing sales professionals who attempt to reach the decision maker without an appointment. This is part of his or her job: helping the decision-maker avoid interruptions and stay productive. The sales professional's best bet is to treat the gatekeeper as a potential ally rather than an adversary.

To meet with better success in talking with gatekeepers and contacting decision-makers, keep the following tips in mind:
Be polite and treat gate- keepers with respect. Remember that they are doing their job, just like you are, and it's in their best interest to ensure that the boss is not interrupted without very good reason. Rudeness will not help you.

Leave a detailed message. State the reason for your call and briefly explain why you think the decision-maker would be interested. A busy decision-maker is not likely to return a call from someone he or she doesn't know and who hasn't explained what is wanted or needed.

Be truthful with the gatekeeper. Don't claim to have an existing relationship with the decision-maker if you don't, or prevaricate about your purpose. When the deception is revealed, the gatekeeper will ensure that you never get to talk to the decision-maker. Besides, who wants to do business with someone who comes across as dishonest? It makes a poor impression and is unlikely to help your chances.

Recognize that gatekeepers can actually help you. This person probably knows useful information about the company that you don't know. Don't tie gatekeepers up for too long — they have other callers and visitors to deal with — but ask a few questions while you have their attention.

Dropping in without an appointment will rarely get you access to the decision- maker, and the gatekeeper isn't going to put you on the calendar on the spot, either. You might drop by to introduce yourself to the gatekeeper, though: explain your purpose, leave a card, and then call the office later to make an appointment.

When requesting an appointment, give the gate- keeper a limited and specific time frame. If you let he or she know you only want 10 minutes of the decision-maker's time, the gatekeeper will relay that information to his or her boss. The decision-maker may be more open to taking a meeting if he or she knows in advance exactly how much time is needed in his or her schedule for it.

Take a hint. If you are being turned back repeatedly, it is very possible that the decision-maker doesn't want to talk to you and has told the gatekeeper as much. The gatekeeper may not state this outright, but if you are continually told that the decision-maker is unavailable, it may be time to try another approach, like direct mail.

As a sales professional, you will sometimes find yourself interacting with gatekeepers. Remember and follow these seven rules to get better results.

Published in Ideas

Walter Rogers, co-founder of CCI Global Holdings, and Wayne McCulloch, senior vice president of University, say that evolving technology can help improve not only the potential but the bottom line sales efforts of dedicated professionals.

Q: How does learning need to adapt to meet the needs of sales professionals?
ROGERS: The relevance of the messages and content delivered to learners has never been more important. Sales professionals are drowning in a sea of information and increasing demands. And more importantly, as customers become more and more knowledgeable about solutions that can help solve their pains, sellers must increase their ability to go very deep on industry-specific issues and how their solutions map to those issues.

Every industry is going through major transformation, and remaining current is becoming increasingly difficult. Sales enablement functions must not only deliver the latest and greatest information, but they must also do so on a rapidly changing environment. The days of "one and done" have come to an end. Learning content delivered needs to be both explicit (based on user requests based on known needs) and implicit (based on the user-demonstrated behavior).

Q: How is technology evolving to meet these needs?
McCULLOCH: Capturing and retaining knowledge is becoming more and more difficult. Traditional training methods are rapidly being replaced by just-in-time, in-context, learner-focused knowledge nuggets with immediate application. While there will probably always be a role for formal classroom training, new technologies like and KnowledgeNow are eliminating barriers to learning and maximizing the opportunity for knowledge sharing, capture and implementation. Recording PowerPoint voice-overs is simply not going to meet the needs of today's or future learners.

Rapidly adapting learning is the ultimate and possibly final competitive advantage. Technology needs to catch up to this need. Learning must become adaptive in nature to personalize the learning experience for each employee. The technology for 1:1 learner journeys is possible today, and as learning professionals we need to look for ways to re-invent the way we serve our internal and external learning customers.

Q: What do you think is the next big thing in the learning ecosystem?
ROGERS: Peer-to-peer learning has increasingly become a staple in any highly effective learning strategy. Not only do systems need to be adaptive to individual needs, but they also need to enable collaboration and information sharing across teams, departments, functions, partners and customers: for example, Salesforce1 Chatter.

Social learning is now expected in most organizations. The next phase will be anchored by predictive intelligence based on the real-time analysis of behaviors of individuals and organizations. This predictive intelligence will serve up personalized learning that helps create targeted outcomes.

Q: Can you give us an example of predictive intelligence at work?
McCULLOCH: Sales managers could receive specific knowledge delivered to them on a mobile device based on the real-time status of their pipeline. Take this one step further, and the system will also deliver recommended learning paths for their sellers based on each seller's individual performance across any measured sales metrics. As outcomes are achieved, systems will learn what worked and what didn't — and continue to personalize the experience in order to continuously help individuals and organizations close gaps and grow.

Published in Top Stories

Presbyterian Medical Services (PMS) will transition its employee training and compliance programs to Elogic Learning’s eSSential learning management system (LMS). The eSSential LMS gives administrators the ability to assign required training and track compliance via a cloud-based platform easily accessible from any device. PMS was in need of a new system to automate many of the tasks that go along with maintaining regulatory compliance, such as notifying employees when a course or certification is due.

Published in Deals

How are human relations professionals using talent management technology? What are their challenges? A new survey of 245 HR profession- als reveals:

>>  84% of respondents view performance management data as impor- tant to C-level executives.

>>  62% report some level of integration of HR functions.

>>  52% plan to add one or more HR applications in the next year.

>>  28% have fully automated HR processes.

>>  Only 8% believe their organizations are HR data “power users.”

—Download the report:

Published in Trends

While individual contributors at a majority of organizations are pro- vided mentoring by managers, relatively few employers provide them with coaching by outside professionals, according to a survey of executives and managers by AMA Enterprise, a division of American Management Association.

Three out of four organizations offer some sort of development to individual contributors, employees who may have no direct reports or formal leadership position but whose expertise is important for the enterprise’s success.

Q1. If your organization develops individual contributors, which of the following elements are part of that effort?

Mentoring by managers 59%

Individual development planning 57%

Personal assessments 53%

E-learning 48%

Classroom learning 45%

Special workshops and training 44%

Exposure to senior executives 40%

Access to external development offerings 38%

Coaching by external professionals 15%

Q2. How does your organization assess the effectiveness of its efforts to develop individual contributors?

Feedback of participants 46%

Improved performance of participants 37%

Observed behavior changes of participants 37%

Positive business results attributed to participants 31%

Don’t know/Does not apply 30%

—More info:

Published in Trends

SNS Research estimates that Big Data investments will account for near- ly $30 billion in 2014. These investments are further expected to grow at a CAGR of 17% over the next six years.

(Big Data refers to data itself but also to a set of technologies that capture, store, manage and analyze large and variable collections of data to solve complex problems.)

Other key findings:

>>  The market is ripe for acquisitions of pure-play Big Data startups, as competition heats up between I.T. incumbents.

>>  Nearly every large scale I.T. vendor maintains a Big Data portfolio.

>>  At present, hardware sales and professional services account for more than 70% of all Big Data investments.

>>  Software vendors, particularly those in the Big Data analytics seg- ment, are expected to significantly increase their stake in the Big Data market as it matures.

—More info:

Published in Trends
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