Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Intelligence Systems. These applications are transforming business, and the enterprise technology an platforms to support them. By Catherine Upton

The digital evolution is changing how business is done. This is the era of impassioned CEOs and technology leaders with creative ideas who can inspire their organizations and lead them in transforming into digital businesses.

"The learning ecosystem is going through a technical disruption to automation and autonomous learning programs in the corporate space. Reminiscent of the shift from contact management software to sales force automation software or email marketing to marketing automation, the learning stack is the laggard to be re-invented and adopted, says Rory Cameron, General Manager, Litmos by Callidus Cloud.

In a Gartner report titled, “Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends” authored by David W. Cearley, Brian Burke and Mike J. Walker, there are three macro trends leaders must embrace to enable a shift to the digital enterprise.

MACRO TREND 1:ALGORITHMIC BUSINESS  DRIVES TRANSFORMATION

Algorithmic business is an accelerator and extension of digital business, according to Gartner. It focuses on how increasingly intelligent algorithms enable smart machines and systems to become autonomous actors in the digital business as agents for human beings. Algorithms drive the connectedness among people, things, businesses and information that drive business value. Algorithms provide the “intelligence” to get the most out of the connections and interplay between people, things, processes and information. Algorithms also are critical to delivering a differentiated customer experience. Although big data remains a major concern for CEOs, big data generated as part of the digital business process is of no value in itself. It is only when the organization shifts from a focus on big data to “big answers” that value begins to emerge.

"Forward-thinking learning profes- sionals and learning technology providers have long recognized that we are amassing a significant amount of data on learners, reports Chip Ramsey, CEO, Intellum. “From the corporate perspective, the enterprise should already be drilling down to the individual employee to determine which learning asset positively altered which specific outcome. On the learning technology side, we should be leveraging the tremendous amount of anonymous user data within our reach to identify learning trends that impact performance. But these are still ‘fixed’ approaches by which learning technology providers, and our clients, are making decisions."

Analyzing big data to identify patterns and insights that drive business actions is the start of this shift, according to Gartner. Algorithmic business transformation occurs when organizations encapsulate these insights into algorithms tied tightly to real-time business processes and decision-makers, and when they use machine learning to allow increasingly autonomous algorithmic action. Algorithms are more essential to the business than data alone. Algorithms define action.

Algorithmic business extends beyond data and analytics to influence the evolution of applications, business models and future digital business solutions. This is ushering in a post-app era in which system and application vendors such as Microsoft, Google and Apple are likely to deliver platforms and applications with ever-more powerful agent- based interfaces.

Intellum’s Ramsey continues: “As business sectors across the board, including learning, continue to apply machine learning techniques, these traditionally fixed algorithmic approaches are themselves learning. At Intellum, we are already testing a solution that presents the exact information the user needs to consume at the moment in which that presentation has the highest likelihood of improving that employee’s performance. The algorithms that control this approach are not static equations but processes that learn from large numbers of prior successful outcomes to better determine who needs what, when.”

Algorithmic business builds on digital business, shifting the emphasis to the intelligence encoded in software, according to Gartner. Enterprise architects must add algorithmic business and related enabling technologies to their planning and future enterprise, data, security and application architectures.

IBM’s acquisition of The Weather Company is an example of algorithmic business. The Weather Company has a massive Internet of Things (IoT) implementation, with hundreds of thousands of weather sensors sending 28 billion transactions to its Cloud every day. Before the acquisition, IBM had an agreement to feed data to IBM Watson for weather prediction. With the acquisition, IBM brings together The Weather Company’s digital environment and associated data with IBM’s analytical and cognitive computing capabilities. This has created an algorithmic business that provides analytical services and results to a business ecosystem with more than 5,000 customers. These customers — in, for example, airlines, insurance companies and retailers — can use the algorithmic input to drive their own business operations.

Organizations must examine the potential impact of these macro trends, factor them into their strategic planning for 2017 and 2018, and adjust business models and operations appropriately. If they fail to do so, they will risk losing competitive advantage to organizations that do. {See Figure 1}

ELM March Disruptions 1

Ramsey concludes: “The algorithm that learns how to present the right information to the right person at the right time is beyond valuable. It will fundamentally transform the company that learns to harness it. Imagine the competitive advantage gained when the learning solution recognizes in real time an opportunity to intercede and present the user with information (a new sales technique) that turns an otherwise negative outcome (lost sale) into a positive one (closed sale). This is not an imagined future state. Companies like Intellum will be providing this competitive advantage to clients within the year.”

MACRO TREND 2:THE EMERGENCE OF THE DIGITAL MESH

Gartner defines the “economics of connections” as the creation of value through increased density of interactions among business, people and things. As an organization increases the density of its connections (among people, business and things), it increases the potential value it can realize from those connections.

Connections are at the core of digital and algorithmic business models. The digital mesh builds on the economics of connections, focusing on devices, services, applications and information. The digital mesh is a people-centered theme that refers to the collection of devices (including things), information, apps, services, businesses and other people that exist around the individual. As the mesh evolves, all devices, computers, information resources, businesses and individuals will be interconnected. The interconnections are dynamic and flexible, changing over time. Building business solutions and user experiences (UXs) for the digital mesh — while addressing the challenges they create — must be a priority for enterprise architects.

“This concept of a digital mesh that is made up of all the devices and digital applications that are tracking every aspect of our lives is very applicable to enterprise learning," claims Ramsey. “In a corporate environment, we use applications to manage projects and relationships, receive customer feedback, and control versions of critical documents and code. We interact with these applications across a number of devices from a number of locations. The things we rely on to get our jobs done are actually gathering data about how well we do our jobs.”

The digital mesh has emerged as a re- sult of the collision of the physical and virtual worlds, as computing capability becomes embedded in virtually everything around us. Additional advances allow the virtual world to enter the real world through advanced UI and virtual reality models, as well as physical items created with 3-D printers. This blending of both worlds delivers new insights into the physical world, allowing us to understand it in greater detail, and interact with it in new and intelligent ways. This will change how people experience the world in their daily lives. Opportunities for new business and operating models will abound.

Ramsey adds: “At Intellum, we can already mine this data from a range of devices (think Fitbit) and applications (think Salesforce) to determine employee performance levels. We can now experiment with how well specific inputs, like a mid-day walk or a two-minute video on how to become more persuasive, can alter an outcome or improve an employee’s performance. Once these feedback loops are in place, particularly at scale, we can apply the algorithms that will determine the exact learning asset an employee should encounter in a specific scenario. This will, of course, require even more data from even more sources, and the digital mesh will continue to grow.”

MACRO TREND 3:SMART MACHINES SET THE STAGE FOR ALGORITHMIC BUSINESS AND THE ALGORITHMIC ECONOMY

The smart machines theme describes how information of everything is developing to extract greater meaning from a rapidly expanding set of sources, reports Gartner. Advanced data analysis technologies and approaches are evolving to create physical and software-based machines that are programmed to learn and adapt, rather than programmed only for a finite set of prescribed actions.

The amount of big data collected by the many devices currently in place is staggering. However, the accelerating merger of the physical and virtual worlds will make the present volumes seem paltry. New kinds of data will continuously stream from new types of devices at record rates. This oversupply will overwhelm those who are ill-prepared. But for those who are prepared, the potential to gain new kinds of critical intelligence will be unprecedented. Leading senior executives will build a strong competency in turning this data into critical intelligence that will drive their organizations’ future direction. Additionally, leading organizations will significantly advance operational agility with near-real-time information, feeding business processes that can absorb it and react accordingly. Data coming from almost all directions provides the possibility for intelligence everywhere when combined with advanced artificial intelligence algorithms and other machine-learning techniques.

Three distinct trends are intimately linked in the smart machines theme. They represent an evolution in how systems deal with data, and the machines and people that create and consume this data, culminating in intelligence everywhere. {See Figure 2}

ELM March Disruptions 2

“These three macro trends are substantiated by what we have seen in the financial trading arena," says Apratim Purakayastha, CTO, Skillsoft. “For some years, sophisticated algorithms have taken over trading decisions. Those algorithms are connected in a mesh, taking decisions and automatically trading across firms — and those ‘smart machines’ — have set the stage for a mostly automated algorithmic business. There are other areas, such as supply chain management, where this trend is currently growing. In the area of digi-tal advertisement, we can also see this trend dominating. Overall, it is already a broad, cross-industry phenomenon.

Even everyday objects such as a stethoscope and enterprise software such as CRM systems or security tools increasingly have a smart and autonomous aspect. In “Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends: Autonomous Agents and Things,” Gartner looked at how information of everything and advanced machine-learning algorithms, supported by advanced system architectures, are leading to more intelligent software and hardware-based solutions. These are creating new market segments and enhancing existing ones.

“The pervasive nature of these trends demands that everyone understand what comprises a 100 percent digital workforce — a workforce that is fully trained and conversant with fundamental digital skills, along with its benefits and risks,” adds Purakayastha.

The key digital skills sets required include but are not limited to:

>> Broad digital skills such as productivity and collaborative tools.

>> Modern technological trends such as Big Data, Blockchain, etc.

>> A thorough understanding of fundamental cybersecurity issues such as phishing, ransomware and other risks

>> Best practices and laws relative to digital compliance and data privacy

>> Digital “presence, leadership and image in a virtually interconnected workforce.

—This article contains excerpts from the Gartner Research Report titled “Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends” by David W. Cearley, Brian Burke, Mike J. Walker. To access the complimentary Gartner report, download it at: http://gartnerevents.com/ Top_10_Strategic_EMEA?ls=ppcggle&gclid =CJiMlrSN184CFVAo0wodWdQNkQ

Published in Top Stories

Learning isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. It takes hard work, dedication and creative thinking. BY JERRY ROCHE

The 2017 Learning! Champion Award honors  individuals  for  exceptional  contributions  to  the  learning  industry.  Elearning! magazine  names  28  professionals  across six categories for 2017.

“Lifetime  Achievement”  winners  have dedicated  their  entire  lives  to  learning and  have  helped  thousands  of  others  do the  same.  “Thought  Leaders”  are  industry  experts  always  willing  to  share  their expertise  and  are  dedicated  to  bettering their  communities  and  industries.  “High Performers” have gone above and beyond, usually  in  a  relatively  short  time  frame, to  implement  new  learning  techniques  in their organizations. “Mentors” take a special interest in others to help them achieve their  potential.  “Trail  Blazers”  forge  new processes  and  procedures  in  uncharted areas  to  elevate  learning  and  technology successes.  “Innovators”  are  technologists and problem solvers who often bring these solutions to market for others to share.

The 2017 Learning! Champions are...

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT

Joe-DiDonato

Joe DiDonato, Editor-at-Large, Elearning! magazine

Joe DiDonato has proven to be a supremely knowledgeable, well-spoken representative of the learning industry through a long and distinguished career. He’s a customer-obsessed and a “roll-up-the-sleeves” kind of senior executive with background spanning both the for-profit and non-profit worlds. His experience ranges from individual, staff and management functions to CEO and board positions. Roles include senior learning officer responsibilities and marketing at major corporations. He is currently the editor-at-large for this magazine, providing content, expertise and analysis on trends impacting the world of corporate education.

At the same time, DiDonato is co-founder and presdient of The Orphan Foundation, a non-profit that helps find homes for orphans around the world by removing barriers to adoption. Its goal this year is to raise $1 million toward its mission.

Over the course of his career, DiDonato has had executive roles with The Wellness Community, Interwise (now AT&T Connect), Knowledge Planet, Productivity Point International, PeopleSoft (now Oracle). He earned the designation “Mr. Education” at Oracle when launching Oracle’s first certification and education program for the extended enterprise.

DiDonato’s self-professed specialties are business development, marketing, start-ups, professional services, corporate education, e-learning, customer obsession and conference development.  linkedin.com/in/editoratlarge1/

Elliot-Masie

Elliot Masie, Futurist, Founder, The Masie Center

Elliot Masie is acknowledged as the first analyst to use the term “e-learning.”  Masie founded The Masie Center, a Saratoga Springs, N.Y., think tank focused on how organizations can support learning and knowledge within the workforce. He leads the Learning Consortium, a coalition of 200 global organizations cooperating on the evolution of learning strategies, including CNN, Walmart, American Express, Emirates Airline, Starbucks, General Electric and Fidelity Investments.

Masie’s professional focus has been in the fields of corporate learning, organizational performance and emerging technology. He has developed models for accelerating the spread of knowledge, learning and collaboration throughout organizations and, advocated for a sane deployment of learning and collaboration technology as a means of supporting the effectiveness and profitability of enterprises.

Masie serves as an adviser to a wide range of government, education and non-profit groups. His service has included Skidmore College Board of Trustees and as a Board member of First Robotics, CosmoSid and the CIA University Board of Visitors. He has served as a pro-bono advisor to the Department of Defense and on the White House Advisory Council on Expanding Learning Opportunities.

Masie is known as a highly approachable speaker and trainer, blending humor, applicable stories of best practice and high levels of audience involvement. Over the past 30 years, he has presented programs, courses and speeches to more than 2.2 million professionals around the world.  linkedin.com/in/elliottmasie/

Kevin-Oakes

Kevin Oakes, CEO, Founder, Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp)

Kevin Oakes is the CEO and founder of the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp), a human capital research firm that discovers the people practices that drive high performance.

Ranked among the fastest-growing companies on the Inc. 500|5000 list, i4cp provides its extensive member network of leading global employers and government institutions with the research, peer collaboration, tools, and data essential to developing and executing workforce strategies and practices that deliver higher market performance.

A frequent author and international keynote speaker on talent management and using human capital strategically in organizations, Oakes co-authored “The Executive Guide to Integrated Talent Management.” He also serves on the board of directors for privately held Workforce Insight, the world’s leading provider of workforce management and analytics consulting services.

He has been a leader in the human capital field for the last two decades including: founder and the president of SumTotal Systems, the largest provider of talent and learning solutions in the world; chairman & CEO of Click2learn, which was founded in 1985 by Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft; and president and founder of Oakes Interactive, an award-winning technology-based training company in Needham, Mass.  linkedin.com/in/kevinoakes/

TRAIL BLAZER

Yvonne-Andres

Dr. Yvonne Marie Andrés, Founder, Executive Director, Global SchoolNet

Dr. Yvonne Marie Andrés has been a trail-blazer and non-stop thought leader dedicated to advancing online education and global collaborative learning since 1981. She has been an inspiration to thousands and thousands of educators worldwide, believing that in a connected world students need a global perspective. Her work has brought together youth online from 194 countries to explore community, cultural and scientific issues that prepare them for the workforce and help them to become responsible and literate global citizens.

Andrés is the co-founder of the non-profit Global SchoolNet and the founder of the Global Schoolhouse. She was named one of the 25 most influential people worldwide in education technology and was invited in 2000 to meet with President Bush to launch the Friendship Through Education initiative.

She also is the creator and producer of International CyberFair and the U.S. State Department’s “Doors to Diplomacy” program.

Andrés produces numerous videos and frequently writes about highly effective education programs from around the globe that blend online and offline learning, while incorporating the latest neuroplasticity findings and constructivist learning methodology. Her works have touched people in the U.S., Canada, Asia, Europe, Australia, South America and Africa.In short, she has offered the learning industry some amazing and tireless contributions. linkedin.com/in/yvonneandres/

Chris-Bartlett

Chris Bartlett, Director of Learning Resources, FMC Technologies

Chris Bartlett has made significant changes that enable FMC Technologies’ employees to learn and do more with less, organizing more than 150 employees from 30 countries into a central cost structure, bringing all global learning resources together into a centralized learning resources organization to greatly reduce spending on learning-related activities in just one year without affecting quality.

Here are just a few of the achievements of FMC’s Learning Resources Group, under Bartlett’s direction:

>>   Led the way as the first truly global “shared services” organization with a presence in all business units and regions of FMC.

>>   Connected people globally (75 percent of employees participating in 90 networks via the corporate knowledge sharing platform, The Edge).

>>   Connected people to subject-matter-expert verified information (The Well, FMC Technologies’ wiki, has grown 98 percent since 2012)

>>   Reduction in duplication of course development leading to standardization of courses.

>>   The near-elimination of the use of non-FMC Technologies facilities for training.

>>   Leveraging internal resources and eliminating external expense.

>>   Eliminated millions of dollars in travel costs annually through the increased availability and competency in hosting virtual events and training.

>>   Through in-house video services, reduced the time and cost of creating training materials while increasing the materials’ usefulness, reach and reuse.

>>   Implemented and integrated software to deliver meaningful data to those that need it through cleaning up a SharePoint environment.

linkedin.com/in/chris-bartlett-058636a/

Ruth-Ann-Clurman

Ruth-Ann Clurman, Senior Director of Learning  and Organization Development, Ascension Health

During Ruth-Ann Clurman’s tenure, Ascension’s Learning and Organization Development team has led innovation and accessibility through both social and mobile learning tools. The organization has been selected for the Learning! 100 list for the past five consecutive years. Its workforce supports customers both remotely and virtually and needs 24/7 access to learning solutions. The team also needs a way to connect with each other for peer mentoring and solution support.

Ten years ago, Ascension Information Services began with 675 associates from healthcare facilities across the United States. Today, it has more than 3,000 associates and is recognized as one of the best health-care information technology services organizations in the nation.

Co-workers say Clurman is encouraging and insightful, always striving for improvement in collaboration and effectiveness. That she possesses the vision to identify areas of opportunity and determine development plans that improve and engage associates. That she orchestrates changes with persistence and wisdom to allow for growth. That she continues to work ahead of the curve to clear the path in the constantly changing specialties of health care and information technology so that others may follow. Clurman possesses a master’s degree from Missouri State University. linkedin.com/in/ruth-ann-clurman-1a57883/

Ramon-Garcia

Ramón García Espeleta, Manager, Gerente Virtaula CaixaBank

Ramón García Espeleta guides Virtaula CaixaBank’s online learning effort throughout Spain. During the six years that had has been responsible for the bank’s learning platform, electronic learning has become of utmost importance. It has multiplied by 10 the capacity of concurrency, has changed the design four times, and has generated more than 15 million hours of learning, including more than 2 million in 2016. Informal training has been enhanced, and knowledge between all the people in the organization has increased. Internal trainers have become facilitators and entertainers through virtual online classroom training. The platform itself has been recognized with several awards.

During Espeleta’s watch, the main challenge of the project is for its employees to evolve together and to maintain the spirit of training and development service.

The bank’s online learning platform was born in 1999. In 2006, Web 2.0 tools, blogs, wikis and forums were introduced; in 2010, the collaborative and semantic Web were introduced; and in 2014, Virtaula emotions were introduced. The bank is now seeking the educational application of augmented and virtual reality within its content.

In the last year, a smart recommendations engine has been included in the online learning effort. This tool allows automatic content personalization and segmentation depending on the actions that the users themselves or other employees related to them have made. The bank is currently working on advanced models of artificial intelligence with analytics that inform managers about what employees need and want, as well as applications of virtual and augmented reality.  linkedin.com/in/ramongarciaespe/

Johnathan-Fear

Jonathan Fear, Senior Director of Coupa University, Coupa, Inc.

Jonathan Fear is known as a brilliant leader in the corporate education industry. He has taken all areas of education into consideration at Coupa Inc., an enterprise software company. That includes internal training, customer training, and partner certification, which have all been integrated into their existing platforms (like Salesforce CRM).

Coupa’s corporate education program is called Coupa University, of which Fear is vice president, a position from which he has been able to drive training across many different functions within the company.

Fear is detail oriented, customer focused, and a joy to work with according to staffers. He has proven able to manage the expectations and priorities of requests from top customers effectively. He works well under pressure and is always looking out for his client’s best interests. Additionally, he has always had an excellent grasp of the technology and manages resources wisely.

Fear has been with Coupa for the past six years, but has more than 20 years of experience in the training and education space with companies like SumTotal and Executrain. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Quantitative Economics and Decision Sciences from the University of California, San Diego.

Coupa has been named to Inc. magazine’s list of the 5,000 fastest-growing companies. Its primary mission is to deliver a spend-management platform that unifies business processes across all the ways employees spend money. Its consumerized financial applications digitize spending across travel and expense management, procurement and invoicing. The organization was honored with the 2016 Learning! 100 Award.  linkedin.com/in/jonathan-fear-901a11/

Mohammed-Amir-Habib

Mohammed Amir Habib, Consultant, Sidra Medical and Research Center

Mohammed Amir Habib created the first scenario-based e-learning course at Sidra (and possibly Qatar) as part of a core values awareness drive. All the other 110 or so sessions (clinical and corporate) used tell-and-test approaches with an occasional one-page contextualized question.

Because the learning industry in Qatar is still maturing, it generally purchases materials from companies in Dubai. But Habib became one of the first — if not the first — e-learning professional Because the learning industry in Qatar is still maturing, it generally purchases materials from companies in Dubai. But Habib became one of the first — if not the first — e-learning professional working in the Persian Gulf to bring cutting-edge instructional design coupled with superb development and graphics skills, to create a world-class module. The session he created — Sidra Core Values Awareness — takes the learner through a typical day in the life of a Sidra employee. The learner makes decisions with appropriate support in the form of a values champion to give guidance on behavior in line with Sidra’s values.

Habib helped everyone across the organization to not just learn about the values but actually see the values in action in their everyday decisions. The aim wasn’t just to teach the values but how they need to be lived by allowing learners to experience real, authentic experiences that occur everyday.

Habib has a background in I.T. and has been developing since the age of 10. The key to his success is his understanding of instructional design, human learning psychology coupled with his expert level technical skills.

David-Hembroff

David Hembroff, Head of Training and Development, USIC

David Hembroff has proven to be quite a visionary in the learning industry from his position with USIC, an industry leader for underground infrastructure protection with more than 7,500 employees nationwide. He has helped to chart the course of current and future training and development at USIC and is always looking at ways to improve the company’s overall education process. He’s also taken a fundamental role in USIC’s transition into a digital learning organization, helping to drive internal productivity rates up by more than 100 percent.

Hembroff’s passions are adult education, development and training, and writing. He has built great soft skills as a leader, and has honed his marketing and customer skills with some of the best in the business.

Under Hembroff’s watchful eye, USIC’s employee training has become a well-balanced blend of e-learning served through its proprietary LMS — USIC Institute — and instructor-led and on-the-job training led by its team of training leaders and coaches.

His Training and Development division has been responsible for: curriculum development, instructional design, tiered skill training courses, multimedia and interactive training presentations, micro-learning, continuous engagement and the aforementioned USIC Institute, which offers more than 100 training courses.

Moreover, USIC is a high-growth company, making learning and training crucial. Its 8,200 field technicians undergo more than 500,000 training hours per year.  linkedin.com/in/dave-hembroff-37377a3a/

Brooks-Williams

Brooks Williams, Director of Organizational Development, MidSouth Bank

As an extraordinary leader, Brooks Williams is acutely aware of the impact he has and is dedicated to helping people become their very best. He recognizes leadership as a responsibility, not just a job.

Williams is a learning executive who champions meaningful and impactful workplace learning. By being able to understand both the needs of the bank’s business at a high level and the value of employee development, he gains buy-in from across the organization that learning and development is a key to achieving real and sustainable results.

What makes Williams an extraordinary leader? He is future-directed, with a confidence and optimism about future successes that are contagious. He puts in the work: curriculum development, class (instructor-led/virtual/hands-on) presentations, site visits. Even the little things, like a phone call to an employee who made a big contribution or a handwritten note to welcome a new employee.

Success is key. He works with employees to eliminate barriers that might inhibit success, and he creates opportunities for employees to contribute more to the business and thus feel more empowered. He is invested in his people: a catalyst for their continued learning and development. One of his favorite sayings is, “When you are finished growing, you are finished.”

Williams is a senior leader with a notable career in financial services. His selfless approach to leadership has earned him an incredibly loyal following and is the primary reason his people stay with the organization for much longer than some of them had ever planned. People want to work for him. linkedin.com/in/brooks-m-williams-mbb-cmf-239200128/

Jeanne-Beliveau-Dunn

Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn, Vice President, General Manager, Cisco Services

In just the past year, Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn and her team’s many accomplishments include the launch of a $10 million global cybersecurity scholarship program aimed at helping address the cybersecurity skills gap; revamped and revised the certification program to address new and emerging technologies; and continued to bolster efforts to provide best-in-class I.T. training and certification.

In November 2015, her team launched a revised curriculum and framework for its expert-level certification program, the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE), to meet the changing demands of the digital economy and ensure that I.T. professionals are imbued with the skills they need to participate in meaningful business discussions about the new technical areas that are shaping business strategy and operations. This includes revising the curriculum to incorporate a new assessment approach focused on ensuring that candidates demonstrate knowledge and skills with evolving technologies such as network programmability, Cloud, security and IoT.

This next generation of I.T. certification and training represents a continuation of Jeanne’s long-time work to address talent agility and reskilling. Helping organizations address the existing skills gap and empowering professionals in their own career development is a driving passion for Beliveau-Dunn, and have been the guiding forces of much of her work at Cisco.

In the past year, her book “I’m the Boss of Me: A Guide to Owning Your Career” was published. It provides an easy-to-follow guide on developing a self-empowered approach to work, career and life, interspersing personal stories and anecdotes with lessons learned from her more than two decades of experience in the technology industry.  linkedin.com/in/jeannedunn/

THOUGHT LEADER

Matt-Kurtin

Matt Kurtin, Lead Programmer and Learning Technology Consultant, Innovative Learning Group

Matt Kurtin has been a passionate, knowledgeable, and active thought leader in the learning and development space for the past 20 years. This fact is made abundantly clear by his prominent role at Innovative Learning Group (one of Inc. magazine’s 5,000 fastest- growing small businesses) and the fact that he is in constant demand to share his knowledge with those in the industry.

Kurtin has spoken at more than 15 conferences and conventions, including many of the industry’s most prominent gatherings. He has authored more than 500 e-learning courses and is proficient in Captivate, Articulate Studio, Articulate Storyline, Lectora, Flash, ASP.NET, JavaScript, and XML.

He is a true rarity: someone with immense technical skills, emotional intelligence, and a consultative ability to identify the true need of the client. All of these traits are held together with a visionary passion for learning as a whole. His infectious zeal for learning and development has had a significant impact on the industry. He has acted as both an active developmental presence and an engaging ambassador.

Kurtin leads the mobile learning strategy at Innovative Learning Group, where he has personally developed many mobile applications and courses. Additionally, he has extensive experience supporting translation of custom e-learning courses and has worked on courses delivered in more than 20 languages.

And he has not rested on this pioneering approach to mobile learning; he is actively involved in the discovery of possible applications for virtual reality and augmented reality within the learning and development market.

Jean-Meister

Jeanne C. Meister, Founder, Partner, Future Workplace

Jeanne C. Meister founded Future Workplace to work with forward-looking companies to think differently about the future of work and the changing composition of the workforce. It is now a human resources advisory and research firm dedicated to discussing, debating and sharing the “next practices” on navigating the future workplace and workforce. A consortium of nearly 50 organizations come together both virtually and in person to discuss debate and share “next” practices on preparing for the future of work.

Meister considers herself a workplace visionary and activist who drives her clients to think differently. She has a deep background and experience in corporate learning, and has been awarded a Distinguished Contribution in Workplace Learning Award by a leading organization in the learning industry. Her specialties are employee experience, corporate university design, talent management, leadership development and executive education.

She is also the author of four business books — the first two of which were written on the topic of corporate universities. Today, Meister is very obviously passionate about helping organizations re-think how to attract, develop and inspire employees in a workplace that is rapidly changing. Her latest book is “The Future Workplace Experience: 10 Rules for Mastering Disruption in Recruiting and Engaging Employees.”

Meister has also published articles in popular magazines like Financial Times; Fast Company; Forbes; Harvard Business Review; Harvard Management Update; Journal of Business Strategy; Outlook, a Publication of Accenture; People & Strategy Journal; and Elearning! magazine. linkedin.com/in/jeannemeister/

Mike-Connor

Mike Conner, Chief Evangelist, BlueBottleBiz 

Mike Conner believes in revolutionizing the future of corporate learning. His vision is to support informal learning by giving it some structure, yet providing professionals with more freedom to learn than traditional learning systems provide. He sees the value in an all-encompassing learning solution that supports collaborative learning by combining expert (vetted) content, professional network and unique collaborative tools that allow colleagues and experts to work together.

Conner spent 2016 introducing collaborative learning to Fortune 500 and enterprise companies. He has contributed articles to top publications, and weighs in on topics that cover the future of learning, how learning technology is evolving, and ways to retain talent by building solid learning programs. His articles and quotes have been shared widely among the business community in both the U.S. and the U.K. He meets with the analyst community to discuss collaborative learning and the impacts it will have on organizations.

Conner truly believes that learning provides the foundation to success for professionals and for their organizations. For him, sharing the benefits and innovations of collaborative learning isn’t just a “job,” it’s a passion.

Previously, Conner was the Vice President of Global Sales for Safari (previously Safari Books Online). As a member of Safari’s executive team, most of his time was devoted to developing a second-generation platform and preparing his sales organization and enterprise customer base for enhancements to drive customized learning with curated content. linkedin.com/in/michaelconnercatalystsale/

INNOVATOR

Sue-Brett

Sue Brett, C.E.O., Learningonline.xyz

Sue Brett has proven to be an inspiring force who has shaped a young team of e-learning professionals and developers into achieving results that transform people’s lives and add value at every level of interaction with the company’s user base. She has spent over a decade, challenging and inspiring individuals to do more, be more.

She has been instrumental in the success and launch of e-learning portals such as Cudoo.com and apps such as Langu. ag, which offer more than 160 languages to users to learn and enhance their communication skills. She has worked hard to map the language courses to internationally recognized CEFR levels so that users can easily chart their progress from one level to another, as they progress in their language learning journey. Language lovers can now confidently learn any language and get certified based on their level.

Her company, from its absolutely unique video-based language nanolearning to peer exchange and live online learning, a combination of mLMS, apps and online-based products that connect learners, peers and instructors to a world of cultures.

Brett’s company was shortlisted for the Global Educational Supplies and Solutions (GESS) Education Awards 2017. GESS is a world-class education exhibition and conferences provider and with GESS Education Awards, it aims to acknowledge and reward the brightest contributors to the educational industry.  linkedin.com/in/sue-brett-27911034/

Rory-Cameron

Rory Cameron, Executive Vice President, Corporate Development,  Learning and Marketing Platforms, Litmos, by CallidusCloud

Rory Cameron has led all areas of Litmos at CallidusCloud since its acquisition in 2011. Much of Litmos’ ongoing success and innovative product and marketing direction is driven by his substantial knowledge and thought leadership in the learning industry.

Cameron operates a high-energy and customer-centric organization. He was responsible for multiple acquisitions in 2016, including the key addition of ViewCentral, which has been re-branded as Litmos Training Ops.

He has been recognized with many different honors and awards, including the Irish Global Technology 50 by the Irish Technology Leadership Group and the Irish “40 under 40.” He continues to rapidly grow the Litmos learning business within CallidusCloud and has reinvigorated innovation into the learning industry.

Cameron has more than 15 years of experience in business development, sales, and sales operations across a range of technology sectors. At CallidusCloud, he runs the platforms group which consists of Litmos, Clicktools, Badgeville, and Datahug, highly disruptive platforms in their respective markets. He also led the effort to broaden CallidusCloud’s solutions suite including a volume SaaS operation and the development of the company’s renowned sales academy.

Bottom line: Cameron drives all areas of Litmos and heavily impacts the ongoing success and innovative product and marketing direction within the business. linkedin.com/in/rory-cameron-8947403/

Nicole-Thomspon

Nicole Thompson, Human Resources Director, Fairfax Media

Nicole Thompson has been a driving force in creating one of the first new multi-disciplinary, contemporary learning teams within an innovative digital learning platform that enables collaboration and capability building. 

Through Thompson’s efforts, Fairfax is now speaking to companies globally about its innovations, in order to help them drive transformation in their companies through their new learning teams. Fairfax also presents at conferences to educate the broader market on what it has done to assist them transform learning.

Thompson joined Fairfax as the Human Resources Director for Technology during a career that spans 20 years. Since joining Fairfax, she has obtained an invaluable insight into digital disruption and how technology can be used to build capability. Her current role focuses on enabling business transformation and spans building capability, digital learning, talent management, diversity, alignment and engagement, leadership development and performance management.

While most organizations recognize the need to transform learning, many haven’t yet taken the big step and acted. Fairfax — with Thompson in the forefront — is one of the brave few that have taken the first steps toward L&D transformation. Thompson and her team have created what they believe to be a first within big corporate Australia: a new, multi-disciplinary team with contemporary skills and an interactive digital learning hub that requires stakeholders to collaborate on content production. linkedin.com/in/nicole-thompson-70865712/

Ibrahim-Jabary

Ibrahim Jabary, CEO, Gamelearn

Ibrahim Jabary has turned technology and video games into the best allies of learning. In the process, he has not only revolutionized e-learning, but is also proving that video games are becoming the most powerful tool within corporate training.

It all is the result of betting on the field of learning, of innovation and the transformation of traditional training methods. Thanks to his serious games, Jabary has managed to solve the big problem of e-learning. That is, 70 percent of the people who start an online course never complete it. However, with Gamelearn and his online courses in video game format, Jabary has achieved a dropout ratio of only 7 out of every 100 students.

This is done thanks to a completely revolutionary methodology that combines quality content with a practical approach, simulators to practice with “real” situations, and gamification techniques in a single format: a video game. It’s a unique recipe that has allowed for the training of more than 200,000 professionals from more than 50 countries.

In addition, Jabary has managed to meet his other great challenge: to transform online training with video games into a simple, useful and accessible tool for any company in the world, thanks to the development and launch of the first game-based learning platform in the market.This Gamelearn CEO and founder has spearheaded innovation in the field of corporate training. He was a pioneer in game-based learning platforms in the market, along with developing the first simulator for the development of customer service skills. linkedin.com/in/ibrahim-jabary-2457661/

Sarika-Khanna

Sarika Khanna, Sr. Vice President of Product and Services, Litmos, by CallidusCloud

Sarika Khanna and her team supervise all product development and innovation at Litmos, by CallidusCloud, which prides itself on being at the leading edge of innovation in the learning industry. Khanna and her team have been responsible for pushing the limits of innovation forward in the learning industry. Khanna is passionate about building products to solve business problems and is an avid learner. She has been with CallidusCloud for more than six years and was instrumental in taking the core product offering — Commissions — to SaaS business. In addition to Litmos, she has led the products for the Selling Cloud, Hiring Cloud and Marketing Cloud.

She has proven to be a strategic problem solver with ability to quickly evaluate business issues and work across cross-functional teams to develop innovative strategic and tactical solutions. Her other strengths include:

>>   Strong domain expertise in audience and segmentation, reporting and enterprise analytics, lead management, campaign management, vendor management, email and Web marketing and search marketing.

>>   Strong interpersonal, persuasion and facilitation skills with people of different levels, backgrounds, and personality styles.

>>   Excellent technical, analytical, and problem-solving capabilities.Prior to joining Litmos, Khanna worked at leading software companies including Oracle.

She held variety of positions ranging from engineering to product marketing and product management. She holds a master’s degree with distinction in Information Systems from George Mason University and a master’s in Industrial and Mechanical Engineering. linkedin.com/in/sarikakhanna/

Jack-Makhlouf

Jack Makhlouf, Chief Learning Officer, eLearning Mind

The founder eLearning Mind (ELM), Jack Makhlouf was born to tackle corporate America’s stale and ineffective internal and external- facing training. When you meet him, you instantly know that he’s an extrovert with an undying passion to make learning fun, engaging and impactful — as it’s meant to be. He is a true believer in the idea that education is the key to lasting change and true success.

Makhlouf was previously a founding member of the industry-recognized AT&T Learning Services team. He has been pioneering the e-learning industry for more than 20 years, working with Fortune 500 clients, designing, developing, and implementing innovative learning solutions and enterprise system technologies. Makhlouf brought two widely known learning components together to create a revolutionary learning methodology backed by modern brain science. This was coined as “neurolearning.” This methodology leads the way eLearning Mind thinks and implements learning solutions to foster deeper and more impactful learning experiences.

He applies neurolearning principles to the e-learning industry through instructional design, and has proved neurolearning’s effectiveness over and over by helping more than 100 Fortune 500 clients implement innovative learning solutions and maximize performance through by applying neurolearning to e-learning solutions. 

Makhlouf has a master’s degree in Instructional Technology from the University of South Florida. linkedin.com/in/jackmakhlouf/

Brent-Pearson

Brent Pearson, Founder, Enboarder

Brent Pearson has developed a new mobile learning platform called Enboarder that is streamlining onboarding challenges for busy managers in an intuitive way that adds value for new hires, busy managers and organizations.

Enboarder has been developed by Pearson in response to research that indicated one of the biggest gaps in onboarding new employees takes place between the time the employee is made an offer, and begins his or her first day. This e-learning tool uses mobile delivery methods to serve up a scripted set of interactions that fill that gap. In the first year of implementation, he’s already won pilot projects with such notable brands as Coca-Cola and Turner Broadcasting.

Pearson is a serial entrepreneur with passions in research & development, recruitment strategy and recruitment technology. He has previous tenures with Booz.Allen Hamilton as Director of Knowledge Management, as well as many startups. linkedin.com/in/bpearson/

Alexander-Salas

Alexander Salas, Supervisor, Learning Management Systems, Centene Corp.

According to co-workers, selecting just one category in which to honor Alexander Salas “is impossible.” Since joining Centene Corp., he has been a catalyst for progress — a figurative wrecking ball destroying bad habits and silos in the organization when it comes to the LMS. He has developed an entire online community to support learning and the LMS, streamlined administrative processes, and enhanced the abilities of corporate customers.

Not only is Salas an e-learning multimedia developer, he’s also a U.S. Navy veteran and a lifelong learner in learning and development (L&D).

After serving alongside U.S. Marines as a Navy Hospital corpsman, Salas has promoted and spearheaded the adoption of e-learning solutions for every employer he has worked for in the last 12 years. He’s the organizer of the Orlando Articulate Users Group, which promotes learning of Articulate authoring tools; he shares many of his custom templates at Articulate’s E-learning Heroes Community.

A former Web technology board member at ATD’s Central Florida Chapter, he is an active speaker on topics such as augmented reality, e-learning authoring and multimedia design.  Aside from all this, Salas has a master’s degree in Training and Development and Leadership and is a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) and CompTIA Certified Technical Trainer.  linkedin.com/in/stylelearn/

Mike-Alcock

Mike Alcock, Managing Director, gomo learning Ltd.

Mike Alcock has now created two award-winning, game-changing e-learning authoring tools: Atlantic Link in 2003 and gomo learning in 2013. He’s won more than 30 awards on the back of these, including “Best of Elearning!” (four times), Brandon Hall Gold (three times) and many more. In each case, he’s been personally responsible for sales and marketing as well as product development, leading both companies to global recognition.

With gomo learning in 2013, Alcock took an existing HTML5-based framework and commercialized it to create the next generation of Cloud-based authoring tools. Gomo was one of the world’s first responsive HTML5 authoring tools and still maintains product and innovation leadership in the authoring tools space.

Alcock and his team continue to lead the way with collaborative, Cloud-based solutions. Gomo now offers integrated hosting, xAPI analytics and a native app capability, taking it from a pure authoring tool to a complete learning suite. The new product’s sales is now growing by more than 60 percent in the last 12 months. Gomo is now a key part of Learning Technologies Group (LTG) alongside LEO, Eukleia, Preloaded and Rustici.

Alcock’s success in inventing new and innovative software solutions, as well as building and running two global authoring tool companies and changing the landscape of the industry, earned him this 2017 Learning! Champion Award. linkedin.com/in/mikealcock/

MENTORING

Che-Prince

Che Prince, Owner, Founder, Che Prince Learning Solutions

As a recent graduate from the Instructing Adults Certificate Program at George Brown, Che Prince was instrumental to the success of his students as a direct result of his excellent mentoring capabilities. He provides additional technical support and guidance in order to achieve excellent grades that will help students successfully launch new careers as training developers. In addition to his daily activities as a training developer and C.E.O. of his own learning solutions company, Prince also finds time in his busy schedule to provide the coaching and mentoring.

Prince is a subject-matter expert in learning consulting and needs analysis. He has demonstrated knowledge and experience within L&D and learning technologies, a comprehensive knowledge of practice of project management, and an understanding of adult learning. Other strengths are global and organizational awareness, change management leadership, excellent communication skills, highlighted by initiative, creativity and vision.

Bottom line: Prince is an excellent coach and mentor who rigorously applies the principles of adult learning not only to his own instructional design, but to his trainees as well. He is able to break down requirements into individual simple step-by-step tasks in order to easily obtain successful learning objectives.

Previously, Prince spent nine years as a troop commander and training officer in the Canadian Armed Forces; 16 years as an aerospace engineer at Pratt and Whitney Canada. He has a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from Ryerson Polytechnic University and a Six Sigma Green Belt.  linkedin.com/in/cheprince1/

HIGHPERFORMER

DanHalverstadt

Dan Halverstadt, Vice President of Quality and Training, USIC

Dan Halverstadt has been recognized as a thought leader in the learning industry and has been influential in training and quality at USIC. He currently manages a team of four direct reports for training and quality. Additionally, he’s accountable for more than 60 indirect reports. In recent months and years, he’s effectively moved all training internally, saving $1 million annually in consulting cost. He added the positions of Learning Management System Administrator and Instructional Designer, who created an online learning system under his directive, reducing training times by 66 percent.

Halverstadt developed an industry, ground-breaking and award-winning training method with 270 learning modules specific to the position, utilities, and geography of each role.  He also created a system of on-the-job training that included upgrades and changes resulting in: doubling production and employee retention; reduction in safety issues by 50 percent; quality increase of 40 percent; reduction in cost by 85 percent for new technicians; and, developed user-friendly, water-proof pocket manuals affording each employee an easy-access field guide.

He has more than 20 years of experience driving improvement, visibility, and quality in organizational initiatives for the United States Air Force and USIC. As a USIC VP, he ensures that each time an employee goes out to a call, that employee is equipped with the tools to ensure safety and quality through in-depth training initiatives, protect infrastructures, and provide damage prevention.  linkedin.com/in/danielhalverstadt/

DanielleTomlinson

Danielle Tomlinson, Vice President, Global Education, Plex Systems

Danielle Tomlinson is a long-time leader in the training and development industry, having led training and development within some of the largest and highest growth software companies. Currently, she is responsible for all education services around the world at Plex Systems, a leader in Cloud-based ERP for manufacturing.

Tomlinson has spent the majority of her 20-year career working for high-tech and high-growth software companies on the Services team, specifically the Education Services team. That’s typically the department that provides technical training to customers, partners and employees. Her responsibility has centered around making sure that people know how to use the products that are being sold. Performance is typically measured against a financial goal for the delivery of this training. During her career, Tomlinson has demonstrated an ability to grow revenue and improve margin through business development initiatives, cost management, recruiting key partners and employees, and innovative training product development.

At Plex, Tomlinson has expanded the corporate education globally to search many different markets around the world. The company currently supports more than 400 organizations and 1,300 production facilities in 20 countries around the world.

In 2012, Tomlinson was honored with a “Top 40 Under 40 Training Leadership Award” by a leading publication. This Learning! Champion Award adds to her impressive career. linkedin.com/in/danielle-tomlinson-458393/

DianaBennet

Diana Bennett, Program Manager, IBM Corporate Headquarters (CHQ), Center for Advanced Learning (CAL) Technical Leadership Exchange (TLE)

Here’s the kind of person and employee that Diana Bennett is:

“D”ynamic harbinger of learning for technology leaders;  

“I”nspirational role model;

“A”dvocate for innovation and enablement — bringing positive change to IBM;

“N”urturing manager who supports, encourages and empowers her team; and

“A”gile learning program manager who removes obstacles in order to deliver quality education.

According to her co-workers, she is the type of leader who transcends the negative and works towards the growth, improvement and overall betterment of employees. Her positive nature is infectious.

In terms of reach, Bennett’s training program has a primary target audience of IBM technical employees in leadership roles, but all of IBM’s 400,000 employees can participate. In past few years, the 25,000 to 50,000 technical participants have given the program an overall satisfaction rating of 92% positive.

Bennett leads a small but effective team of nine learning professionals who trust her to deliver their vision and increase the skills and knowledge of innovative and technical IBMers.

Obstacles arise that have the potential to derail a lesser talent, but not Bennett. She faces each challenge with an unflappable positive spirit and a capable tenacity. She inspires. Success is the only end state that she knows.

With a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Arizona State University, Bennett has an extensive background in producing engaging and exciting events in corporate education. Past work includes acting as program manager for fast-forward career development events as well as facilitation, event planning, presentations, communications and client focus. linkedin.com/in/diana-bennett-b122599/

Published in Top Stories

 

The 7th Annual Enterprise Learning! Conference is now accepting submissions for the September event. The theme is ‘Building the High Performance Organization’ and focuses on the strategy, best practices and technologies that drive performance. The event seeks thought leaders and presenters with expertise in learning, talent development, business performance and learning and workplace technologies.

ELC17 is also host to the 2017 Learning! 100 and Learning! Champions Awards honoring the top 100 learning organizations and those making extraordinary contributions to the learning industry. Attendees herald from Amazon Web Services, AT&T, NASCAR, Dept. of Defense, and others.

To submit to ELC17, visit: http://www.2elearning.com/rss2/item/56671-enterprise-learning-conference-2017-call-for-papers

 

Published in Latest News

 

Only 8% of CEOs see Learning and Development’s business impact concludes a study conducted by LinkedIn. Chief Learning Officers (CLOs) face increased pressure to deliver learning that engages employees and positively impacts the bottom line. Companies are looking for proof that their investment is paying off in terms of increased workforce performance.

The report revealed 90% of business leaders believe learning and design programs are key to closing skill gaps. Yet, only 8% of CEOs in the report said they saw the business impact of L&D programs. Even fewer (4%) saw a clear ROI.

The disconnect may be access. Only around 60% of learning and design pros have any real say in their companies (invited to the C-suite on a regular basis, in other words) cites the report.  The teams are simply reacting to the demands of upper management.

Discover more finding at: https://learning.linkedin.com/content/dam/me/learning/en-us/pdfs/lil-workplace-learning-report.pdf

 

Published in Ideas

While 96% of HR pros agree that managers are vital to driving business success, fewer than half say their business adequately invests in developing front-line managers, according to recent Human Capital Institute research. It’s estimated that half of all workers have left a job to get away from a bad manager. Fight the trend: help improve organizational performance and employee engagement by equipping new managers to coach their people and provide clear feedback. Here are some key activities to set your new managers up for success.

1 IDENTIFY THE SKILLS AND COMPETENCIES REQUIRED TO EFFECTIVELY LEAD TEAMS.

When an individual contributor takes on responsibility for a team, he or she may require entirely different skills than the ones that led to success in past roles. As a manager, people skills may become more important than product knowledge; coaching ability trumps an aptitude for coding software. So make sure that you’re hiring managers who have the skills to succeed in those roles, not just promoting based on tenure or great performance in a role that requires entirely different strengths. Gallup found companies that hire managers based on talent realize a 48% increase in profitability, a 30% increase in employee engagement and a 19% decrease in employee turnover. Begin helping your potential leaders develop their skills before putting them in a management role.

2 GIVE MANAGERS VISIBILITY INTO THEIR TEAM’S STRENGTHS, NEEDS, GOALS AND GAPS.

Make sure your managers clearly understand the expectations and goals for their teams—from both a project perspective and professional development standpoint—so they can see progress and respond appropriately. Leading a team to high performance requires managers to provide direction and hold people accountable. Make sure that employee’s goals are documented so managers can measure and track progress through regular check-ins. HCM systems that provide visibility into each team member’s goals make it easier for managers to deliver meaningful coaching and feedback.

3 TEACH YOUR MANAGERS TO DELIVER CONTINUOUS COACHING AND FEEDBACK ON PERFORMANCE.

Just 12% of employees grade their managers as excellent at helping staff improve performance and only 11% say their managers excel at coaching, supporting and developing them. This is a huge gap that organizations must fill if they want to retain staff and provide career mobility. Train managers to become strong coaches so they can guide team members—and the team as a whole—to peak performance.

Next, prepare managers to deliver regular feedback and have an ongoing dialog with each team member. Frequent conversations keep employees engaged and lead to better performance, but one study found that only about 20% of workers meet with their manager on a weekly basis. Make sure your managers are meeting with all their people often enough so that employees know how they’re doing. Have employees and managers collaborate on development plans, balancing current job goals with employees’ additional interests. Leverage performance management tools and 360-degree feedback to let both employees and managers know how they’re doing and recommend appropriate next steps.

Managers have a huge impact on the performance of your people—so make sure you’re giving them the tools and training they need to lead, engage and inspire their teams.

To learn more about identifying and developing first-time people leaders, download complimentary research from SumTotal, A Skillsoft Company, at sumtotalsystems.com/managers.

—Source: 1 “Identifying and Developing First-Time People Leaders.” Human Capital Institute, August 19, 2016. 2 “State of the American Manager: Analytics and Advice for Leaders.” Gallup, 2015. 3 “Future-proofing HR: Bridging the Gap Between Employers and Employees.” Mercer, 2016. 4 “How Millennials Want to Work and Live.”

Published in Ideas

 

After seeing the many AI-powered toys, consumer products and smartphones at CES this month, it is important to ask about AI's future and security. This week, tech billionaires from LinkedIn and eBay are donating $20 million to the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Funds to “protect” society from AI. The Fund will distribute money to researchers working on the tough ethical problems raised by AI.

“There’s an urgency to ensure that AI benefits society and minimizes harm,” said LinkedIn’s founder, Reid Hoffman. “AI decision-making can influence many aspects of our world – education, transportation, healthcare, criminal justice and the economy – yet data and code behind those decisions can be largely invisible.”

Last year, Elon Musk and other technology leaders invested $1 billion in OpenAI.org, a non-profit artificial intelligence research company whose mission is to assure safe and secure use of Artificial Intelligence.  OpenAI’s mission is “to advance digital intelligence in the way that is most likely to benefit humanity as a whole, unconstrained by a need to generate financial return,” according to their website.

Musk has been critical of AI and its potential harm.  “I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I had to guess at what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that. So, we need to be very careful,” said Musk. “I’m increasingly inclined to think that there should be some regulatory oversight, maybe at the national and international level, just to make sure that we don’t do something very foolish.”

Musk will be co-chair of the non-profit with technology venture capitalist Sam Altman, who has backed Reddit. Similar initiatives are being funded by IBM, Google and Apple.

 

Published in Ideas

 

Most people think of leadership as an occupation or a person who is formally in charge of others, but leadership is really the mechanism that enables a group to perform better. Specifically, leadership is a process of influence that enables a group of people to function as a team to achieve more than an individual or a badly led group. Leadership, then, is a resource for the group, and the critical issue is not what the leaders look like but how they influence the group.

The good news for those hoping to automate leadership is that its scientific study is well-established. Indeed, 100 years of academic research have enabled us to identify the key ingredients of leadership, so it is now possible to predict with a relatively high degree of accuracy whether someone will become a leader and how effectively they will lead if they get there. And once we are able to decode a phenomenon to break it down into its core components, then it is feasible to automate it. As Norbert Wiener, the father of cybernetics and a pioneer in robotics, noted: “If we can do anything in a clear and intelligible way, we can do it by machine.”

Unlike human leaders, a well-programmed robot would be selflessly focused on advancing the interest of its team

For example, a crucial component of effective leadership is technical expertise. Unsurprisingly, leaders make better decisions than their subordinates when they have higher levels of domain-specific knowledge and sometimes higher general intelligence than them. To the degree that this knowledge can be reduced to a fixed set of rules and facts, it would be hard for even the most experienced leader to compete with a machine.

Furthermore, while the logical and reasoning capabilities of humans tend to peak by the age of 30, intelligent machines can continue to learn and get smarter and faster as they process more data. Of course, a robot leader will not be able to replicate human intuition, but there is no real evidence that intuition – feelings about facts – makes leaders more effective. On the contrary, when intuition is not grounded on data it can produce toxic ideas and undesirable behaviors, such as prejudice, unconscious bias and discrimination.

Another key component of effective leadership is integrity, which involves putting the team ahead of the leader and displaying consistency between one’s words and actions. There are two main reasons for the importance of integrity in leadership. First, integrity is linked to trustworthiness and unless groups trust their leaders they will not be able (or willing) to perform well. Second, when leaders lack integrity they could engage in a range of unethical and counterproductive behaviours that harm their teams.

Given the frequency with which these toxic and destructive behaviours are displayed in leaders, including highly qualified and talented individuals at the top of successful and global organisations, it appears that the honesty bar is fairly low, so it should not be difficult to design robot leaders that outperform most of their human counterparts on this score.

Needless to say, unlike human leaders, a well-programmed robot would be selflessly focused on advancing the interest of its team – that would be its only agenda. In contrast, even when people lead effectively they tend to be driven by selfish and narcissistic desires (eg the need for status, recognition and power), which explains why they often derail. Indeed, one study estimates that up to 67%  of managers can be expected to fail.

A third critical element for effective leadership is strategic self-awareness or the capacity to understand how one impacts on others. Self-aware leaders are able to examine themselves from other people’s perspective. They are alert to feedback and able the gauge how their acts and intentions may be interpreted by others, which enables them to proactively manage their reputation.

Although self-awareness might appear to be a human characteristic, it can be modelled in robots. Indeed, most AI systems comprise a feedback loop that enables them to adjust their decisions on the basis of environmental inputs (eg thermostats, chatbots and wearables). Meanwhile the technologies for identifying human emotions from audiovisual content are advancing rapidly. And again, it is not that this ability is particularly refined in leaders, which is why billions of pounds are devoted each year to executive coaching designed to help leaders increase their self-awareness.

A final key ingredient for effective leadership concerns good people-skills, often referred to as emotional intelligence (EQ). Leaders with higher EQ are able to stay calm and composed, even in stressful circumstances. They can read other people like a book and are capable of predicting and influencing the behaviour of others.

Although affective computing – the creation of emotionally intelligent systems - is still in its infancy, it is important to note that robots do not need to be able to feel in order to act in an emotionally intelligent manner. In fact, contrary to what people think, even in humans high EQ is associated with lower rather than higher emotionality: it is about controlling one’s impulses and inhibiting strong emotions in order to act rationally and minimise emotional interference.

EQ scores range from very low – with key characteristics being neurotic, hotheaded and emotionally hypersensitive – to very high, phlegmatic, impassive and unexcited, so the real challenge would be to create robots with low rather than high EQ.

Though the idea of a computer-generated manager may seem far-fetched at the moment, robot leaders could start entering the working environment and begin to outperform bad (or even average) human leaders within the next few decades.

By Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic

-About the Author

Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic is professor of business psychology at University College London, visiting professor at Columbia University and the CEO of Hogan Assessment Systems. He is co-founder of metaprofiling.com and author of Confidence: The Surprising Truth About How Much You Need and How to Get It.

 

Published in Top Stories

We are now embracing an era when both enterprise and personal technology options are improving almost by the day. So several important considerations must be taken into account to help decide how our organizations will respond and benefit from new HR and learning technologies. Among them: how overall strategy, corporate culture and existing technology will play into future plans.

STRATEGY:

Strategy is both a key component when it comes to a technology environment and a significant opportunity; for instance, more than 40 percent of organizations are looking at improving or developing a new enterprise HR systems strategy this year. This is a key issue for most organizations.

For large organizations (more than 10,000 employees), the goal is most often to transform the technology environment, creating a more modern architecture that can support new user experiences, mobile access, and full-data analysis requirements. Research has shown that organizations are taking multiple pathways forward and are leveraging this opportunity to rethink their enterprise view of HR technology.

Among mid-market (2,500 to 10,000 employees) and small businesses, HR technology adoption has become a key to success. Organizations with higher-than-average HR technology adoption in these categories saw almost double the revenue per employee, and a 12 percent increase in their overall HR, talent and business outcome metrics. These organizations also are 75 percent more likely to be viewed as strategic partners by their business leaders, and they are 10 times more likely to be in the top 10 percent of organizations when it comes to social responsibility initiatives.

CULTURE:

Three specific HR outcome models — talent-driven, data-driven, and topperforming organizations — can alter decisions. In a world of constant digital change, organizations need to completely rethink their perception of technology investments. In today’s Cloud-based environments, organizations have shown that continuous change management models improve decisionmaking across the entire organization.

Cloud-based technologies also allow organizations to develop more valuable relationships with their workforces, clearly defining their expectations and the employee value proposition in a tailored employee experience.

TECHNOLOGY:

Now that there has been a shift both from vendors and buyers toward Cloud/SaaS HR solutions, foundational technology questions are refocusing. This year’s survey shows a 25 percent increase in organizations evaluating Cloud solutions for non-HR technology, and an increase in large organization initiatives to integrate both HR and non-HR technologies. The key questions for many organizations come down to cost, security and long-term value propositions for a full Cloud solution.

The new non-negotiables are focused on user experience, roadmap strategies, and tailored relationships. For instance, there has been a 40 percent increase to 66 percent of organizations that identify “poor user experience” as their primary reason for giving vendors a low satisfaction rating.

The next generation of technology is meant to be invisible and ubiquitous in our lives, and it’s expected to perform as an intelligent system. More than 5 percent of organizations are already using some form of machine learning, wearables and sentiment analysis tools as strategic parts of their HR systems strategies.

Now for some specific facts and figures, based on Sierra-Cedar’s most recent research:

SPENDING PATTERNS

This year, just 42 percent of organizations believe their spending will increase in 2016–2017, while 7 percent feel their spending will decrease. That represents a slight slowdown in spending plans from last year, but it’s still very healthy when compared with 2013’s spending plans following the recent recession.

Small organizations are the fastest growing segment of “new” HR technology buyers, so vendors will need come to the table with a compelling reason for them to increase spending next year; 57 percent of small organizations are on target to simply maintain their existing HR technology spending. However, each year, smaller and smaller organizations invest in HR technology.

HR SYSTEM EXPENDITURES

On average, total HR technology costs can range from $100 to $500 per employee annually. These numbers change dramatically based on the number of systems implemented, amount of internal resources versus outsourced resources, global scope of an organization, and the complexity of an organization’s service and support needs. These global numbers are generally helpful only as a ballpark figure, but do provide us with a lens through which to review year-over-year annual expenditures per employee — and it might be surprising to note that the total overall HR technology costs have seen a slight decline over the last few years.

HR TECHNOLOGY RESOURCING STRATEGIES

Knowing that spending doesn’t provide the only indicator of what an organization can accomplish when it comes to its enterprise HR systems strategy, a new question was added concerning an organization’s plans to increase or decrease certain roles across their HR function over the next year. Immediately, corporate learning and development initiatives claimed the top position for increased hiring plans for 37 percent of the organizations that responded to the survey — and only 5 percent plan to decrease these initiatives.

Following just behind L&D was 33 percent of organizations planning to invest in hiring HR data analytics personnel. Twenty-nine percent of organizations also plan to increase talent management headcount this year.

IMPLEMENTATION PLANS, TIMELINES, MODULES

Fewer organizations (17 percent) are planning to make solution changes in the next 12 months as compared to previous years, but more are planning movement over the next 24 months. Organizations with low user experience scores are four times more likely to have near-term plans to replace their current vendor.

Once an organization has decided to either replace or upgrade an existing solution, the next focus becomes timelines and costs. Implementation timelines have been a constant challenge for organizations dealing with on-remise solutions, particularly for large global organizations. Two- to three-year implementation timelines for enterprise-wide HRMS environments were not uncommon for organizations, especially when these solutions were implemented alongside other enterprise-wide solutions.

In the last few years, we have seen a decrease in overall implementation timelines, particularly for licensed environments, but also for Cloud/SaaS solutions. Less customization, greater access to APIs, and pre-developed connectors for integration, along with more adequately trained implementation partners, have all led to a reduction in overall implementation timelines over the past three years.

At this point, there are fewer onpremise implementations than Cloud/ SaaS implementations, since very few organizations are aggressively selling their on-premise solutions.

LEARNING APPLICATIONS

Because of complex learning needs, large and medium organizations are much more likely to have high levels of learning application adoption over small organizations. Sierra-Cedar anticipates continued shake up in the learning space over the next few years as enterprise software packages continue to invest in their new learning solutions, and many niche learning players coming out of the consumer learning space (like Degreed) are trying the change the concept of who owns an employee’s learning record.

Although Cornerstone OnDemand focuses heavily on its talent management modules, it continues to be one of the largest providers in the learning space and holds the highest level of application adoption at 19 percent; for large and medium organizations, Cornerstone OnDemand sees an increase forecasted adoption in the next 12 months. Other companies that are expected to grow substantially are SuccessFactors Employee Central, Saba, Health Stream, Oracle HCM Cloud (which is being rolled out separately from the Oracle Taleo/Learn solutions). Moderate growth is likely to come to NetDimensions and SilkRoad.

SumTotal and Skillsoft — now combined organizations — continue to hold large adoption shares in learning across all organization sizes. It is likely that many organizations use Skillsoft as a secondary learning solution along with their primary learning management system (LMS), but decreases are projected in adoption rates for this vendor for both applications.

—Research for Sierra-Cedar conducted by Stacey Harris, vice president of Research & Analytics and research consultant Erin Spencer. The “Sierra-Cedar 2016-2017 HR Systems Survey White Paper, 19th Annual Edition” can be found at www.sierra-cedar.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2016/10/Sierra-Cedar_2016-2017_HRSystemsSurvey_WhitePaper.pdf

--By Jerry Roche

Published in Top Stories

 

The Consumer Electronics Show 2017 (CES), the world’s large consumer technology event happens this week, and serves the $287 billion U.S. consumer technology industry. Thousands of solutions and exhibitors are on display with the new and the next in consumer tech. But, which solutions will really move the needle for enterprise learning?

While many at CES are focused on autonomous cars and their intelligent systems architecture, there are some technologies to watch for enterprise learning on display. Let’s look at five interesting solutions that offer a mirror to the future…even some may redefine how learning is delivered.1.      

1. HTC Tracker Vive Turns on VR for Everything

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HTC Vive has been called the most immersive VR experience to date. At CES, HTC showcased the VIVE Tracker, a new tracking peripheral that can be inserted into any product to make it work in the virtual world. Image adding the Tracker to your baseball bat to practice your swing in a VR game. Peacekeepers could use the tracker on equipment during fire simulations, police officers for standoffs, and the like. There are hundreds of potential learning applications.

The Tracker transforms any device into the virtual environment. This means any manufacturer can be a VR device manufacturer by embedding the tracker.

 

 

2. First Google Tango-enabled Augmented-reality Smartphone

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At CES 2017, we see a trend of software being embedded in devices. We no longer must learn to code. ASUS ZenFone AR  Smartphone is the world’s first 5.7-inch smartphone with Tango and Daydream by Google. Tango's AR lets you see virtual objects and information on top of your surroundings. And, Daydream is Google’s virtual reality technology.

For enterprise learning applications, AR if great for on-boarding, technical and safety training. The faster these capabilities are pushed to the smartphone and adopted, the sooner users can generate training content to share their native expertise. Learn more at: https://www.asus.com/Phone/ZenFone-AR-ZS571KL/

At CES 2016, we learned the cost of sensing technology has dropped to pennies an axial, and text to voice is now 95% accurate.  No surprise, we see these technologies integrated into some smart devices for home and work.

 

3. Voice is Everywhere: LG, Alexa and Google Home

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Like VR, manufacturers are integrating voice assistants within devices at home. NVidia plays with Google Home to create smart home devices. LG is using Alexa in refrigerators to track use by dates, groceries to buy and can place the online order via Amazon Pantry.

These solutions are launching at rates faster than enterprises can adopt them. Enterprises are using machine learning and AI to drive business decisions today. We could drive this intelligence to voice commands at the enterprise creating the perfect assistant.

 

4. Concept: Razer’s Project Ariana

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We have heard of Microsoft’s HoloLens and Star Trek’s Holodeck. Now we have seen Razer’s new concept projector, called Project Ariana. Ariana can bring projection mapping to the masses. The system is a giant screen that blends seamlessly when projected across your wall, furniture and tables. Under development, expect to see this projection system engulf an entire room with visuals that simulate being there. Imagine a Super Bowl broadcast that fills the room with you immersed in the sound and visuals. For enterprises, use of live immersive projections like Project Ariana would be great for CEO meet and greets and group wide or global team meetings. See it at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dX3sz0S5PA0

 

5. Cool Tools for the Office

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CES is not CES unless you come back with cool tools you want to take home. Here are two our editors loved.

First, Tickle Sensor is a tool to convert your PC to touch screen. Neonode Airbar is sold for $189 and clips to the screen easily. Learn more at: http://www.neonode.com/

Second, the travel keyboard that folds up to fit in a pocket is a must have. The Kanex Keyboard has a 2-day battery life.  It is Bluetooth enabled and the magnetic case keeps it closed. Cost is less than $100.

Next up from Elearning! Magazine: Key trends and consumer technology market growth reports from CES. Follow us at @2elearning or visit: 2elearning.com.

 

 

 

Published in Latest News

This is the season of gift giving. The top ten consumer gifts are mostly technology-enabled and give us insights into the technologies enterprise learning needs to embrace.  From Apple Watch, PlayStation VR, Amazon’s Echo Dot to Fire TV Stick, we see trends in mobile, Virtual Reality, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and video streaming. The rate of technology adoption is pressuring learning organizations to adopt and adapt quickly.

How are talent leaders adopting these technologies?

-Virtual Reality is expected to reach $50 billion by 2025 according to Goldman Sachs. We asked four leaders from education, government and corporate enterprises to share how they are using Virtual Reality for learning. Discover their implementations here.

-The User Experience is paramount to employees. With the increase of millennials in the workplace, learning leaders are embracing social, video and mobile to enhanced user experience and engagement. See how Express, Inc. is fashioned for millennials here.

-The 12th Annual Best of Elearning! Awards honors 99 solution providers named by 4000+ learning professionals. See what enterprises are investing in and deploying successfully view the complete list of solutions and what users say about them here.

While technology may be a portion of the story, there are also key behavioral shifts. We are seeing the emergence of the Fractal Organization according to David Coleman, Principal of Collaborative Strategies.  A flat collaborative work structure that may be in your future. Learn more here.

Jeanne Meister, founder of Future Workplace, declares we are in the ‘Era of Serial Learner.’ Discover what it means to leaders everywhere here. Finally, Dean Pichee says “Organizations who deliver the best, most engaging, effective employee training today are going to be tomorrow’s winners in the marketplace.”   Learn more in his ‘Science of Learning’ column here.

It’s time to make that next transition. Take the first step by viewing these articles from learning leaders who have been in your shoes. Create your corporate learning wish list with an eye on your future workforce, their behaviors and toolsets. 

Published in Top Stories
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