One in three people (34%) find it difficult to take a break from technology, even when they know they should according to a GFK study. Tech anxiety varies by country; the U.S.A. is fifth highest among 17 countries queried, with China; Brazil and Argentina have highest levels who struggle to take a tech break. People in Germany, Netherlands and Belgium lead for finding it easy to “unplug.”

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Tech anxiety also varies by demographic. Within the U.S.A., those under 40 are highly anxious with 40% or higher claiming anxiety. And 39% of those in high-income bracket report tech anxiety. There was no difference reported between women and men within the U.S.A.

Sourcehttp://www.gfk.com/global-studies/global-studies-break-from-technology/

Published in Trends

According to McKinsey, marketing is the most likely function to embrace digital transformation within the enterprise. In contrast, only 2% of supply chain members are digitizing. What is the current state of digital transformation in marketing?

A study from Technology for Marketing (TFM) and Smart Insights found that some marketers are beginning to adopt digital transformation programs to keep up with everchanging technologies and evolving consumer expectations. Roughly one-fifth (21%) of the marketers surveyed globally had already started a digital transformation program, and 9% already had one in place for two years. Meanwhile, onethird of respondents were planning to adopt a digital transformation program within the next year.

However, nearly four in 10 marketers in the survey said they had no plans to run such a program. Many may be hesitant because they haven’t clearly defined their digital marketing strategy and some are likely still figuring it out. For example, the TFM and Smart Insights found that only 6% of marketers considered their company’s digital marketing integration completely optimized.

Despite the evidence that digitization can drive productivity, competitive wins and be the differentiator in the era of data and A.I., marketing is still early in integrating and optimizing within the enterprise.

Source: eMarketer, Technology for Marketing, Smart Insights

Published in Trends

MERIDIAN KNOWLEDGE SO- LUTIONS and OPENSESAME have announced a deep integration of Meridian Global LMS version 17.2 with the OpenSesame Marketplace. Meridian Global LMS 17.2 now streamlines the way users find and manage content, giving LMS administrators an easier and faster way to access and import courses from OpenSesame’s curated e-learning catalog.

Published in Deals

LEARNERBLY, a curated professional development SaaS platform based in London, raised £1.6 million in seed financing to create a so-called Development Management System. The round was led by Frontline Ventures, with other participants in the start-up funding round include PLAYFAIR CAPITAL, the Mayor of London’s LONDON CO-INVESTMENT FUND (LCIF), FUTURE PLANET CAPITAL and UK tech angels. It already has clients including IDEO, CARWOW, and USTWO. Learnerbly allows SMEs to manage the development of their staff using personal development planning tools which flex around their personal needs. Employees are matched to learning opportunities, and these are curated via peer-to-peer recommendations and insights from over 100 industry experts. 

Published in Deals

SKILLSOFT has partnered with Australian law firm JACKSON MCDONALD to release a series of workplace compliance courses designed to address systemic problems employees and organizations continue to face with regard to workplace harassment. The series of five short courses, which expands Skillsoft’s existing compliance training offering, cover key business risks around harassment and bullying, equal employment opportunity, and privacy. In a recent Safe Work Australia report, harassment and bullying claims represent 29 percent of mental stress claims in the workplace.

Productivity losses associated with low levels of management commitment to psychological health and safety in the workplace cost employers around $6 billion per annum.

Published in Deals

A.I. is hot, and money is flowing to A.I. entrepreneurs. Funding for artificial intelligence startups continues its upward trend in 2017 with investment hitting new highs. Venture, corporate and seed investors have put an estimated $3.6 billion into A.I. and machine learning companies this year, according to CrunchBase data. That’s more than they invested in all of 2016, marking the largest recorded sum ever put into the space in a comparable period.

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Forty-percent of the total investment in A.I. went to two deals. Argo AI, a Pittsburgh-based developer of A.I. technology for self-driving vehicles, raised $1 billion from Ford in February. And more recently, China-based SenseTime raised $410 million to develop applications of A.I.powered deep learning technology for uses like facial recognition and image processing.

Takeaway: A.I. is hot in the investment market. Look for companies to add A.I. to their product marketing to attract investment.

Published in Latest News

BY ALEXANDER STARRITT

For most countries in Europe and North America, driving down immigration, protecting employment for native workers, and controlling borders are becoming dominant trends in the political narrative. A fear that migrants might steal jobs and lower wages, especially in the middle of a refugee crisis, is increasingly setting the international debate.

In Sweden, however, the government has adopted a very different stance. There, new arrivals are actively encouraged into work, put on a fast-track to employment, matched with jobs in sectors where Sweden needs workers, and given training and mentoring.

This program called Snabbsparet is based on a simple formula. Newcomers who already have relevant skills and experience are given jobs in industries that are facing a shortage of workers. It’s much quicker: we can do things at the same time not a first-thing-then-wait and a second-thing-then-wait. The scheme isn’t so much a moral crusade as a win-win: migrants get meaningful jobs that suit them, and Sweden gets the skilled workers it needs, in areas ranging from catering to medicine.

“We have a huge challenge right now with all the newcomers to help them into the labor market,” Ylva Johansson, Sweden’s Ministry of Employment, explained. “But we have a lucky position: that we have a very strong economic growth and very high demand.”

Launched in 2015, the Fast Track program offers specialized career paths to migrants based on the profession in which they have experience. Most of the tracks include Swedish language coaching and on-the-job training, and all participants are given a mentor and guidance counselor. Often working in the government accommodation provided to refugees, these key workers link job seekers with employers and help them negotiate an unfamiliar recruitment system.

The tracks also tackle problems that many people don’t even realize exist. The medical Fast Track, for example, has allowed the qualifications that migrants earned in their home countries to be recognized and verified in Sweden. In the catering industry, trained chefs are now able to take workplace examinations in their first language so they can start new jobs more quickly.

One of the newest Fast Tracks, in teaching, places qualified migrants on a 26-week course covering Swedish language, educational theory, and European curriculums and standards. Because half of the course is taught in Arabic, some fear its graduates will have a poor grasp of Swedish.

The Swedish state is relatively unusual in offering migrants structured career paths: rather than offering one-off training courses and disparate opportunities, the Fast Track gives workers the direction they need to succeed.

“We can see what we’ve been lacking in Sweden is this idea of tracks,” Johansson explains. “We’ve been offering education, we’ve been offering courses, we’ve been offering practice. But we hadn’t formed the tracks and had all the stakeholders in the tracks working together.”

To make this work, she says, the most important move was to bring industry, trade unions and the third sector together with government. That has meant the fast tracks are tailored to each industry, with the support of leaders and workers. In this regard, the government has had plenty of good fortune. “We are using the fact that there are so many vacancies now,” Johansson says. “That’s why the employers are so eager to help educating and training people.”

That good luck, however, begs an important question about the Fast Track policy. It might work well in today’s Sweden when the economy is in active need of workers. But could the program work in a different context?

Johansson thinks so. “I think we can use also use this method when we have another period when there’s not such demand for jobs, but with some adjustments, of course,” she says. That would mean providing fasttrack programs for all rather than giving migrants a boost above the native population. “In a situation where there’s competition between workers towards a job we have to make tracks that would make them equal to others competing for the job.”

For now, however, the Fast Track program is so successful that the government is hoping to expand it to other areas. In the next stage of growth, the project will even train new migrants, from scratch, allowing them to take on jobs that they’re not yet qualified for and meeting the labor needs of Sweden at the same time.

Alexander Starritt is the editor of “Apolitical.

 

 

Published in Insights

We are living in one of the most innovative yet disruptive times. The millennial workforce will account for 50% of the workforce by 2025. Five generations are working side by side. Digital disruption has arrived; mobile communications, the Internet of Things and the sharing economy are our new norm. Soon, artificial intelligence (A.I.), machine learning and cognitive systems will be augmenting the workforce.

How do today’s learning leaders drive the high-performance organization in this age of disruption? This year’s Learning! 100 award-winners have some answers (beginning on page 26). In this issue, Elearning! magazine recognizes 100 organizations across the public and private sectors for innovation, collaboration, learning culture and high performance.

The most innovative companies like Amazon Web Services and Bayer AG not only create new solutions, they host a culture where innovation is in their DNA. (See Bayer AG’s story in our November edition.) Enterprises like Cisco, Agilent and IBM are shifting from manufacturing to business and cognitive services while reinventing their learning organizations. Scripps Health, Bing Lee Stores, VCA and universities like Georgia Tech, USC and the University of Edinburg are embracing simulations, virtual reality and A.I. to improve learner performance.

The Learning! 100 are thriving in this age of disruption.

Where do you start your own organization’s transformation? Defense Acquisition University (DAU), a seven-time Learning! 100 winner, reveals the evolution of learning strategy on page 14. At DAU, strategy development is collaborative; courses are tiered and evaluated with Impact Metrics to assure alignment with business strategy and impact. Performance improvement is the criterion every course is measured or replaced.

Disruption is also changing the role of instructional designers, subject-matter experts (SMEs) and learning leaders. In a data-driven world, we need to be more analytical and insightful. Access to intelligence is key to this transition, as noted by Candy Osborne, Bob Danna and Laci Lowe on page 42.

Even though your organization might not be ready to embark upon a re-invention, you can make learning more impactful. So Jonathan Peters, Ph.D., shares how L&D professionals can gamify learning, beginning on page 21.

Congratulations to the 2017 Learning! 100. Thank you for sharing your stories and showing the way to building the high-performance organization in the age of disruption.

Jerry Roche

Contributing Editor, Elearning! Media Group

 

 

Published in Insights

A Modern Learning Experience

Can Give Companies a Competitive Advantage

BY JEREMY AUGERN

Savvy organizations can capitalize on new workplace learning solutions to attract talent and improve performance.In the war for workplace talent, a robust learning experience can be a company’s secret weapon. Employees now want learning to be an integral part of their job, and they want employers to offer a modern approach to it. According to Gallup, 87% of millennials (who now occupy the largest share of the labor market) say development is important in a job. In fact, Gallup’s 2016 “How Millennials Want to Work and Live” report revealed that the opportunity to learn and grow is what millennials look for most in a new job opportunity.

A modern workplace learning experience is about strategically harnessing technology to put the right information at employees’ fingertips “just-in-time” so they can lead their own continuous development and drive iterative improvement. There are three things that are critical for creating a modern workplace learning experience:

1.  CONTENT CREATION AND CURATION

Creating and curating “just in-time” learning content is a critical component of the kind of informal, modern learning experience today’s professionals are seeking out. By leveraging next-generation learning engagement platforms, companies can easily deliver snack-sized knowledge and micro-skills to employees when they need it most, using built-in capabilities like automation features, adaptive learning technologies and learning repositories.

This means companies no longer have to rely solely on HR to manage learning. They can increasingly tap internal subject matter experts (SMEs) to create custom, shareable learning that can be leveraged throughout the organization. This SME-developed learning not only helps to identify and foster growth of high potential employees, but it’s also a good strategy to deliver learning that is tailored to the organization versus off-the-shelf content.

As companies use technology to expand their workforces internationally, and as employees increasingly opt to work remotely, creating and curating localized learning content is particularly important for facilitating an interconnected workforce that isn’t bound by geographic and cultural obstacles. According to an analysis of American Community Survey data by Global Workplace Analytics, fortune 1000 companies around the globe are revamping their space to accommodate the fact that employees are already mobile.

2. VIDEO LEARNING

Video is a great way to deliver meaningful, engaging, and job-relevant learning to employees. It can have an especially high impact on employee learning. People only remember 10% of what they hear after three days, but if relevant visuals are paired with that same information, they retain 65%.

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Video tools integrated into next-gen learning platforms can be used to do things like:

>> create custom video tutorials and training sessions;

>> record stand-up trainings and augment them with different learning aids and rich content;

>> provide customer support for service technicians;

>> capture employees’ experiential knowledge and deliver it to their peers by recording them talking about what      they do in their roles and how;

>> and allow trainers to overcome time restrictions, travel costs, and other barriers.

3. SOCIAL LEARNING & ASSESSMENT

Social learning is about empowering individuals to access information, expert advice, and online mentorship, as well as virtual networking and sharing experiences and insights. For example, video can be used for social assessment and leadership development, where performance-improving feedback from peers, managers, coaches, and mentors is delivered regularly to drive iterative improvement. Activity feed functionality can also be used to foster group discussions while building out products or projects.

By investing in all these areas, companies can deliver the kind of modern learning experiences that will help improve employee performance, attract and retain the right kind of talent, and ultimately improve their competitive advantage in a quickly changing workforce. To learn more about modern learning strategies and facilitating an engaging modern learning experience in the workplace, visit D2L.com/enterprise.

About the author: Jeremy Augern is Chief Strategy Officer of D2L Learn more at: D2L.com/ enterprise

 

Published in Ideas

What Steve Jobs Can Teach Us About Success

BY WALTER ISAACSON

Steve Jobs is one of the most admired and admonished figures of the technological age. With his razor-sharp focus on his work, continuous quest for perfection, unapologetic behavior, selfishness at times, seeming disregard for the feelings of others, and absolute dedication to his life’s work, he is like the hero of an Ayn Rand novel. His life, character, achievements and failures are repeatedly debated by admirers and critics alike.

Jobs’ path was not straightforward, winding through Indian ashrams, unfinished education, psychedelic experiences, companies found, and positions lost. But as Jobs himself says:

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

No matter what Jobs did, however starting companies, looking for spiritual answers, winning over the woman he loved he did it fully.

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

“I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next.”

And his main approach for doing things well, probably rooted in his affinity for Buddhism, was always looking for simplicity, stripping ideas, problems, products to their core, looking for that one, simple, clean essence of things.

“That’s been one of my mantras: focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex; you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

Finally, we should emphasize over and over again, that probably the biggest common denominator between incredibly successful people like Steve Jobs, Elon Musk or Bill Gates is simply their incredible perseverance and refusal to quit when faced with failure.

“Getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.”

—Walter Isaacson is author of “The Innovators.”

Published in Insights
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