Training Industry Quarterly - Summer 2011 - (Page 11)

LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES | TONY O’DRISCOLL LEARNING IS NOT SUFFICIENTLY VALUED WITHIN THE ORGANIZATION CLASSROOM TRAINING: 7 SCARY PROBLEMS F or centuries, trainers have believed that the classroom is the optimal mechanism for transferring learning. Today’s digital revolution, with the arrival of the Web, social media and mobile connectivity, is challenging this long-held assumption. Issues arise if the sole vehicle for learning is classroom training. The training industry must address seven scary problems if it wishes to remain robust and relevant within the globally integrated, digitally mediated and virtually orchestrated enterprise. 1. The autonomous learner problem. Emerging technologies make it simple for modern day employees to become on-demand learners. The Web and social media channels provide employees with the autonomy to address their unanticipated learning needs in real time via search or subject matter networks. 2. The timing problem. Unforeseen learning needs emerge - and must be addressed - in the blink of an eye. Time sensitivity in the digital enterprise is at odds with the time traditionally needed to analyze, design, develop and deliver a formal learning program. Today, the majority of learning needs are being identified and addressed at the edge of the enterprise in real time by autonomous learners. 3. The packaging problem. The traditional course format is not aligned with the needs of today’s time-starved employee where training is organized around topics as opposed to tasks. Learning content needs to be organized around the context in which the learning need arises to avoid unnecessary overhead for the learner. 4. The performance problem. Lack of knowledge or skill is only a small part of the reason organizations do not perform as desired. Studies suggest it only accounts for 10 percent to 15 percent of enterprise performance issues. The training function alone cannot address the multiple root-causes of poor performance within the enterprise. 5. The routinization problem. Technology has largely been applied to create e-classroom content and automate existing training process for formal learning. So while learners themselves have found new ways to learn by leveraging technology, the training function itself has fallen prey to the trap of automating the past rather than leveraging it to create a new future. 6. The transfer problem. Just because you know something does not mean that you act upon that knowledge. Studies show that as much as 80 percent of investments in training programs fail to result in behavior change on the job. 7. The value problem. Even with stellar operational improvements, learning is not sufficiently valued within the organization to earn a seat at the table. Average training budgets are around 2 percent of payroll. If we assume 100 percent improvement via the application of technology, we can either double our throughput or half our costs. Either way that number is not something that commands a lot of attention in the executive corridors. The required transformation of the learning function begins with examining how the Web, social media and mobile connectivity can be leveraged in new and different ways to overcome each of the seven scary problems outlined above. Tony O’Driscoll is the executive director of the Center for Technology, Entertainment and Media at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. E-mail Tony. 11 TrainingIndustry Quarterly, Summer 2011 / A Training Industry, Inc. ezine /

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Quarterly - Summer 2011

Training Industry Quarterly - Summer 2011
The Formula for Performance
Table of Contents
Ad Index
Training for Transformation
Working Smarter: New Ways of Learning
Classroom Training: 7 Scary Problems
Technical Training: Where Does it Belong?
Social Learning: Focus on Collaboration
Performance Management: Focus on People…and Profit
Adding Social Media Tools to Learning Portfolios: 10 Questions to Consider
Bridging the Gap: Training and Business Results
Managing Knowledge in High Performance Organizations
Web 3.0: Transforming Learning
The Soft Touch

Training Industry Quarterly - Summer 2011