Cheif Learning Officer Solutions for Enterprise Productivity

Five Traits of Effective Learning Teams

 -  4/25/10

All CLOs understand the importance of having an effective learning team. But effective teams don't happen by accident: They take hard work to build.

All CLOs understand the importance of having an effective learning team. But effective teams don’t happen by accident: They take hard work to build. Here are five traits of effective learning teams and examples from several successful organizations.

1. Collaboration: Collaboration is a key ingredient for successful teams. Without collaboration, organizations may suffer from duplication of effort, inconsistency, lack of standards and redundant technology. In fact, these were some of the very issues that the Nielsen Group was facing. By integrating its groups from an organizational perspective, the company formed a cohesive and collaborative team with talent and skill sets unique to existing resources. Geographically dispersed groups worked on design, development and implementation using collaborative technology tools.

Another collaborative success story is MedStar Health. The company revised its previously fragmented approach to learning by streamlining and standardizing training while harnessing the creative and intuitive knowledge of subject-matter experts. A diverse team of people from various groups worked together to offer cost-effective, 24/7 training, development and management.

2. Efficient communication: Many learning and development departments have to work as part of a virtual team, either with employees at different locations or with outside organizations. Good communication skills are especially important for virtual teams that can’t talk face to face.

For example, take the partnership between Aptara, a provider of digital content management and e-learning solutions, and ACS, a provider of business process outsourcing and IT services. Aptara is located in India; ACS is located in the U.S. Despite the great time difference, there is a small overlap of a few hours that both Aptara and ACS use to their advantage — scheduling all calls, query resolutions and meetings during this period. Their excellent communication helps them stay ahead of issues and constantly improve.

3. United purpose: One consistent trait among effective learning teams is integrating and aligning with the business.


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