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Learning Trend: Going Back to the Future
The learning industry has changed dramatically in the last few years, but there are also several important retro trends emerging.
After more than 10 years of studying the learning industry in great detail, it’s hard not to see patterns. This year, as Bersin & Associates finishes its third biannual High-Impact Learning Organization research study, I see some trends that go back to the future.First, as we all know, the learning industry has changed dramatically in the last few years. Companies are flooded with content, video and tools for sharing information. This has dramatically changed the nature of learning programs, making them less formal, more continuous, more social and more mobile. Our research shows organizations that spend time understanding new media are developing learning programs faster, delivering more impact and creating more compelling learning experiences. But we also see several important retro trends emerging. These include: Increasing centralization: Years ago companies built corporate universities, and then e-learning started to take hold and small learning groups proliferated throughout the organization. These small groups got big — customer education, sales training, manufacturing, compliance. But in the last few years, driven by the recession and the need to re-skill and on-board workers, these groups are getting stitched back together. Companies such as Citibank, Pfizer, Merck, Deloitte, Accenture and Xerox are building more centralized learning teams again, focused on creating alignment, reducing costs and creating an integrated development experience for all employees. A refocus on leadership development: Leadership development has been the first or second learning program in companies for years, and now it is on the front burner. Why? The very definition of leadership has changed. Today’s high-performing leader is more of a coach, expert and inspiring team builder. AT&T’s new leadership development program trains 80,000 professionals around the organization, reflecting the fact that in today’s business environment, we are all leaders in some way.Fixing the learning technology infrastructure: Unfortunately, after almost 15 years of research and development in the corporate LMS market, the industry is a mess again. Two of the biggest LMS vendors were recently acquired by ERP providers — SAP and Oracle — another of the biggest went private — SumTotal — and most of the remaining LMS vendors are small or have been gobbled up by talent management companies. Saba and Cornerstone are the only remaining public LMS vendors that have not completely lost focus on innovation in this market, and now there are dozens of exciting start-ups. These new companies have social learning platforms, collaboration systems, self-authoring tools and exciting mobile products. So, most corporate learning departments are once again forced to rethink their learning platform and how to stitch it together.
Microlearning — Size DOES Matter
June 20th 1:00pm - 2:00pm CT
2013 CLO Breakfast Club, Boston
September 12th - 12th, 2013The Westin Copley Place
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