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Unleashing Organizational Know-How
For many large U.S businesses, the past few years have been lean ones. The recession of 2001 and the jobless recovery that has ensued has seen management focus on cost-cutting and increasing productivity to position their companies for growth in the next
The reason for this is that there is a demographic, economic and social "perfect storm" that has been brewing for some time. Between 2005 and 2020, a "war for talent" will create a labor shortfall in the tens of millions of people. As a result, the best talent will be changing jobs and companies at an increasing rate leading to a "brain drain" at many large firms. Additionally, demographics such as baby boomers retiring at historic rates, fewer prime-age workers coming into the work force and an increasingly knowledge-based economy supply the ingredients for the evaporation of corporate know-how. The art and science of selecting, developing and retaining top talent will become a competitive advantage in the coming years for those organizations that master them.
This article examines distance education and training, knowledge management and how the strategic, systematic linking of the two would create more value for large companies. It focuses on rethinking the organizational learning structure and processes to better "develop" the work force, something that every company must improve to ride out the perfect storm described above. After briefly describing the current state of distance learning and knowledge management, the most valuable benefits and common challenges of executing this merger of learning functions will be explored. Also, examples of companies that have made progress in these areas will be examined.
Much has been written in recent years about the critical role of the "knowledge worker" in the 21st century and why leveraging intellectual capital is so crucial for large organizations to thrive. If this is true, companies will want to do everything they can to create teaching, mentoring and learning opportunities for their people. Linking distance education and knowledge management is one place to start.
On-the-Job Training Goes Mainstream
Over the past half decade, there has been a steady migration within large firms toward a learning strategy that relies heavily on technology to assist in the analysis, design, development and delivery of corporate learning. This has led to a plethora of opportunities for large firms to reduce their overall training and education costs, while often at the same time improving the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the training. For organizations like SBC Communications, First Union Bank, Ford Motor Corp., Hewlett-Packard and many others, distance learning has proven to be as effective and efficient as traditional instructor-led training, sometimes more effective and efficient. Two important questions deserve attention: Could distance education and training be enhanced by linking it to other organizational learning areas such as knowledge management through structure, process or technology; and, if so, how can this be accomplished? Before addressing these questions, what follows should paint a picture of the knowledge management function and how it contributes to organizational learning as a whole.
The Next Generation of HR: What’s Wrong? What’s Right?
May 23rd 1:00pm - 2:00pm CT
2013 CLO Breakfast Club, Boston
September 12th - 12th, 2013The Westin Copley Place
Fall 2013 CLO Symposium
September 30th - October 2nd, 2013Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa
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