Feb 16, 2010

Designing Training for Organization 2.0



Adults learn by social processes. David Kolb's Experiential Learning: Experience as the source of learning and development (1984) theorized that four combinations of perceiving and processing determine four learning styles that make up a learning cycle. According to Kolb, the learning cycle involves four processes that must be present for learning to occur:

  • Activist - Active Experimentation (simulations, case study, homework). What's new? I'm game for anything. Training approach - Problem solving, small group discussions, peer feedback, and homework all helpful; trainer should be a model of a professional, leaving the learner to determine her own criteria for relevance of materials.
  • Reflector - Reflective Observation (logs, journals, brainstorming). I'd like time to think about this. Training approach - Lectures are helpful; trainer should provide expert interpretation (taskmaster/guide); judge performance by external criteria.
  • Theorist - Abstract Conceptualization (lecture, papers, analogies). How does this relate to that? Training approach - Case studies, theory readings and thinking alone helps; almost everything else, including talking with experts, is not helpful.
  • Pragmatist - Concrete Experience (laboratories, field work, observations). How can I apply this in practice? Training approach - Peer feedback is helpful; activities should apply skills; trainer is coach/helper for a self-directed autonomous learner.
It is our belief at 2020 Social that social technologies can provide each employee with their learning content that suits their overall approach and help in better retention of learning. Hence the proposed solution will have elements that cater to all the above.

Part 1: Consists of static content that would help people to discover the “must know” aspects of what is to be learned

Basic Content focused on the Subject Matter that every new Executive/Manager would go through when they join the organization. It would cover the following
  1. Basics of the subject expertise – Files, Websites, Videos, List of Books that act as a primer for gaining knowledge
  2. Additional Reading Material – Documents that people can download
  3. List of Resources – Agencies, Thought Leaders, Partners collated at one point.
  4. List of People (yellow pages) – employees who have worked on Initiatives and how to contact them (email, Skype, IM)
  5. FAQs – A series of basic questions focused on what a new employee needs to know
  6. Best Practices – e-books, videos, ppts.

All the above can be edited by certain key people. Other employees can add comments below the content.
Once people have gone through this they can be tested for their knowledge using a quiz/survey tool – acting as a feedback measure to what they have learnt

Part 2: Dynamic Learning

What’s new and up to date in the domain and what is the buzz around the firm's products/services/ operations and what is the Market/Competitive Intelligence

This would consist of a stream of constantly dynamic news and market/competitor intelligence that would get updated on an employee’s dashboard that he/she can click through and view the detailed content if he/she wants.Personalised Dashboard for each Employee which can be customized to follow information and news relevant for his/her own needs

  1. RSS feeds of Google Alerts with key words around the brand name, competitor name, market name.
  2. RSS feeds of thought leaders' blogs and websites to ensure new ideas come directly to the employee’s desktop
  3. Twitter updates of the who’s who of subject matter so that employees can track and even interact with them. Using lists curation services like http://listorious.com/
  4. Competitive Intelligence – A dynamic page which is updated with news/tweets about the major competitors based on publicly available data. Collated and shown on a specific site. The comments section would enable the employees to add their personal experiences on what the competitor is doing in their specific regions.
  5. New videos and Slideshows – Using a keyword tracking processes, new videos and slides updated on the specific subjects (like “Financial marketing” or "Consumer Behavior" or "HR Trends") would be embedded in the dashboard of the employees.

Part 3: Collaboration

Enabling employees to learn from each other using learning logs, ideation and connecting with each other.

This part would focus on how employees can use social software to connect with each other and work together to create strategies, tactics, execution. This would consist of the following parts:
  1. Ideation Platform: A blog/wiki in which senior management asks for ideas around a certain campaign, product on initiatives
  2. Status updates – would let other people know what the employee is working on so that if anyone has any ideas/lessons to share can do that via the tool.
  3. Lessons Learnt: Similar to the ideation platform focusing on the past initiatives and what worked and best practices learnt from them
  4. Sharing project plans for campaigns and getting peers’ feedback on them.
  5. Q&As with partners, senior management, consultants – which are archived – and after some time some which are basic can be moved into the FAQs section in the static part.
  6. Discussion around events like conferences, trainings that some employees go to – can share learnings, videos, slides with the rest of the peer group – resulting in richer and more learning