January 9, 2010

No Predictions, Just Some ‘Hopes’ for Learnerprise in 2010

Previously I wrote about how Learning 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 thinking should align. I then defined Learnerprise as:

the use of emergent social software platforms as well as formal and informal competence exchange processes, between companies, partners and employees, to improve both productivity and business results

In the corporate world and thus corporate learning, I’m not making any predictions per se, but I would like it to be known that my sincere hope in 2010 is related to the rise of ‘Learnerprise’.

Far too many organizations remain polarized by the traditional training department (and their army of training vendors) as it relates to their formal only output versus the up and coming non-formal ways in which corporate citizens are beginning to learn inside and outside the organization itself. (with or without the blasted training department)

Rest assured that formal training has a place in the overall pie of learning investment and output, however, if an organization doesn’t recognize that the lines now blur between formal, informal and social learning & collaboration — via the concept of learnerprise — companies are going to continue misspending their investment and, frankly speaking, ticking off the workforce. (to the detriment of company growth as well)

Maybe we should just go back and call it blended learning, but I digress.

The 4 opportunities I ‘hope’ occur in 2010 are as follows:

  • Champion Learnerprise
  • Federate the LMS
  • Rebrand the Department
  • Training Vendors & Partners Need to ‘Get It’

2010, in my humble opinion, should be about the organization shifting the focus from the all-instructor-led and eLearning only intravenous drip of ‘training’, to one that supports learnerprise. Be it your mission to lead, champion, pioneer and instil both the systemic means in which employees learn, collaborate and exchange competence with one another … as well as the company-driven & sponsored programs & offerings that complement said action. I ‘hope’ you can combine them and then watch things flourish.

I also ‘hope’ that organizations see to it to begin federating their LMS into their social collaboration platform so the employee no longer thinks of the LMS as that place where I register for formal ILT and eLearning courses. (aka. Formal events) That’s nonsense. Make your LMS obsolete (or at least hide it in the background) and tie together the social, informal and formal means into your existing or soon to be launched social collaboration platform. Make that your one-stop shop starting place, not the LMS.

We don’t necessarily need to set fire to the training department per se, but I do ‘hope’ that attention is paid to rejig the roles, become less rogue, cooperate as the leader of all things learnerprise (formal, informal and social), liaise and partner with the CIO’s office, and ultimately rebrand yourself and your department as the quintessential leader in the 2.0 world of your organization.

And finally, I ‘hope’ that various training vendors and partners begin to get it, and view their services as integral to the success of a company. But only if they step up and a) understand the learnerprise concept and b) acknowledge that they can actually supplement the vision and thus the goals of the company by providing value that addresses the formal, informal and social needs.

And if you are in fact looking for predictions and not a measly ‘hope’ list, check out the following:

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