Friday, November 19, 2004

Best you might've missed: TechLearn, pt. 1

Hi, all. I'm back from TechLearn and worn out. I was working hard in the ASTD bookstore, which is why I didn't get time to blog.

But my best-of-the-week this week will be the information I found most interesting from the conference sessions I did get a chance to attend. (Especially because I'm behind on my reading.)

Next week I'll do a best-you-might've-missed on Wednesday with links from this past week and the first few days of next week.

Outsourcing Visions and Organizational Realities: A Panel Discussion
Speakers: Sam Herring, Executive VP of Intrepid Learning; Dave DelMonte, Supplier Account Manager, The Boeing Company; Steven Teal, VP of Learning, Mariott International; Glenn Oclassen, Learning Solutions Strategies, Autodesk, Inc.

--You see a lot of selective outsourcing, for example courseware development (Herring).

--Defining terms and responsibilities, not assuming, is crucial. Different companies define things differently (consensus).

--You need a partner relationship with your supplier (DelMonte).

--If training is viewed as a commodity, then you haven't done a good job of showing your value to execs (Teal).

--But you can have some aspects of the training function that are a commodity and outsource those (DelMonte).

--Look for where the opportunities are to create value for the organization. One place might be knowledge management or performance consulting. If you stay solely in the training and learning space, you might be outsourced (Teal).

--Training has been involved in the means, not the end, which is strategy. Only you can tell the organization what the strategic goal is and how to get there and what success looks like. The means can be outsourced but never the goal or strategy (Oclassen).

--Strategy *can* sometimes be outsourced (guy in the audience from Accenture).

--But you're working together, not taking it over entirely. Whose job is on the line? That's the person who owns strategy and it's usually someone internal. (Oclassen).

--There's still a lot of gray area, not yet clear lines what's outsourced and what's not (Teal).

Extreme Times Require Extreme Approaches to Learning
Speaker: Elliot Masie

--Extreme on-boarding: Consider rearranging the prcesses and have orientation before hiring. People would be more likely to stay.

--Rapid e-learning: Get the approval process under control. We are victims of out-of-control content review and approval; this is the number 1 problem. Too many people to review.

--If you change the approval process, you can reduce development time to 25 percent of what it is currently. Use experts as informants, not approvers. The person who just learned the skill last week is a good reviewer.
--A major problem with content: It all looks equally important. In a course on Antarctica, the content about hypothermia and death looked the same as content about fog in binoculars.

--Rapid e-learning = helping people know which is the content that's most important to do first/fast.

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