Saturday, March 7, 2015

E-Learning: Blueprint to the Future-Innovation Lessons From 3M

It has been noted that having a systemic plan for innovation from the grassroots up within a company culture can bring benefits that are far reaching for a company, especially in regards to the ROI. It is better for a company to be proactive in pursuing innovation which requires that the right talent is at the company's disposal and in place to lead the way. A company that is not proactive ends up in a game of global "dodgeball" because just like in that children's game, the company ends up with its back against the wall and then acts reactively to avoid from getting hit. The frequency of the global hits increase as technology advances, as competition making use of all the digital resources makes aggressive moves to maintain and gain market share and clients look to companies that are more in synch with their needs.

One important step to understand is the process of talent acquisition. In the past and even at present, the process involved in assessing a need within the company, posting a job description in the appropriate venues and then collecting resumes and cv's is the typical path followed. Then a selection process for prospective candidates would take place and an interview list compiled. Then actual interviews would take place and in some cases a candidate might undergo a series of interviews. The time and resources that went into this process were substantial. I know that I am simplifying this process as most HR people would point out to me. The question I would pose is this:

"Is this process the most efficient way to pursue talent in the 21st century?"

I pose this question for a couple of reasons. First in this age, candidates have professionally designed resumes and cv's at their disposal. There are even organizations that will design for a candidate a "winning, guaranteed to get the position" type of resume. As much as a resume can reveal much about a candidate, they can also hide information that might be crucial to the decision making process. The sorting process can be cumbersome. 
The second reason and one that I would say is the more important is the growing realization that there is a growing competition to acquire talent. In this age, talent acquisition has become more and more of a "blood sport." Companies need to go out and recruit those who have noticeable talent before the competition does so. Innovation needs people who have the right skill sets.

What About 3M?

There is something that we can learn by studying the following diagrams that deal with innovative companies:

In 2009, it should be noted that 3M was considered the third most innovative company after Apple and Google.

In 2013, 3M was ranked fifth in terms of innovation.

"What happened?" 

"Did other companies simply surpass 3M due to the innovation plans that they put into place or did 3M forget an important caveat that in the world of innovation, you have to review and upgrade the systemic plan that you have in place?

A lesson that companies should learn is that no company no matter how successful it is can rest on its laurels. The E-Learning program that a company puts into place will have an impact on the level of innovation that a company is able to rise to. If the the necessary transformations are not made to deliver challenging, inspiring and personally relevant learning experiences to employees, there will be a ripple effect that will be felt throughout the company and in the global market place. This is just one person's thoughts on a seriously important subject.

Next......Adding to the blueprint----The Need for Cross Disciplinary Learning and Global Networks

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