Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Real World Learning In a Global Context: Avoiding An Extinction Event--Potential Solutions

If it is our intention to encourage a collaborative atmosphere among employees with respect to real world problem solving germane to the business organization, it can't end at that point. Just as in the past brick and mortar education systems, if a real world issue is tasked to learners and it doesn't go beyond the four walls of the classroom, then it is merely a contrived scenario with no connection to real consequences in the real world.


There has to be a demonstration on the part of decision makers within a business organization with regards to the following:

  1. We want to use the skillsets that employees bring to the organization to foster a learning culture that is good for the health of the organization.
  2. If we admit that the people we have sought out through recruitment are intelligent individuals committed to our vision, then we have to be prepared to consider their contributions as vital to the interests of the business organization.
  3. We want to ensure that the forum that is made available for the voicing of innovative ideas and strategies is a priority for this organization and that the CEO and COO will make it a priority to be at the forum to hear, question and even collaborate with groups putting forth the ideas to further refine and apply what they hear.
  4. We want to engage our employees and have them network with employees at our branch offices around the globe, utilizing all of the strategic intelligence that we have access to through our contacts in the business world. This collaboration should utilize all of the digital communication resources available to us to make the collaboration effective.
  5. We want to convey to our employees that growth in their learning is something that we want to nurture and keep track of. A learning profile will be set up for each employee that they will have access to and mentoring will be made available to help in their personal growth.

As Steve Jobs remarked, the key is to make use of the intellectual capital that is available in the employees you have. In order to accomplish this there are two elements that need to be in place.


Aggressive Recruiting of  Talent

One of the problems with the recruitment efforts of some companies is that they are still using approaches and protocols that were standards in the 90"s. In this century, you have a generation that has grown up in a digital world. Operating and living in this digital world has allowed them to develop skillsets dealing with digital literacy that comes as natural to them as breathing. Also, with the advance of technology, these skillsets have become hot items in the global economy and as a result of the principle of "supply and demand", the demand is outstripping the supply. This means that competition for individuals with such skillsets, on a global scale, is becoming fierce. These skilled individuals have digital footprints across the web and by cruising the web to gather information about these individuals, the nature of their "brand" starts to come into focus. Social media is just one area that has become important in gathering intelligence. Professional networks such as LinkedIn can reveal much about the expertise of individuals who might prove to be instrumental to the future health of a business organization. 
The point is that you can not just sit back, post job descriptions, collect resumes, conduct interviews and then decide. You do need to be proactive and search out and recruit potential talent because you can be sure that the only way that your competition an beat you is to recruit that talented individual before your company does. The chart below should send up a red flag for you and tell you that change is needed.

Keeping the Talent

It is one thing to recruit talent but to keep the talent happy within your business culture requires a consideration of human needs. One of those needs is the sense of community and belonging. Living every day within a cubicle will not keep this generation's loyalty because it is a generation predicated on social connection. What can you do to create this type of encouragement without it becoming a source of distraction from business goals? Make it part of a collaborative learning culture is one potential solution.

Life-long learning is important to the new knowledge and skillset creators in the 21st century and this connection between life-long learning outside the business organization and inside must be in synch. 

In the description of Global Learning Portals in past posts, I have suggested that creation of a collaborative learning and innovation culture includes opportunities to engage the skills and talents of employees in business organizations which will open doors of opportunities in the digital economy but it all starts with a renewed vision.

Credit: DADA 2014

Next....When An Irresistible Force Meets An Immovable Object....Evolution of Ideas Takes Place??

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