Friday, July 3, 2015

E-Learning: "When An Irresistible Force Meets An Immovable Object--Part II--Business

One of the areas that education and business have in common is in the established resistance to change. Change in business is not new. Businesses have been implementing change ever since the first merchants recognized human needs and made efforts to meet needs. The one difference between then and now is the rate of change as it applies to the business cycle and the extension from local markets to global markets in a very short time span. The problem is that the rate of change as the result of the advancement of technology has increased dramatically and businesses have not invested enough in change management strategies to deal proactively with the changing digital economy. A useful analogy might be to compare traditional business organizations to the tortoise. Like a tortoise, it can handle incremental changes but when threatened by numerous changes impacting the business on multiple fronts it withdraws into its shell.


Change Management, Innovation and Learning

Change management is often defined within the context of individual organizations but simply put, as defined by Prosci,  it is:

Credit: www,

Managing change in the digital age means dealing with the forces of technology and innovation outside the walls of a business organization in a controlled proactive fashion. This means developing a plan based on an accepted model such as the one illustrated below:


Change management needs to happen at two levels: the organizational level and the individual level but both levels depend upon the importance of creating a vision as illustrated by Kotter's model shown above. This is the point where the process can seriously bog down and is a reason that change management fails on an organizational level.


In the 8 Common Errors in Organizational Change Efforts(Leading Change, John P. Kotter), it should be pointed out that steps 3, 4, 5 highlight how the failure of establishing a vision that truly reflects the reality of the 21st century digital economy paralyzes a business organization to the point that it becomes irrelevant as a force within its own sector.

The often asked question by organizations being impacted by change is:

"If innovation is the key to our prosperity and survival as a business organization, what can we do to make it work for us?"

Steve Blank in an article titled: "Lean Innovation Management-Making Corporate Innovation Work" (June 26,2015) describes three specific horizons of innovation which could be summarized as:

  • Horizon 1 activities support existing business models (company's core business)
  • Horizon 2 is focused on extending existing businesses with partially known business models (represent new opportunities via business model innovation)
  • Horizon 3 represents new or disruptive business models designed to develop collaborative  networks outside the business as well as entirely new markets
The description above is simplistic on my part but in order to get an understanding of the proactive process, the article is quite informative.

So, what does any of this have to do with learning within a business organization?

Change management within an organization also has to happen on an individual level, meaning not just the CEO and COO but also in the middle and with those who deal with the employees everyday. Without the engagement of employees, change management fails. Learning within the organization is vital to keep it healthy and moving forward but you need to be fully aware of what is happening in education and teaching in order to understand how it will impact your business through the recruitment of new employees. A recent report titled: "NMC Horizon Report -2015 K-12 Edition" reveals what you should expect in the future learning profiles of your employees.The vision of E-Learning will reform E-Commerce as the new learned skillsets now come into play.
Business institutional inertia needs to be overcome so that the opportunities of the future are no longer locked doors!


Next....Exploring Interactivity in E-Learning

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