Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Cross Disciplinary Research and Mentor Network-Part I

An important question that business leaders should ask themselves about a Cross Disciplinary Research and Mentor Network is:

"Why should a business like us care about making connections or even having a role in establishing such a network? Isn't this more for the academics in research departments at institutions of higher learning?"

  In order to honestly answer those questions, you really have to ask yourself  a number of very pertinent questions with respect to your organization:

  1. Is being on top of advances in technology that could impact the performance level of our work force have strategic value for the company in a highly competitive global digital economy?
  2. In an information and knowledge society, does an ongoing process of mentoring employees in their learning advancement and nurturing the development of new skillsets that are germane to the changing nature of our part of the business sector of value to the healthy growth of our organization?
  3. Is collaborative real world problem solving on the part of employees and innovative thinking keys to increasing our organization's ROI?
  4. Do we desire to have a healthy balance of servicing our current markets and creating new ones?

Cross Disciplinary Learning--What is it?

 Cross disciplinary learning is an approach that suggests that when we need to find and solve real world problems, that no single set of skills will enable us to detect, analyze, and solve problems in the 21st century.
In the past with regards to the instructional designer and trainer for a business organization, these individuals were expected to not only design and deliver effective learning experiences for employees but also to keep up with new knowledge and skillsets that may need to be addressed that could improve performance and compliance with respect to employees.

"However, when the World Wide Web came along with the ability to share and create new knowledge in all the disciplines, the game changed dramatically for business!

 It is naive to believe, given the exponential growth in knowledge and technology, that the instructional designer and trainer are able keep up as they did before and still maintain the expected level of performance. The myth of multitasking especially in regards to this issue will lead to mediocrity for business performance against other organizations more in tune with the realities of growth in the global economy. 
Something else that fits the requirements is needed.

Business organizations have stated very clearly that what they want in the way of the primary quality in future employees is that they are problem finders and then problem solvers. They want employees who can act proactively rather than reactively in this regard. They want employees to be able to analyze a situation, detect potential problems and then arrive at preemptive solutions. As pointed out earlier, the instructional designer and trainer can not be expected to meet the new requirements of the roles they play. They need to empower employees to engage and have access to a network where these requirements can be met.

So, given the rationale for change, why are some companies so resistant to what needs to be done? Perhaps the actor, Jack Nicholson, said it best in the movie titled: "A Few Good Men":

Could this be in part the explanation?

Next....A description of the functions of the Cross Disciplinary Research and Mentor Network

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