If a business organization wishes to take the steps to developing their own online global learning community that will capitalize on the learning paths that their employees are presently following, two questions that should be asked are:
"What would such a community look like for the learning culture of our business organization?"
"How would such a community help us to take advantage of global business opportunities and new emerging markets that are being driven by technology?"
In pursuing this path, it is important to keep the vision in mind. The global societal needs define the nature of the purpose of education. The purpose of education within this vision is to create effective agents of change who will collaborate on a global scale to create new knowledge and skillsets that will enrich the quality of life of all people. You would have to believe that your business organization has a very real stake in this vision. In order for this to take place, we need a digitally educated work force who will bring about systemic innovation and be able to solve the complex real world problems that are starting to destabilize the anchors of modern civilization. To ignore these problems is to condemn future generations to lives of misery without any hope.
Going Through the Global Learning Portal---Collaborative Business Networks
If our employees use our VPN (Virtual Private Network) to enter the Global Learning Portal, what would they see there?
Upon being granted authenticated entry, they would have access to a number of virtual business networks whose characteristics would have the following qualities:
- Among the business networks would be very well defined pathways or links for collaboration and also reporting of big data.
- The existence of a forum where employees who work collaboratively on innovative solutions to real world problems affecting business organizations, have the opportunity to "pitch" and "defend" their innovative thinking to decision makers.
- The existence of a mentoring network that is linked to important areas of knowledge important to the advancement of the business organization. This network could be led by SME's who have the new role of mentoring employees in the investigation. It is also within this network that you would have the "technology sandbox" where employees could go to try out different technologies with the purpose of improving their performance in the roles they have within the business organization.
- All the networks are part of a Global Learning Community. There are six global learning portals that cover the globe. When appropriate, global learning communities could collaborate with others on important projects that impact more than one region of the globe.
A Proposed Organizational Structure for the Global Learning Community
One of the first steps is that the business organization should have a newly defined position that could be titled the "Learning Principles Expert (LPE)". Since we are trying to re-organize our corporate learning culture to fit a new vision based on the realities of an age that places a high priority on knowledge, learning and innovation, it is important that we have someone on staff who has the experience and knowledge in learning to take leadership in this area. He or she would be the onsite individual who would manage the learning activities of employees in accessing the virtual learning community and would keep progressive learning profiles on all employees.
A Global Learning Community
[ One revision---Change the Global E-Learning Hub to Global E-Learning Portal]
Starting with the actual Global Learning Portal, even though it performs a function similar to a railway station where people can move from there to one of four identified business networks, it is also an information hub, where people can access updates on the activities of the four business networks that are constantly updated much like real time travel information at railway stations. People are enabled to gather pertinent information on the current status of activities of these networks and then can decide on which to enter.
"The portal also provides secure information exchange between the actual business networks that make up the Global Learning Community. Data security receives the highest priority!"
As you can see from this rough organizational diagram, once a collaborative group of employees or individuals who are tasked with an important and meaningful problem enter their Global Learning Portal, they access updated information pertinent to what they have been tasked with.
Obviously, one of the prime business considerations is how much will it cost in immediate capital outlay to set up an online global learning community to serve business needs for one global regional portal and who will pay for this?
One of the interesting lessons we can learn from the trading blocks that exist in the world today and is especially being discussed in regards to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is that when such a proposal involves business interests in more than one nation, it really comes down to the collective question:
"What is in it for me and my people?"
The very same discussion fits with the questions above in regards who would pay for the establishment of a Global Learning Community in our designated region. The necessity is to look at such a proposal as a mutually beneficial partnership. Both subscription and sponsorship might be vehicles to consider.
Next--An updated description of the business networks, their functions and responsibilities to the business organization, the other business networks and to other global learning communities