The Changing Face of Learning

On March 21 we are offering our clients an opportunity to meet a true innovator in the world of learning.  Cindy Pascale is the Founder and Vice President of Vado and she will be presenting on Development Best Practices.  Vado are innovators in creating developmental content that is linked to competency frameworks.

In this research rich session, participants will learn the development best practices that will lead to the maximum return on investment for the organization’s development dollar. Specific outcomes are:

1. The difference between training and development

2. What is scrap learning?

3. How do people best develop new skills and capabilities?

4. What are learners expecting in their development programs?

5. How do you make sure the development will lead to organisation success?

If you are a DOTS client, there are still a few places left.  if you are not a client but are interested in learning more about Vadoand how it can boost your organisation’s performance, you are encouraged to contact us.  We can show you how we help our clients build more effective organisations.

Who is Your Chief Collaboration Officer?

I came across an interesting blog on the Mindjet site by Troy Larson.  There are individuals in some very successful companies that hold the title of Chief Collaboration Officer.    In my experience, the contribution that collaboration makes to a competitive business includes:

  • A culture focused on activity and execution
  • Knowledge and learning is informal and effective
  • There is greater resilience against both internal and external forces acting on the business
  • Reduced risk of knowledge drain when people leave the organisation

Many of my clients see the use of an online learning platform like DOTS LMS to be an integral tool in supporting a collaborative environment.  I have recently been introduced to an online collaboration platform called Podio that is a feature rich, multi- faceted solution that includes knowledge capture, sharing, project and task management, recruitment, customer relationship management among many other features.  The client using Podio has a diverse workforce operating in corporate and home offices.   The employees are able to access the online Podio environment via a link in the DOTS LMSuser interface.

The technology is only the easy part of collaboration actually.  The more difficult aspects of collaboration relate to organisational and individual change processes.  The best collaboration tools will not overcome a reluctance or unwillingness to engage in collaboration.  The people side of collaboration is where most efforts fail.

There are many reasons for such failure.  In his blog, Troy Larson covered the idea of having a person or team accountable for collaboration as opposed to leaving collaboration to individual whim or interest.  In your organisation, is there a person accountable for collaboration?  If not, what role would be most likely best aligned to plan and execute a collaboration strategy?

A deeper dive into SWOT

I think SWOT analysis may have earned a bad reputation in some circles.  I was speaking to a new client last week and could almost see their eyes glaze over when I told him of my desire to undertake a SWOT session with his managers.  SWOT analysis should not be discounted based on prior experience of poor execution.  The key to executing an effective SWOT analysis is how deep you are prepared to dive.  Instead of simply throwing words and phrases on the whiteboard or flip chart, set up some questions and background material to help ‘churn’ some ideas and conclusions.  I usually use either Mindmanager 2012 or Mindmanager for Mac with a projector. I am the scribe so the participants can focus their energy on engaging in the process. Here are some quick tips for more effective SWOT sessions:

  • prepare the participants by providing a clear PURPOSE for the session.
  • set some ground rules for how the session will be conducted.
  • have a third party capture the inputs.
  • use visuals as well as providing post it notes, coloured pens and paper so you can add breaks for individual or small group ‘brainstorming’ and reflection sessions.
  • ask lots of questions and use the ‘5 whys’ technique; it really works to uncover reasons and root causes. I have also found it adds an element of innovation to the SWOT analysis.
  • when people start to fade in energy and attention take a break for water, stretching and food.
  • make sure every participant is provided a copy of the output.
  • add follow up tasks for further research or investigation if there is not enough clarity no a certain item or you uncover something worth pursuing immediately.
These are just a few ideas that should help you get more out of the SWOT analysis process.  The deeper you dive the more benefit you will achieve.

Innovation Incubator II

The first part of this Innovation in DOTS topic gave a brief outline of the use of DOTS LMS as an ‘innovation incubator’ to support and sustain innovation processes in an organisation.  I discussed how a client began the process with a learning and communication strategy to align their people with the purpose of the new focus on innovation in their organisation.  It is important to emphasise that this company is looking for innovation at all levels of the organisation and to as many different business processes as possible.  The obvious targets for innovation tend to be products and services, however this company identified that many of their systems and processes were no longer ‘best practices’ and tended to be the way they had been doing things for quite some time.

The company established a simple electronic form for capturing ideas.  This form was developed and deployed using the DOTS Survey Tool.  People can go to the form and enter in some basic information about the idea using simple click and short text responses.  The surveys are reviewed and vetted by senior managers who are able to access these in DOTS.  The review cycle is fortnightly currently with a montly cycle planned after the first twelve months.  The current ratio is 8 out of 10 ideas submitted warrant further development.  The current rate of submitted ideas is between 4 and 6 per month.

Once and idea has been approved to be developed, it is entered into DOTS LMS as a ‘course’ to facilitate communication and distribution.  The courses vary in quality.  At the outset they were mainly text based with an imgage or two.  Now there are short videos, pictures, diagrams, mindmaps etc. that are used to illustrate the status quo and the forecast changes if this ideas were implemented.  Most of the ideas/courses are distributed company wide although a few have been very specific warranting viewing only by direct stakeholders; e.g. changes to data entry procedures in the ERP system.

Once the courses are completed, each person is enrolled in the course and are able to view the course within a timeframe using DOTS Sessions.  Once they have viewed the course they undertake an ‘assessment’ that provides immediate feedback.  Attached to the course are a Discussion Forum and a Library.  The Discussion Forum permits those with some passion for the idea to further engage in its development or otherwise.  The Libary provides background information, papers, research and other materials to provide a comprehensive means of documenting the innovation project.

If an idea continues to be developed based on feedback and assessed worth/benefit to the company, a Group is established in DOTS that included persons comprising the project implementation team for that idea.  In most cases the project teams have included a wide variety of membes with particular passions and interests; in a couple of cases the team has been comprised of persons with specialised expertise or skills.

Ultimately the innovation will be communicated and training undertaken in DOTS LMS.  We have linked some of the innovations to the Position Management feature in DOTS as well as linking behavioural and skill based Competencies to the Performance Appraisal system in DOTS.  This comprehensive approach provides further scope to ensuring this vital strategic initiative is not lost or wayward due to lack of visibility or poor execution.

Innovation Incubator: DOTS LMS

Innovation is often identified as a key strategic advantage for organisations who have instilled innovation into their culture.  Innovation need not be on the scale of a major new product and service, often it is creating a new process or tool that works within the business to support greater effectiveness and performance.  One of our clients determined that innovation was going to be a strategic focus for their business.  This client has successfully implemented a learning and development strategy that has driven higher levels of performance both at individual, team and enterprise levels.  Now they wish to translate this learning culture to support one that includes innovation as well.  DOTS LMS is the backbone for the learning and development processes and it was our challenge to explore how we can utilise DOTS to support innovation.  This first entry explores the first phase of the innovation project plan and in the second entry I will illustrate the tools used in DOTS LMS and how they were configured to create an effective ‘innovation incubator.’

The first phase was focused on communication and awareness.  The management team determined that there was a need to ensure a pervasive understanding of the strategic plan throughout the enterprise.  An online course was developed using the DOTS Content Creator that included videos, images, Excel spreadsheets and other file types.  This course is approximately 20 to 25 minutes in duration and included an enrolment so that attendance could be tracked.  The course included a feedback form and a DOTS Survey to gauge reactions and collect ideas.  The other courses in phase one included a course on how the innovation project was going to be undertaken, a course on the concept of innovation and examples of how innovation drives better performance at all leves of an organisation.  These courses were developed using a combination of the DOTS Content Creator and Microsoft PowerPoint with Articulate.  All of the courses included online feedback and a survey so that ideas could be captured even at this early stage of the roll-out.  Since the client already had the employee population in DOTS the course was catalogued so that all persons could access it.  In addition to employees, a couple of the courses were made available to key partners and suppliers to encourage their participation in the innovation process.  These external users were granted access to the courses but did not have access to any another feature or function within the LMS.

DOTS Libraries were used to provide support resources such as links to external sites, articles, presentations and information about key people involved in this project.  To encourage people to engage and participate in the process a number of DOTS Discussion Groups were established.  Some Discussions were open across the Enterprise while others were available to specific teams and departments.  The phase one timeline was designed for 8 weeks to ensure a good pace is established.  The pace ensured there was a prevailing sense of importance attached to this project as well as an energetic level of activity.

In the next entry I will explain the use of DOTS LMS to support the innovation processes.

    Get in touch with us

    Please complete the form below and we will be in touch with you shortly.

    Name*

    Email Address*

    Company Name

    Please Select Your Options

    Performance Consulting Process MapPerformance Coaching Starter KitBehavioural Styles Identification GuideCreate a Facilitated Strategy Map

    Message

      Get in touch with us

      Please complete the form below and we will be in touch with you shortly.

      Name*

      Email Address*

      Company Name

      Message

        Get in touch with us

        Please complete the form below and we will be in touch with you shortly.

        Name*

        Email Address*

        Company Name

        Message

          Name*

          Email Address*

          Company Name

          Message

            Get in touch with us!

            Please complete the form below and we will be in touch with you shortly.

            Name*

            Email Address*

            Company Name

            Message

              Get in touch with us

              Please complete the form below and we will be in touch with you shortly.

              Name*

              Email Address*

              Company Name

              Message

                Get in touch with us

                Please complete the form below and we will be in touch with you shortly.

                Name*

                Email Address*

                Company Name

                Please Select Your Options

                Strategy ProgramBuilding Leadership ProgramCapability Framework ProgramPerformance Management ProgramCoaching ProgramStrategic Selling Program

                Message