Skillsoft Blog

Re-imagining Learning in Denver

By Sabrina Smith

Ken Robinson, one of the keynote speakers at our Perspectives 2010 customer e-learning event last May, has said that the role of a leader is really about fostering creativity.  It was in this spirit on a December day in Denver, Colorado (that just happened to be sunny and nearly 60 degrees!) that over 60 folks gathered at the top of a hotel with a panoramic view of the Rockies to network and share ideas at SkillSoft’s “Learning Re-Imagined” event.

Our time together was kicked off with a session on Social Learning.  What resonated most with the crowd was the idea that users won’t read a 400-page manual on Facebook before they login to Facebook!  Social learning, like social networking, needs to be intuitive and obvious.

With that in mind we demonstrated SkillSoft’s social learning layer, inGenuis, which allows an organization to put content into context and not simply provide an “empty drum,” use community as a validation for that content, and allow content to morph into a reflection of your company with your organizational thread running through it.

Client Best Practices

A special treat was our first client presentation delivered by Kristin Dortz of Arrow Electronics, where their philosophy on talent management is that “every manager is a Chief Talent Officer.”  With the goal of proactively and automatically linking performance management to learning, they have achieved an “integration trifecta” by linking SkillSoft content, the SumTotal LMS and Success Factors.

The results?  License consumption has increased over a 2-year period from 28% to 100%, and the average number of courses taken per learner increased from 1.5 to 7.6 in the same time period.   Structure and alignment are key!

Kathy Jenkins from Western Union gave us some wonderful implementation tips based on her IT training program, which returned an ROI of over $1.2 million in just 10 months.   Kathy posed the question, “If you build it, will they come?”  Yes they will!  With executive support, weekly meetings, ongoing marketing, and leveraging the SkillSoft Learning Consultants, the Western Union program achieved 104% license utilization in its first contract year.

We wrapped up with some thoughts about what it takes to be a Leader in the 21st Century.  Some of you may be familiar with the Towers Perrin study on the Drivers of Engagement.  It is the first study of its kind to show that organizational culture is just as important as the manager.    We shared a “word cloud” (pictured to the left), based on a collection of competency models shared from our customers over the years.  The large words are the ones that have the highest frequency.

We also shared a “new” word cloud (pictured right), based on the research we have learned about the 21st Century Leader, which focuses on engagement, collaboration, innovation and initiation.   The old paradigm of manager attributes may get you a seat at the table, but in the future, organizations who want to retain or create sustained, competitive advantage understand that they must adopt a leadership model that reflects the attributes of the  new paradigm.

Change means we must always “re-imagine learning.”

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