NetDimensions’ 2017 North American user conference, NextSteps, took place in NOLA in May. While there, executives and L&D professionals had the opportunity to discuss new trends and best practices, expand their knowledge in technical and industry-focused sessions and gain new perspectives on meeting talent management challenges.
One of the most popular breakout sessions at the conference was titled, ‘Elevate your brand with HTML homepage widgets and skins: explore what is possible in exercising configurability to create a more engaging user experience’. Its presenters, Ali Zaheer and Garfield Bolt, are both Solutions Consultants for NetDimensions Talent Suite.
This blog is based on a learning portal seminar hosted by Peter Dobinson, Solutions Architect at NetDimensions’ partner company LEO, at the NextSteps 2017 conference in London.
While a Learning Management System (LMS) provides a wealth of diverse information for your learners, portals act as a neat destination on more focused areas. As well as being gateways to further learning, portals are popular with NetDimensions’ clients because of their capacity to provide everything from guidance about new working processes to insights into user engagement.
Why do organizations like learning portals?
There are a lot of reasons why companies find learning portals highly effective. You can target a specific audience – potentially employees, customers or anyone who wants to access your learning programmes – and focus on a precise business impact area or goal, such as sales learning, with a holistic solution.
A new model of global organization is coming to the fore. Traditional top-down hierarchies have been swept away in favor of agile and responsive ‘networks of teams’. These are virtual teams that are set up and disbanded as needed to create new products and services and meet fresh global challenges from new competitors.
The challenge organizations face is how best to build the skills base of individuals to optimize global virtual team working.
Deloitte has described this trend as ‘the rise of teams’. Many companies have already begun the move away from conventional functional structures – 92% of companies surveyed by Deloitte believe that redesigning the organization is ‘very important’ or ‘important’. Deloitte discovered that only 38% of all companies and 24% of large companies with more than 50,000 employees are organized function by function.
However, key to the success of contemporary, agile ways of working is ensuring that individual employees have the necessary skills for flexible working across borders.
Trend #1: Informal and Social Learning
(Part 1 of 8)
Informal and social learning within organizations around the world continue to fuel discussions about the relevance of the Learning Management System (LMS) in today’s corporate learning, performance and workforce support programs for both internal and external learners. Has the LMS become a dinosaur?
It is estimated that at least 75% of learning is informal — through collaboration, communities of practice, user-generated content (including user-created video), or learning at the point of need.
Meanwhile, social learning and collaboration tools enhance both formal and informal learning programs by improving learner engagement and drive greater knowledge retention.
High-performing organizations take a social learning approach that merges formal and informal learning. They strive to not only meet formal training requirements, but to also provide a platform that encourages the exchange of ideas and sharing of knowledge across the enterprise.
Such a platform could be a wiki that supports both open-access communities and restricted-access communities. Employees can then publish and share information and knowledge with other professionals, especially because the communities are often related in terms of knowledge or expertise.
No matter what platform or software tool you decide to deploy in your organization, the technology is always secondary to formulating a learning strategy and experience that is well suited to members of your organization.
What to consider for your LMS in terms of informal and social learning:
– Ease of integration with corporate social networks
– Syndicated search and expertise locator
– Gamification options and capabilities
– Performance support (“the 5 moments of need”)
Important questions to ask yourself before choosing a path are:
Am I looking for a “socialized” LMS application or for an LMS as the social platform of choice?
Which choice will help evolve our learning strategy to meet our current and future needs?
This is the first of an eight-part series on LMS: Evolution or Extinction — 8 Trends that Change Everything.
Chris Proulx, the CEO of LINGOs, the international non-government organization (NGO) sector’s largest membership-based consortium dedicated solely to training and capacity building, just wrote an interesting blog piece on how NGOs deploy learning.
You can read Chris’s piece here.
Worth a look, even if you’re not in the NGO world.