Will collaborative and cooperative make you coherent?

Conversation in and around IQPC’s 14th Annual Corporate University Week had a common theme focused on where the learning professional and the Corporate University belong in today’s 70-20-10 learning model (“Business is changing – are we keeping up?”).  There was a lot of talk about how the corporate “U” has its traditional structure of “colleges” and offers lots of courses and classroom-based sessions however there was an acknowledged need to change, to be more responsive in providing timely solutions meeting the needs of business partners and employees.

Heard a lot of frustrations about the “LMS” because it didn’t have a buzz, a blog, a social capability and linking to existing content wasn’t easy.  I heard stories of employee’s using social and collaborative tools from their personal devices to look information up, bypassing the “U” completely.  So what are “u” to do? 

I think it is time to renew friendships with Marketing and IT, they are your new best friends as they deploy social tools for the enterprise and consumer chains make sure you are adding in the learning and performance value-add to the organization and workflow model (help them build the model if they haven’t got one!).  Leverage the relationships you have built with your Operations partners to tailor the workflows with the new tools and see where the tools can become “intelligent”, evolve and become adaptive smart systems that will deliver the right solution to the right people at the right time.

There is one component still missing and that is the alignment of people.  We have been changing how we work and who we work with bypassing time and distance barriers and the Internet Time Alliance has developed a model they call the Coherent Organization that reflects this evolution.  From individual contributor to work team to a Community of Practice and now to the decentralized asynchronous cooperative “me” we are putting into practice the move from training to performance support, we are moving “U” to “me”!  What I find encouraging is how ideas such as continuous feedback have comfortably become standard practices of sharing results, discussing and contributing to improved best practices.

So there is a place for the traditional “U” serving new hires, leadership, and specific up skilling needs.  There is also a growing need for the “u” to take an active role in the workplace and move out of the comfort zone of the campus and into the workplace connecting the experts in the field, facilitating discussions and creating the links that provide real solutions in real time.  As we move forward using collaborative tools and working in cooperation providing concise, contextual solutions you will be coherent, to paraphrase Pogo (and apologies to Walt Kelly), I have met the “U” and s/he is “me”!  

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