Monday, 16 November 2009

Be Ready to Take Advantage of Opportunities

I participated in a session at DevLearn that I mentioned last week in my posts Missed Opportunities and Enough Tools for Now. The session was conducted where we broken into discussion groups around different topics each their own facilitator.

My group discussed that as learning professionals we need to put ourselves in position to be able to serve learners and internal/external clients through the best possible solution we can design and create given the constraints that exist. This might mean improving our capabilities around existing offerings. It also means getting ready to offer new kinds of solutions that are outside of what we currently deliver.

The challenge in this is:

  • There’s a very wide range of possible issues that we can be presented. It’s often hard to know ahead of time what your next request will be.
  • If we haven’t spent time and effort to be ready to offer a particular kind of solution, it’s harder to sell, harder to estimate, and has greater risk.
  • We have limited time and resources to spend trying new things out and putting ourselves in position to deliver them when needed.

Some of the specific suggestions that were made by the group:

  • Build strong internal networks and relationships in order to develop predictability and agility for the learning organization
  • Have discussions with lots of different parts of the organization in order to have a better sense of what’s coming in the future
  • Figure out what this means in terms of business / learner needs, likely requirements, and constraints
  • Get the key people in the room to brainstorm potential offerings
  • Build prototypes to learn and later be able to sell
  • Start real small on a project with no major impact
  • Learn to be a Translator – often the barrier is different language being used by different parts of the organization.
  • "Sneak it in"
  • Share among distributed learning organizations
  • Form a framework of offerings

The nice thing about this list is that it follows a process that I recommend around defining an eLearning Strategy.

Thanks to everyone who participated in this group or helped me last week via this blog to get prepared.

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