Reading Vaughan Waller’s article ‘What do you do when management doesn’t get it?’ in the Dec 10 edition of the conference/community magazine chimed with where I am at the moment putting together the start of a strategy to sell to the Defence Academy board; they know that they want more ‘e’ in order to save money but don’t know how and perhaps don’t yet see the wider opportunities. Unfortunately our organisation is currently only at the stage of trying to climb onto the step of ‘e-collaboration and support of informal’ as illustrated in Harold Jarche’s article ‘A framework for social learning in the enterprise’. Trying to leapfrog ahead to social learning will scare the culture so I’ve produced the attached with the intent of developing a capability that can enable and drive incremental exploitation of technology enhanced learning whilst retaining a firm focus on students’ needs (I’m a big fan of Dr Itiel Dror’s perspective shown here).
The Defence Academy is focused on education and training (in that order), and the developing capability is about assisting those who own the associated courses and lessons, but there may be something in the attached that helps you think about your field. Conversely if you think I’ve missed something or got it wrong then let me know.
I’ve taken a look at your document and see lots of “what” (inputs) you are aiming to do but not too much in the way of “why” (outputs). If the senior people are looking to save money (aren’t we all) then perhaps your tactical approach should start with that premise e.g. the organisation has a training budget of £x and wants to save £y each year for n years without affecting the quality or outcomes of the training provided.
Approaching the issue this way then allows you to recommend a series of tactical decisions (such as the way TELO will operate) which will lead you towards the goal of cost reduction.
I also notice that you feel you have some serious challenges regarding the prevailing learning culture within the organisation and perhaps this is where you should focus your strategy.
Taking this approach would therefore allow you to develop and deliver a strategy to dramatically change the culture for learning whilst tactically delivering the much needed cost savings.
Hope this helps.
You're absolutely right that I've focused on the 'how to do it' rather than the 'why we should do it'. As we are predominantly an education and training establishment I guess my main problem is that people are well aware of what their core outputs are, they just don't realise how they can exploit learning technologies to achieve them better/cheaper. I'm faced with lesson/course owners who either don't want anything to do with e-stuff or conversely owners who are enthused with the shiny marketing material and want instant solutions. These come with their own different problems but they both require a pragmatic understanding of what is realistically achievable within our constraints; I guess that's what the start of the strategy is aimed at establishing.
Thankyou for your comments that have made me look from a different perspective at what I'm doing... always a useful learning experience!
Reading this it is clear that you are encountering some of the classic change management stuff! I have understood and had it confirmed by many in my network that there are 3 major causes of resistance to using the new ways of doing learning. You cite one of them - the lesson/course owners who at first sight are faced with a major change in the way they do their work which seems very daunting. They may also see it as a threat to their very existence - and for some that unfortunately may be the case. Those are the people who do not and will not understand that their role is not to deliver courses but to foster learning in the individuals and organisations who are their clients. If your strategy can get them focussed on that as a purpose for their jobs then the rest becomes simpler - even if it means an extensive process of re-skilling. If they accept that purpose then it is possible to take them to the point of seeing a whole new world of technique and tools that can help them in fostering learning - and one in which their role is not to churn out lectures and classes but to assist the learner to learn for themselves and to encourage them in applying their learning back in the workplace. There will be a few who see themsleves as "teachers" and that is their driving motivation. Sadly I see them as having a limited future in the new L&D world.
I hope this helps
As a thought, have you considered using one of the more "e-friendly" groups as a pilot study? You could work with them to transform their materials, educate them as to the issues involved and they would then act as champions to their peers; thereby removing you from the "hard selling" of 'e' yet still spreading the word.
It would also allow you to safely experiment and to work out what works best in what is clearly a specialist environment.
Hope this helps.
Many of us are faced with the same issue - and people have different takes on the cause of the blockage. This other piece from Harold Jarche may help http://is.gd/5sd82W