I had the pleasure of hosting the Interest Group meeting at the June conference.


It was interesting that half the participants were not in banking or finance, but seemed to be curious to see what was going on in our sector. As well as  few banks and an insurer we had two people from Enterprise Ireland, wanting to see what our current needs and prioritis were (to help their software companies), and random but interesting visitors from Kings College London Institute of Psychiatry and Specsavers!


There was a good general discussion of the the main themes from the rest of the day, particularly the use of social media - for learning or just in general - in our different companies. I learned that it is possible to be in a bank, have full and free access to external social media and still not collapse from all your commercial secrets being given away. That's a relief then. But generally IT and Risk departments were painted the villain, as they usually are, in blocking this and blocking that and that was where the majority of us were.


When asked what the major challenges were, they were:

  • competition from other sectors
  • whether and how to move to open source (particularly Moodle although none of the banks were considering this)
  • Group IT restrictions
  • Compliance training being rolled out for tickbox reasons with no interest in real learning
  • the possibilities of using mobile learning but on what platforms? Should the company provide smartphones or expect staff to use their own tariffs to access corporate training? How many platforms should you cater for? And who's actually doing this?

What people would appreciate getting from LSG:

  • case studies from similar organisations (banks, insurance) of real-life use of SoMe, open source learning systems and mobile learning.

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  • As a result of some inappropriate compliance training being made mandatory for everyone regardless of relevance, we now have a 'mandatory training board' set up at quite a senior level to review requests for training to be mandated. Surprisingly before that anyone with 'risk' in their title could declare a piece of training mandatory.  How do you address the 'tickbox' issue in your organisation?


    I've seen the suggestion before that we give everyone a Kindle or an iPad (?) and while I see the value for selected groups it would look a bit strange to say ' we won't let you access social media or even the internet on your bank machine but here's a machine to use for it '.  You also have to be wary of giving the message that ' now we expect you to do your training in your own time '   But these are arguments against giving it to everyone - if there's a highly mobile audience who would want and use 'pull' resources it might be a good way to have a reliable and consistent pattern.

  • A couple of these topics are of interst to me -

    • Compliance training being rolled out for tickbox reasons with no interest in real learning  - this is a real concern as there will no genuine progress if this is what occurs.Also I am invovled in a community based credit union and genuine compliance support and enforcement is a necessary requirement in my opinion - .
    • The use of m learning - the role of employers to provide relevant technology. I am at present looking at this area to supplement other options for meeting learning needs of the organisation, its partners and their staff. It is maybe employers worth considering the creative options available that could range from the provision of appropriate equipment to providing a contribution to charges that reflects thier committment to support flexible learning. Other options/suggesstions would be good to hear
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