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eLearning in this knowledge era of the 21st century
June 1, 2005
Beth I. Warren, SPHR
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Although we are now entering the fifth year of the 21st century, there are many organizations, whose mindset still reflects the industrial era’s paradigms. Ray Kurtzweil, MIT ‘99 Inventor of the Year, reminds us:

  • “Just as the Industrial Revolution reshaped America at the dawn of the 20th Century, the Information Revolution is reshaping the world at the dawn of the 21st Century.”
  • “The exponential growth of technology in the first two decades of the 20th Century matched that of the entire 19th Century.”   
  • “The exponential growth of technology in the first 5 years of the 21st Century will inevitably, inexorably, match that of the entire 20th Century.”

In order to catch up with these technological waves of change, I ask the following questions for all organizations (regardless of size, industry, for profit or non-profit status), their staff, their customers, as well as their distributors and strategic partners):

  1. Are you including eLearning amongst the mix of approaches to the continuous development of your organization and staff?
  2. Are you, in fact, enhancing staff performance, regardless of how learning occurs?
  3. Are your employees “avid learners”?
  4. Are you measuring the impact of your learning agenda, beyond learning event evaluations (often labeled “smiley sheets”)?
  5. Are you “enhancing the bottom line” of the business when you design and make available learning opportunities across all job families of your organization?
  6. Do your learning offerings enhance the joy of learning for the participants?

To answer any of the above questions requires action, reflection, and an understanding of multi-dimensional change within your organization’s vision, mission, and ever changing business strategies. A five year strategic plan is not the model in this era of rapid change. Many organizations are building internal capabilities to address these strategic issues and many are partnering with and/or outsourcing the technologically robust capabilities supportive of their learning agenda.

To view a Case Example from WorkWorlds’ Human Resource Corporation, click here.

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