In the latest ‘Letter from Silicon Valley’, Cross speculates on applying e-learning technology in support of strategic transformation. The full report is available exclusively for Learning Light members.
Cross writes: “Eight years ago, when I coined the term, everyone thought of ‘e-learning’ as a less expensive and less cumbersome alternative to training. Proposals described the benefits of eliminating travel expenses, cutting time away from the job, shifting to instructor-free self-study, and closing the IT skills gap.
“It’s time to think bigger. Let’s explore how e-learning technology might be repurposed in support of strategic transformation.”
According to Cross, appreciative inquiry (AI) challenges people to answer the question, ‘What would our organisation look like if it were designed in every way possible to maximise the qualities of the positive core and enable the accelerated realisation of our dreams?’
“My ideal organisation would live and breathe the AI philosophy, not solely espouse it during a campaign for self-renewal,” writes Cross. “The spirit of AI would pervade every nook and cranny of the organisation.
“AI would make our values and beliefs transparent: available for sharing with customers and partners. Interviews would continuously generate inspirational stories.
“Everyone we touch could be involved in helping us become what we should be. Many previously formal procedures can be eliminated when everyone on board understands ‘the big picture’.
“Our AI would play a leading role in recruiting talent, orientating new hires, maintaining top-notch customer service, and positioning the firm in its markets.”
In Cross’ view, distance learning technology enables far-flung organisations to conduct the discovery phase of AI remotely, via interviews.
People use the positive stories from the interviews as springboards to their dreams. Stories are shared; patterns emerge.
Then the group turns to design. Destiny means maintaining the momentum for change.
“The time has come to assess whether the live version of AI is as effective as the electronic form,” Cross writes. “AI may prove most effective as a blend of virtual and real.
“I suspect we will discover many more organisational processes that benefit from e-learning support. It’s not just about learning any more.”
About Appreciative Inquiry (AI)
AI comprises four steps:
• Discovery: What gives life? (The best of what is) - Appreciating
• Dream: What might be? (What is the world calling for?) - Envisioning Results
• Design: What should be the ideal? - Co-constructing
• Destiny: How to empower, learn & adjust? - Sustaining
The AI process begins with choosing an affirmative topic, discovering what gives the organisation life; dreaming what could be; designing what the ideal might be, and destiny: keeping it alive.
About Learning Light Ltd
Learning Light is a non-profit organisation that highlights and promotes best practice in the use of learning technologies. It also builds relationships between learning technology researchers, suppliers, buyers and learners providing learner-centric information to encourage the growth of learning technologies. By sharing comprehensive research, highlighting successes and failures, Learning Light helps to promote the learning technologies community.
Learning Light provides bespoke and individual services to help both buyers and suppliers of learning technologies. Its current services include:
Providing access to expert insights, advice and guidance built on in-depth research. Helping organisations to effectively implement learning technologies (e-Learning) and integrate them within their workflow processes.
Partnering with leading thinkers in the industry and providing a network for all interested in the field to share information, knowledge, insight, experience and expertise, through utilising online community tools, networking events, conferences and guru seminars.
Learning Light’s highly experienced team offers organisations access to range of competitively priced consultancy services supporting buyers with the effective implementation of their learning technology (e-Learning) requirements. And, for suppliers, helping to provide a range of services to assist market awareness and generate growth.
In addition, Learning Light provides a comprehensive Professional Development programme to help Learning & Development professionals understand the significance of learning technologies in the workplace today and how to effectively implement them within the workflow processes of their organisation.
Sheffield-based Learning Light is supported by Yorkshire Forward, the regional development agency for Yorkshire, and the Humber and Objective 1 South Yorkshire.
Further information from:
Mark Pittaway/ Kay Simpson, Learning Light, +44 (0)114 201 5703