Change can be good and bad, but it is constant in today’s global business environment, and leaders know it. In October, the Human Capital Media (HCM) Advisory Group, the research arm of Chief Learning Officer, published a study that asked some 600 learning leaders where there was an opportunity for a learning organization to make a business impact, and most pointed to agility and promoting the workforce’s ability to quickly adapt to change as an answer.
David Mallon, vice president of research at Bersin by Deloitte, said pull types of technology offer a concrete and clear method to increase a company’s agility. Rather than forcing employees to carve out hours from their already hectic schedules to sit down for a half-hour or hour-long instructor-led class, pull learning technologies enable users to get information quickly and directly at the point of need.
“You’re never going to get more agile by delivering more e-learning courses or delivering more classroom workshops,” Mallon said. “You’re going to get more agile by putting these kind of systemic pull learning improvements into the culture of the learning organization and increasing its ability to meet needs quickly.”
Chris Tratar, senior director of product marketing at learning software company Saba, and the co-presenter on the HCM Advisory Group study, said there are many ways pull learning can increase agility at a company:
Video channels: Two- to three-minute videos that cover content from subject matter experts and third-party sources on specific topics. “This is the idea of learning at the point of need,” Tratar said. “This provides agility as people can consume learning when they need it versus waiting for a class or more formal channel of learning.”
Intelligent recommendations: A type of search engine that makes recommendations based on past searches, usage and interests. “It is not up to a centralized administrator in the learning department to understand what is relevant to every learner in the whole extended enterprise. The solution can make these recommendations and learners can then pull the content that they need from the list of relevant items that have been pushed to them.”
Mobile learning: Bite-sized learning opportunities available on-the-go on any mobile device. “If a field service technician runs into a particularly rare problem in the field, they can search for and access videos or other content or groups through their tablet and get to the content they need when they need it. They can address the issue with one service call and increase customer satisfaction instead of having to go take a class or do other research from a computer.”
Learning demand planning: A method used by learning leaders to analyze the demand for learning by their employees. “Learning administrators can dynamically create new classes and learning offerings that did not exist before to meet the emerging demand.”