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How do we create an ecosystem that promotes learning? 

The first question I always ask people, “are you utilizing the internal systems that you already have?” If you first take an assessment of those systems, before you build or look at other systems, you might find that you have many of the tools you already need to help you grow your online learning capacity. 

 How do we partner with other parts of the organization to help us? Why haven’t you been talking to your communications department, other parts of HR, IT, and finance to consolidate information and to help curate good content so people get what they need just in time? It is odd to me, that when I talk to some HR and Learning professionals that there is not more synergy between departments that deal with the same roles within an organization. Too often, we only partner when they want help on a big role out and need training. 

One Stop Shop. Imagine a manager looking for learning on onboarding, or maybe some help on interview skills, or how to coach and mentor a person who is struggling. Combine those needs for learning along with the everyday struggle of finding documents and forms to fill out from HR, Finance, etc. I have worked in several organizations where the amount of content is so large that people have a hard time finding what they need for their roles. Even “search” on their intranet does not yield good results! But, there is good news too. In past jobs, I have partnered with many parts of an organization to help consolidate and curate the content in a central place based on the roles of people within the organization. By helping other departments understand how to curate the content, using metadata to expose information in multiple sites across an intranet, you not only help people find the information they need at the right time but also have a great tool for pushing out learning to people who need it. 

Make it Mobile. It goes without saying that today people look at their phones many times a day. Some studies show that people check their phones 50-80 times a day! People between the ages of 18-33 are spending a total of five hours browsing the web and using apps (Nottingham Trent University). We need to be able to curate content and to push information that is accessible from these different mobile devices. When you are creating learning for mobile devices, think in terms of YouTube (short videos), Google (simple and easy to read the text), Facebook (easy to follow and visual), and Twitter (brief and get to the point). 

 How do you measure success? Imagine the world where you could truly say you helped improve career development and helped employees feel empowered to create their own learning path. Think of things that can be measured like, time to competency. In many organizations, we have the ability through good metrics and manager feedback how a new or a developing person is doing. We can look at past data and compare how quickly people can learn a new skill or how quickly they are competent in a new job or role.I'm a big believer that much of what needs to be done can be accomplished with existing systems in many organizations.