Are We Still “Re-engineering” Work?

In 1990, Michael Hammer published an article in the Harvard Business Review calling upon US businesses to “re-engineer” the workplace. His argument was straightforward. In a nutshell, he argued that US business processes had become “outmoded and obsolete.” More specifically, he argued “Many of our job designs, work flows, control mechanisms, and organizational structures came of age in a different competitive environment and before the advent of the computer. They are geared towards efficiency and control. Yet the watchwords of the new decade are innovation and speed, service and quality.” Hammer further argued that in order to truly modernize, organizations would need to do more than install computers on workers’ desks—they would need to reengineer their managerial structures from top to bottom. Continue reading

Skype Translate: Policy and Training Considerations

At Microsoft’s Natural Language Processing (NLP) laboratory, researchers are test-driving a new generation of natural language processing tools that promise to transform work in the coming decades. Among the most widely publicized and exciting breakthroughs is the lab’s much-hyped Skype Translator, which promises to provide real-time translation to collaborators working across languages, such as English, Mandarin, Spanish and Italian. But will the hype translate into workable cross-linguistic tools in the near future, and if so, what are the implications for the future of work? Continue reading

Training Remote Work Teams

In the past, employers and employees knew each other, worked in the same office and of course, in the same cultural context and time zone. Today, as remote offices, mobile technologies and peer-to-peer recruitment platforms converge, a growing number of businesses have no physical base at all and in some cases, employers and employees never meet face-to-face. This situation raises a myriad of new possibilities and challenges for workplace training. Continue reading

Training in the Age of the Internet of Things: Part 2

In an earlier blog post on the Internet of Things, we examined what the Internet of Things is, how it will change work, and its broad implications for education and training. This blog post outlines some of the more specific ways in which the Internet of Things promises to transform education and training in the coming decade. Continue reading

Your 2015 eLearning Reading List

Staying on top of the latest and greatest thinking on corporate eLearning is important for anyone striving to stay at the top of the game as an eLearning professional. Below you’ll find my top four picks for some of the most recently and about-to-be published books that will keep you on the leading edge of your industry. And don’t worry, I’m not asking you to immediately read four entire books. Two of the four are currently available, but the other two are coming out in June and November, so you’ll be able to pace yourself! Continue reading

Small is Beautiful: Bite-Sized eLearning

The days of set times where employees take classes to learn the skills, behaviors, and knowledge to move your company up the ladder to success are quickly fading in the digital age of the 21st century. Meeting the eLearning needs of your company in a rapidly-changing environment where it seems no one has the time to engage in learning, not to mention your time in developing and rolling out eLearning programs. Never has it been more important to pay attention to coming up with eLearning modules and courses that fit quick pace of corporate life. That’s why this article is about bite-sized eLearning. Continue reading

When Training Rage Rears its Ugly Head

Learning professionals everywhere face the same challenge: You put the blood, sweat, and tears into creating training opportunities to better your company’s workforce, but then very few people ever end up actually completing the training. It’s enough to give you training rage. Where does this resistance come from and what can you do to overcome it? Continue reading

The Triple Bottom Line, eLearning-Style

You’ve probably heard about the triple bottom line approach in business to focus on more than just the money involved. It’s sometimes explained as social, environmental, and financial aspects of business or as a triple focus on people, planet, and profits. I’d like to suggest that there’s a kind of triple bottom line to pay attention to in the eLearning environment as well. I think the three elements involved in eLearning’s triple bottom line are content, delivery method, and retention. Continue reading

Training in the Age of the Internet of Things: Part I

Today, nearly everyone is networked. Indeed, most of us rarely leave home without a mobile device and web access. We’re online all the time and so are our family members. In 2015, parents now track their children’s route home from school remotely and along the way, track missing devices and their human owners. If we once feared a future world of heightened surveillance, it appears as if we have now embraced and accepted this new reality. Being networked has become a more or less taken for granted part of everyday life. Now that we’ve networked ourselves, however, we are moving on to the next stage of the networked society—the so-called “Internet of Things.” Continue reading