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Preview: Corporate E-Learning

Corporate E-Learning



Musings during my journey into elearning implementations for the corporates



Updated: 2015-09-17T01:50:29.811+10:00

 



Just a story, but worth learning a lesson from it

2009-02-21T22:45:27.889+11:00

A Modern Parable......

A Japanese company (Toyota) and an American company (Ford Motors) decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River. Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race.

On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile. The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. A management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action.

Their conclusion was the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 7 people steering and 2 people rowing. Feeling a deeper study was in order, American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion.

They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing. Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Japanese, the rowing team's management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 2 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager. They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 2 people rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the 'Rowing Team Quality First Program,' with meetings, dinners and free pens for the rowers. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses. The pension program was trimmed to 'equal the competition' and some of the resultant savings were channelled into morale boosting programs and teamwork posters.

The next year the Japanese won by two miles.

Humiliated, the American management laid-off one rower, halted development of a new canoe, sold all the paddles, and cancelled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses.

The next year, try as he might, the lone designated rower was unable to even finish the race (having no paddles,) so he was laid off for unacceptable performance, all canoe equipment was sold and the next year's racing team was out-sourced to India.

Sadly, the End.

Here's something else to think about: Ford has spent the last thirty years moving all its factories out of the US, claiming they can't make money paying American wages.

TOYOTA has spent the last thirty years building more than a dozen plants inside the US. The last quarter's results: TOYOTA makes 4 billion in profits while Ford racked up 9 billion in losses.

Ford folks are still scratching their heads, while collecting their bonuses... and now wants the Government to 'bail them out.'

IF THIS WEREN'T SO TRUE IT MIGHT EVEN BE FUNNY!!!

cross posted to Random Walk in Learning



The Solution to Obesity

2006-09-24T11:13:17.883+10:00

Peregryn suggests to use financial incentives offered by the government to solve the problem of obesity.
Whenever you show up [in a government sponsered gyn] you sign a form or swipe an ID card which will then entitle you to that day's payment on your tax return.


I suggest we look to the East and copy their solution.

For schools, each day would start with a morning assembly/exercise where everybody gather in the playground and do 45 minutes of exercise.

For workplace (white collar workers in particular), ditto.

The key is to include *everyone*, no exception. Managers and executives should lead by examples.

cross posted to Random Walk in Learning



Dress code of tele-worker

2006-09-23T11:00:20.483+10:00

There are increasing people working from home (like me) and attend teleconference regularly.

(image) One of the thing I like about working from home is the freedom of dress. I enjoy my Tees and boxers. With increasing video-conference need, this is what you can do. Get a
Businessbibs.

See a flickr show here



SCO fetcher

2006-08-29T12:02:08.846+10:00

Warwick Bailey of Icodeon Ltd from United Kingdom sent me an email today asking me to comment on one implementation issue of my SCO fetcher solution for overcoming the cross-domain issue when delivering content within a SCORM environment. [see my other papers on SCORM here.]

In particular, it is related to the linked javascript files. In Warwick's solution, after fetching the SCO, the LMS will parse the incoming HTML and add a BASE tag to the SCO. By doing this, all referenced images, CSS (as long as their paths were relatively) will be displayed correctly in the client. However, linked javascripts, originating from a different domain will NOT be able to interact with javascript from the LMS domain. This is a browser implemented SECURITY and should NOT be broken.

Here is a minor details - albeit a very important one in the SCO-fetcher solution.

The original model is based on using multiple content management systems at the same time. ALL assets are stored in some CMS and we allowed multiple CMS support for a single SCO. That is, a SCO will consist of its base HTML (say stored in CMS-1), plus other assets such as images, CSS, animations etc sources from other CMSes (say CMS-2, ... CMS-n). Hence, we implemented absolute referencing to the resources.

As SCO, it is necessary to have javascript (at a minimum, javascript is needed to establish the connection to the LMS). In the original implementatin, all javascripts were embedded within the SCO and hence post no cross-domain scripting violation.

In Warwick's situation, if the javascript is linked in, the BASE tag will point the javascript to its original domain and hence the browser will block any communication of the loaded javascript with the javascript from the LMS.

As far as I can remember, the SCORM specification does not specify how the SCO should implement the javascript (whether embedded or linked) and I understand it is much easier to use a linked solution.

A little intelligence can easily overcome the problem - but is NOT the best solution. In Warwick's case, since the LMS is parsing the incoming HTML anyway, it is just a matter of locating the javascripts, fetching them and sending the javascript from the LMS domain (or embedding the javascript into the SCO).

A better solution would be to extend the SCORM specification slightly, including the two scenarios (embedded and linked javascripts) to describe a unified way of handling the situation. As an extra, this work will also open up the opportunity of defining a mechanism for overcoming the Mosaic Effect of Multi-use SCOs. [I am aware of other works in customising the look and feel of SCO, but I still believe my solution is a better fit to the development workflow of current SCORM content development efforts.]

I am in the private sector and have a family to feed. That means I cannot put public good before my responsibility of provding for my family. :-) I am happy to put in the effort to do this work if someone can sponsor my time and any associated costs.

cross-posted to Random Walk in Learning



2 hrs of Mandated training

2006-08-22T08:29:40.193+10:00

Jay Cross is passing around a letter:

We understand that the Fair Employment & Housing Commission is drafting regulations for Assembly Bill 1825 dealing with sexual harassment and requiring “employers with 50 or more employees to provide 2 hours of training and education to all supervisory employees….”
The specification of two hours appears to be drawn directly from a Connecticut statute, Sexual Harassment and Training Requirements, which became law fifteen years ago, long before the advent and widespread adoption of networked learning (“eLearning”). Times have changed.


He correctly pointed out that "The classroom hour is an increasingly poor measure of learning.", however he recommends the Fair Employment & Housing Commission to interpret the two hours in AB 1825 to mean the possession of knowledge at least equivalent to what would have been acquired by the average learner by attending a two-hour instructorled course and to measure that by proficiency test rather than two hours time on task.

I believe that once a mandated training hour is imposed (even explicitly stating that it should be interprreted as minimum training required) will become the defacto and becomes the maximum amount of training. Stating requirement in time, instead of learning outcomes, given all business are engaged in cost reduction, will result in 2-hour of online training.

Sexual harrassment requires changing of attitude and belief. I don't believe it can be done in 2 hours anyway.

cross posted to Random Walk of Learning



Why (Most) Training is Useless

2006-08-16T13:28:30.366+10:00

by David Maister 2006

Quoting from the article:
  • training and other kinds of meetings and conferences are too often organized as stand-alone events, with a life of their own, disconnected from the firm’s progress.

  • Companies train people in new areas but then send them back to their operating groups, subject to the same measures and management approaches as before. People can detect immediately a lack of alignment between what they are being trained in and how they are being managed. When they do detect it, little, if any, of what has been discussed or ‘trained’ ever gets implemented.

  • Companies want a speech that is entertaining, informative, stimulating, or motivating. What they don’t seem to want is anything that specifically addresses the way they run their firms or the real-world changes they are really trying to make.

  • No amount of understanding, knowledge or intelligence will help if you are not able to interact with people and get the response you desire.

  • To help people develop as managers doesn’t mean discussing management (or, even worse, leadership) but rather requires putting people through a set of processes where they have to experience it, try it out, and develop their emotional self-control and interactive styles.

  • There is no point putting on skills training if there is no incentive for the behavior; the people don’t believe in it and they don’t yet know exactly what it is they are supposed to be good at!

  • The best training is usually done by the firm’s own practitioners. Although often seen as an expensive use of high-priced practitioners’ time, the greater credibility obtained when the firm’s own people do the training results in much higher acceptance and subsequent application of the training. Outsiders should be used only to help develop programs and “train-the-trainers.”




Free games for trainers

2006-08-14T10:01:08.990+10:00

Training games by Thiagi
140 proven games. Cannot miss this!


businessballs.com
a very long list of ice breaker games.


Gamesbygrube.com
The Grube Method of Instruction first debuted in 1984 at The University of Michigan and was refined in Michigan Public School Districts. This teaching and learning methodology has nine sequential, game design steps.
1. Assemble-A-Bibliography - Collect Game Resources
2. Write-A-Book - Identify Useful Information
3. Create-A-Deck - Design Playing Cards
4. Design-A-Gameboard - Create Artistic Work
5. Learn-A-Set - Evaluate Game Principles
6. Pen-A-Page - Write Game Questions
7. Master-A-Theory - Apply Experiential Learning
8. Play-A-Game - Test and Refine
9. Teach-A-Method - Master the Methodology


Learnativity
Learn-a-tivity is the notion that individual and organizational effectiveness depends on learning better, faster, smarter and through the consistent application of learning, combined with creativity, flexibility, and paying close attention to the right things.



Forced Ranking: Making Performance Management Work

2005-11-16T20:39:58.710+11:00

by Dick Grote

I read this article with unease. It is just intuitively not right.

I cannot argue against statistics and controlled experiments and the conclusion of the article may be right for the industrial age companies. I cannot see how my companies (if they ever grow enough to require these kind of strategies) will adopt such a measure.

As I have explained elsewhere, the jobs available in the near future, at least in developed countries would be very different from what are available today. Repetitive jobs would be replaced by computer-driven processes, or completely replaced by computers. Human workers are here to tackle "exceptions", those situations that the computers cannot handle correctly or appropriately. It is likely that workers are assembled in short notices in order to solve problem with extremely compressed time because the rest of the business is moving at light speed.

Definitely, companies will need talent more than ever in order to survive. Maintaining a highly effective talent pool is critical.

However, a forced ranking system, given the inherent nature of human bias, will only make your talent pool worse to cope with diverse situations.

Firstly, forced ranking implies measuring scales which are uniformly applicable across a diverse group. Such scale typically will remove diversity which is critically important to "tiger-teams".

Secondly, any organisation, when grow to a certain respectable size, will have internal politics. Such politics create associations and will influence the application of any measuring scales.

Thirdly, such a brutal system will harbour bribery. People use extreme tactics under extreme situation. When the job security is gone, those in power will extract maximum personal return while they can.

Anyway, I have a thousand more reasons not to implement forced ranking in my companies....



Peter Drucker and the "knowledge manager"

2005-11-16T18:32:01.693+11:00

This is a special collection from McKinsey Quarterly in memory of the man who coined "knowledge worker" 50 years ago. Before 21st November, 2005, you can access the articles free.



"Outside-In" and e-learning

2005-10-19T22:07:00.553+10:00

The "Outside-In" Enterprise by Irving Wladawsky-Berger describes a significant change in enterprise since and about the last 10 years.
[I]n an outside-in approach, businesses, governments and other institutions embraced these same standards internally, and built what we called "intranets," as well as reaching out to connect to their supply chains with "extranets."


This is a major change to the competition and differentiation factors of enterprises. Before that, businesses used products based on proprietary and incompatible standards to create differences. Businesses tried to "lock-in" the customers based on the cost of change. Today, businesses compete by delivering different value-propositions, increasing the need of continuous training to the employees.

Luckily, this "outside-in" process also helps to reduce the cost of providing training. Basically there are two types of training, general skill training and businesss-specific process training. As the internal-process increases the adoption of standardised practices, such training can be brought in off the shelf, reducing the need of development of training material.

The focus of training development can be focussed on those aspects of the business which deliver differentiating values - the key competitive differentiators.




E-learning or Traditional Training?

2005-08-12T09:21:08.980+10:00

In a recent News Poll by Workforce Management, of the 447 participants surveyed, 22% reported that none of their training is conducted "electronically" and 45% said it is from 1% to 25%.

Traditional classroom based technique is still a significant part of the training provided in the workplace.



Learning and development in corporates

2005-08-03T20:48:08.826+10:00

At a breakfast meeting, Paul McKey of redbean talked about his experience with approaching corporate for learning implementation. One quote which stood out was
if you (first) energize and excite your people, they will serve your clients well, and you'll (then) make lots of money [David H Maister, Practice What You Preach]


That led to the importance of learning and development in an organisation - how to energize and excite your people.

I did a search to the citation and found an article (free registration required to read) written by David Maister. In the article, the affirmative of following nine questions are a good indicator of greater profits and faster growth.

  1. Client satisfaction is a top priority at our firm.

  2. We have no room for those who put their personal agenda ahead of the interests of the clients or the office.

  3. Those who contribute the most to the overall success of the office are the most highly rewarded.

  4. Management gets the best work out of everybody in the office.

  5. Around here you are required, not just encouraged, to learn and develop new skills.

  6. We invest a significant amount of time in things that will pay off in the future.

  7. People within our office always treat others with respect.

  8. The quality of supervision on client projects is uniformly high.

  9. The quality of the professionals in our office is as high as can be expected.


The conclusion from the author is that
The success of a business is a matter of choosing the right managers, not choosing the right corporate policies.


If people is so important, spending time to choose the right people to fill a managerial role is linked to the success of the corporate. Providing learning and development for people to build the kind of attributes which can energize people is where learning can focus on.



5 Steps for Turning Your Idea Into a Product

2005-08-05T10:54:47.776+10:00

Given that "5 Steps for Turning Your Idea Into a Product" was the result an interview of the CEO of PatentCafe.com, we can expect that it is from the viewpoint (spell benefit to) of patent attorneys. I would say this is a sure way to kill your Internet and business ideas instead, except if you have already made your millions by other means and want to play the patent game for a while.

Two qualifications here:
My argument here applies to business ideas and software concepts. It may not apply to "real" invention.
Success is measured by the real return of any money minus the cost of achieving that.

Your idea

There is no great idea which would not benefit from feedback by the ultimate users. Everybody's approach to a problem is different. A great idea helps solve a problem. Because the way the problem is perceived and approached is different, any solution only meets the perception and approach by a group of users only.

A product will be successful if it can solve a problem for a large number of people, or a big problem for a smaller group of people.

Either way, any great idea will benefit from feedback. The need of secrecy in the patenting process simply means you will not get the feedback you will need to create a better product.

Time Cycle

We are now living in the Internet Time. Any innovation is accelerated by the rapid spread of information.

You will not buy any software which has stopped development. (Are you still using VisiCal or Wordstar?) So is any product from any great idea. If there is no continuous improvement, the product is dead.

A length patent cycle (couple of years) is a complete mis-match to today's time cycle. By the time you completed the patent application, the idea may have become obsolete because the problem which the ideas meant to solve may be disappeared, or has transformed so significantly that the idea encapsulated in your patent is no longer a solution.

Paid off
If we see invention as a business, we need to understand that out of a thousand ideas, only a couple are useful and ever fewer which can become a great product. The patenting process is expensive, very expensive indeed. The upfront cost of patenting has to be balanced against the potential additional revenue which can be generated by the patent. We also need to consider the alternative to NOT to patent. Instead of spending your effort and resources in patent process, what is the additional revenue that you can generate using the effort and resources that you intent to put into the patent process. If there is any benefit towards the patent process, it makes sense to go ahead for it. However, as discussed above, the additional load on the inventor to take care of the patent process may, in fact, cause the product to "miss the boat" or delay potential improvement.

The best advice for any potential inventor is not to patent.



EFF: Legal Guide for Bloggers

2005-06-14T09:23:24.683+10:00

No doubt more and more corporatiion will be using wiki or blogs as a learning tool. The Legal Guide for Bloggers produced by Electronic Frontier Foundation is timely. I am noting it here as a reminder for myself as well.




Corporate e-learning trend

2005-05-24T21:45:04.550+10:00

A UK research on corporate e-learning adopters show that the e-learning procurement is maturing. Four key findings are:
  • Greater focus on driving high recurrent usage around a narrow set of generic titles; often linked to specific major business projects or changes, which may cycled over time
  • Rapid growth in adoption of non-traditional forms of e-learning content, particularly on-line reference material, driven by significant increases in perceived relevance and value from an often e-learning skeptical audience
  • More focus on industry-specific (vertical) or job-role-specific (horizontal) content, often from niche providers with a proven understanding and brand in their niche
  • Increased desire for flexible adoption of e-learning content, embedded within mainstream learning programmes (the so-called ‘trend to blend')


The researcher concluded that corporate are focusing on the value proposition of e-learning.

I see that as a stage into another stage. The value proposition here seems to me is still primary focus on the internal processes and development of their human resource to better handle the task at hand.

The next stage would be using the e-learning initiative and infra-structure to deliver value proposition linked to the corporate's core business activity. Building on the continuous human resource development, the next stage will see corporate using their e-learning infra-structure to help their partners in the various part of the value chain. By understanding better the processes of procurement, for example, a supplier can better fine-tune his own stock to meet the demand of the corporate. By tapping into the internal process of the corporate, the supplier will be able to obtain time-sensitive information and benefit from such information.

Such integration of business process is not a one-side process. The corporate needs to help provide training to its suppliers staff in order to see the benefit flows through.

Tags:



Corporate Blogger guidelines

2005-05-17T09:58:08.876+10:00

Different corporate has different vision and value system. Hence, I won't see a general guideline which can apply to all. Here are some corporate guidelines which may serve as a starting point for you to create your own for your company.Thomas Nelson spells out the objectives of encouraging employees to blog:we want to encourage you to blog about our company, our products, and your work. Our goal is three-fold: * To raise the visibility of our company, * To make a contribution to our industry, and * To give the public a look at what goes on within a real live publishing company.and continue to list out 10 points:# Start with a blogging service. # Write as yourself. # Own your content. Employee blog sites are not Company communications. Therefore, your blog entries legally belong to you. They represent your thoughts and opinions. We think it is important that you remind your readers of this fact by including the following disclaimer on your site: “The posts on this blog are provided ‘as is’ with no warranties and confer no rights. The opinions expressed on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent those of my employer.” # Write relevant. Write often. # Advertise—if you wish. While there is no requirement to run ads on your blog, you are free to do this if you wish. ... The only thing we ask is that, to the extent you have control, you run ads or recommend products that are congruent with our core values as a Company.# Be nice. Avoid attacking other individuals or companies. # Keep secrets. Do not disclose sensitive, proprietary, confidential, or financial informa-tion about the Company, other than what is publicly available in our SEC filings and corporate press releases.# Respect copyrights. # Obey the law. # Remember the Handbook. As a condition of your employment, you agreed to abide by the rules of the Company Handbook. This also applies to your blogging activities.Here is a version from SunObjective:Many of us at Sun are doing work that could change the world. We need to do a better job of telling the world. As of now, you are encouraged to tell the world about your work, without asking permission first After setting up the tone, here are the advice:#It’s a Two-Way Street. ... Whether or not you’re going to write, and especially if you are, look around and do some reading, so you learn where the conversation is and what people are saying.#Don’t Tell Secrets.... There’s an official policy on protecting Sun's proprietary and confidential information, but there are still going to be judgment calls.#Be Interesting #Write What You Know #Financial Rules. There are all sorts of laws about what we can and can’t say, business-wise. Talking about revenue, future product ship dates, roadmaps, or our share price is apt to get you, or the company, or both, into legal trouble.#Quality Matters #Think About Consequences#Disclaimers.... a disclaimer on the front page saying who they work for, but that they’re not speaking officially. This is good practice, but don’t count it to avoid trouble; it may not have much legal effect.The Harvard Law school provides 6 points:1. Rights in the Content You Submit 2. Conduct 3. Disclaimer of Warranties and Limitation of Liability 4. Privacy Policy 5. Modification of These Terms of Use 6. Copyright Complaints A short and sweet 11-point guideline from IBM originated from James Snell and summarised by InfoWorld.1. Know and follow IBM's Business Conduct Guidelines.2. Blogs, wikis and other forms of online discourse are individual interactions, not corporate communications. IBMers are personally responsible for their posts. Be mindful that what you writ[...]



Wiki This- A Model for Customer Support Using Blogs and Wikis

2005-05-09T05:57:25.236+10:00

(image) Lee Lefeved has this wonderful post on how to use blog and wiki together to provide
a persistent feedback loop for the decision makers and a timely support resource for customers.


While it is not an automated process, it has the advantage of having real human intelligence in organising the information in the wiki for future use (I am thinking organising the wiki like wikipedia) so that timely information will be searchable both internally for decision making and externally for customer-support. Of course, there may be sensitive issues which need to be sorted out for "internal" and "external", the idea is brilliant.

In the following, I am extending this idea for use in corporate e-learning.

In a teaching and training environment, the same idea can be used throughout the training sessions to capture the questions and issues arising from the course material from the learners. I would suggest that the learners should also be able to edit the course wiki (not just the instructor) so that they will own both the questions AND answers to the issue.

When the course is over, the wiki should be incorporated into a support wiki where employees who have finished the course may refer to on a just-in-time fashion for on the job support.

I would also suggest that for each cohort of learners/trainees, a new course wiki should be created. Learning is a process. If we start the current course with a previous course wiki (or the general support wiki), we are denying the current learners from the opportunity of first attempts in rising an issue and providing a solution to the problem.

There will be significant overlaps among course wikis. The overlaps signify the areas that instructional design should be focussed in the next iteration of the course. The non-overlapping issues among course wikis, when incorporated into the support wiki, will provide a rich "FAQ" for just-in-time problem solving on the job.



Chain Letters from the Boss - cont'd

2005-05-04T00:45:50.980+10:00

Dealing with a conflict with the boss is not easy and there is NO ONE solution. Different circumstances call for different approach.Another thing I need to make clear is that the solution suggested below is from the point of view of human resources. It is more about improving whole organisation rather than solving the grief experienced by any particular person.When there is a conflict between a senior executive with a lower level manager/worker or a breach of policy by a senior executive, it is easy, from HR's angle, to lean towards the senior executive, or do nothing. The post yesterday described a situation in which OneShoe's HR department seemed to have chosen the "strategy of doing nothing". In the case described yesterday, HR cannot claim ignorance. The chain letters originated from the CFO must have included HR department, if not, it will soon arrive at some HR staff inbox anyway. Chain letter of this kind also falls into the category of "crime without obvious victim" and hence HR cannot expect any formal complaint from anyone. OneShoe, as the Network Admin, felt annoyed. However, it is also pointed out in the first post that OneShoe has no desire to make a major issue of this.Choosing the "doing nothing strategy" is like burying one's head in the sand and hope that the storm will move away and things will get back to normal. In some situations, this is exactly the best strategy.The "doing nothing strategy" also demonstrates the weakness of the HR department and damages the morale of the company. Waste of resources aside, it also created a precedence for further break of corporate rules and policy.Confronting the CFO is not a strategy any HR should consider without significant evaluation of the situation. While many leaders claim to accept criticism, the chances of find one who can REALLY accept criticism is near zero.The inspiration of a solution comes from the scenario of a role play we called "xmas party from Hell", this link to a particular instance of that role play.Here is a brief background of the role play. Mick Malloy is the Managing Director. He has a young Personal Assistant Josh. The public description of Josh isJosh is an ambitious sort of bloke and he must be to take on the job as Mick’s Personal Assistant. Everyone can see he's too good for that job. No-one expects Josh to be around for long. He's aiming for higher things, so is trying to keep his nose clean. Some say he only got that position as a reverse equity thing. When the Equity and Social Justice Manager Anna Leska heard that, she squashed it real quick, making it clear that all processes were followed and Josh won that position on merit. In the scenario, it was the xmas party when John would be given a gift for his retirement. Here is that part of the scenarioThen it's John's turn. He gets up, faces the crowd, sucks his gut in, gives his bum-bag a surreptitious scratch (lucky it wasn't his bum this time) and after a few mindless words, he blurts out...."Thanks for the kind words and the bummer of a gift Mick me boy!The one thing I like about Mick is that he never changes. He always calls a spade a spade.Whether it's Genghis Khan or Marilyn Monroe, his personal assistant will always be 'Girlie" to him.What you got to remember is he means well..So, in the role play, the managing director has been calling his male PA my girlie. This is a clear case of harassment. What should Josh do?Isn't this a similar situation to OneShoe, only many times worse. But, here, there is a clear "victim".Knowing how effective "xmas party from hell" has been when it was played (at least 5 [...]



Chain Letters from the Boss

2005-05-02T20:26:11.236+10:00

Recently there is an interesting discussion thread in TechRepublic. The first post (by OneShoe) isI am at a loss as to how to handle the onslaught of junk email that is routinely sent internally throughout my company by fellow employees including the executive staff and mostly the CFO, my boss.This morning I received yet another "John 3:16, Jesus Loves You, forward this to ten people" chain letter email with the animated graphics and all that crap.OneShoe is annoyed.The first issue I have with these is the Network Admin side of me that is annoyed that these emails go all over my network, clogging up my servers and taking up space. They are in violation of the company's acceptable use policy and are generally a big waste of company time.The second issue is my personal opinion that these emails are both offensive and inappropriate in the workplace. The top executives are sending emails throughout the company pushing their religious beliefs on subordinates asking them to come to Jesus.I have mentioned my issue to various managers in the past, including my boss, requesting they remove me from their mass mail lists yet the emails continue. I have filters setup in Outlook, but many emails still get through because I can't get too strict with my filtering without missing some actual business related emails.I do not really have the desire to make a major issue of this but I would like it to stop. Any suggestions? [my emphasis]Lots of suggestions flow in. Here is a good one.People are addicted to forwarding that crap because then they can pretend that they are evangelizing without having to put any thought or work into it. Threatening legal action, while within your rights and perhaps a good strategy for long-run changes in the corporate culture, would also have the effect of isolating you from many of your co-workers.If the people in your company have web access, create a policy in which people setup webmail accounts for personal communications (such as this crap) and restrict the usage of company e-mail accounts to work-related missives. You can spin this situation as positive with a memo to your boss on how to save on network traffic (or something like that.)Another obvious view is this one:you realistically have two options - 1) live with the problem the best you can, or 2) find another job, either by suing or just going out and getting one.Eventually, OneShoe posted this Well, thank you all for the sometimes constructive and always creative feedback. Here is what I have learned and decided:1. Religious nuts and people who threaten legal action over every little thing have a lot in common in my book.2. Managing computer users is a lot like raising children. To get them to stop doing something, you have to redirect their focus as opposed to confronting them head on.3. I am not going to waste any more of my time worrying about these emails. I have plenty of other things than annoy me much more than this that I can focus my energy on.Time for some tunes and a fresh cup o' joe. It's Friday!From a corporate learning point of view, is there a lesson that we can learn? If there is any HR people reading my post, you should think about the consequence this may have. Any better solution? I think there is at least one. I will reveal that tomorrow.[...]



Beat E-Learning Inertia

2005-04-25T21:14:08.493+10:00

Tracy Lowles has laid down a set of strategies, common sense, that would make your corporate e-learning strategy produce the effect you expect. These are so much common sense that you may think the list is reductant. But it is nice to keep it handy just in case.

  • Support from senior management

  • Create a peer support programme

  • Provide a space to learn

  • Work with your marketing team to spread the word

  • Get on the road

  • Share success stories: Good news travels fast

  • Reward learning success

  • Be a true learning organisation

  • Measure results and evolve your learning programme


  • Tagged as



    Outward e-learning design

    2005-04-25T21:15:07.243+10:00

    Lee LeFever of Common Craft has a post called You Might Not Need "Community" which points out the difference between "community" and "social strategies".
    Social strategies are concepts and plans for bringing people together on a web site to achieve some specific outcome.
    Community is a state of mind that is a by-product of successful social strategies.


    I agree that community is a state of mind of the users, not the tools which enabled the exchange to create the community. While having a final goal in mind when you design your outward e-learning (i.e. to create a community which embraces your product and services), the selection of tools and the implementation strategies should be your focus. Only if the "social design" is successful that we can see the benefit of having a community to support your endeavour.

    Tagged as



    A valuable lesson learned

    2005-04-25T21:16:27.933+10:00

    Steve Crescenzo opens,
    I learned a valuable lesson in how to deal with senior leadership yesterday, and I wanted to share it, in case any of you find yourself in a similar position.


    He then continues to describe one of his consulting assignment. Please read it yourself. It is well worth the time.

    The lesson learned, as he summarises
    In corporate America, when you deliver bad news, someone is going to be defensive. Be ready for it, prepare for it, defuse it, and get ready to move on towards solutions.


    I believe it is generally true beyond corporate America. This is a general human behaviour to set to defence when you are being attacked.

    This also reminds me a post I did earlier in Random Walk in E-Learning.

    Tagged as



    What is Workflow Learning?

    2005-04-25T21:18:12.546+10:00

    Workflow Learning is the convergence of learning and work.


    The four dimensions reviewed by Jay Cross are:
    * Performance-Centered Design
    * Exponential Acceleration
    * Living Information Systems
    * Dense Interconnections

    What is interesting in the analysis is the notion of inter-connections. Know What, Know How, Know Where and increasingly Know Who. Inter-connections is about knowing who you will call and work with to solve a particular problem. The more inter-connections you have, the better chance you can find a solution.

    However, maintaining the connections is without a cost. I am seeing a new profession coming to be of increasing importance - "relationship manager". But I have seen really bad ones already.




    7 guidelines for effective corporate e Learning

    2005-04-25T21:20:11.413+10:00

    This is a very informative post from soulsoup posted in March. The seven guidelines are:

    • The business world is not about learning, it’s about doing business.

    • First collaboration, then learning

    • Off-the Shelf content is so yesterday, Courseware is dead.

    • It’s not about Technology - it’s about effectiveness and culture

    • LMS / big rollouts are out - embrace small pieces loosely coupled

    • e Learning is not only for internal learning

    • Measure what really matters


    See the original article for details.




    Impact of self-serve technology on e-learning direction and future

    2005-04-16T10:49:05.290+10:00

    I wrote about 3 kinds of learning in corporation not long ago. However, I already start to see the disappearing of the first type of training, i.e. Task related support training will be gone soon.

    Why I say that? Look at the trend today in the adoption of self-serve technology. Bank automatic teller machines are now common place. Supermarkets are installing self serve check out. There are 85 self-serve counters installed in 48 McDonald restaurants in USA.

    Besides checking ourselves in for flights at the airport, we may soon be checking out rental cars at our destinations without talking to anyone, and then checking into hotels at a lobby kiosk that, first, displays a diagram of all the rooms available and then, after we choose one, pops out a room key.

    [ The Toll of a New Machine from Fast Company]

    Repetitive tasks are going to disappear and replaced by machine. These machines do not need training. Gone are the people who used to do these jobs. Hence no need to provide any training to them. The corporate become smaller (in number of employees - not necessary in asset). Compliance training requirement drops. Whoop... a collapse of corporate eLearning!!!!

    No, not quite there yet - until we have self-repairing machines! So, we need training to the maintenance crew, right? Wrong! These are outsourced!

    OK, these maintenance companies would need training, right? Wrong! They are in developing or under-developed countries and their training/compliance requirement is not as high as us (those in the developed world).

    So, Albert, you are saying that the corporate e-learning industry is doomed?

    No, but yes as it is today.

    It is the third type, you see?

    What's that again? Corporate or Personal Development OK, also known as Organisational Developers.