New Frontiers for Corporate Education: the Self-Learning

self-learning
Paola De Vecchi Galbiati
I'm a programme manager experienced in innovation and change management for small and medium companies across several sectors... with a strong background in new products and services development and ICT for multinationals in Europe, Asia and the USA. My experience includes management, executive and consulting roles for companies such as Univer, FILA Sport, and Carrier. I have been involved in such areas as marketing and design processes, portfolio and process re-engineering and business coaching. My innovation approach is focuses on helping organizations see the big picture so that all parts of the organization can create value and something truly innovative to help them succeed.

What Self-Learning is and how it contributes to Evolution of Companies’ Culture

The self-learning is a process that takes place every time we process information received from outside (what we read, we do, see and hear) through our knowledge and experience in this moment.

Environment, relationships and experiences affect our ability to learn.

The results of this cognitive process are transformed into new ideas, new actions, or adjustments of initiatives already undertaken, or may they remain in ‘standby’, because we do not need them right now.

We can consider that each of us makes different use and defines different purpose about the same information.

We learn in a substantially different way and we produce different results that we can measure only in a minimum part.

If we acknowledge that we learn with different times, rhythms and styles, why do we have to align everybody at the same training program, same educational process? And why should we expect everybody produce the same positive result?

What self-learning role is in our companies? How do they can take advantage of it?

What tools ca we use to stimulate self-education and self-learning? How does people management change?

There are multiple projects and researches in education and organization fields that are seeking to answer these questions by proposing new models and new solutions.

The overview I offer below is not exhaustive, but it provides the basis to rethink and redesign systems and processes for staff training.

When we organize a training course in our company, we know goals and results we want to achieve, but we can never predict use, development and implications that this course can stimulate in every person and in his work and relationships.

In many companies the construction and organization of training is carried out by a group of people – CEO, HR managers, our boss, etc.

But they do not attend at these kind of courses. They know the beginning and the end of this training process, but they don’t know what happens in between.

In order to build a simple training stage:

  1. choose a Scope, a new programming language, a new sales technique, a new reporting system, etc.
  2. identify a Topic, Php language, NLP technique, Business Intelligence Platform., etc.
  3. prepare Contents and interacting with them: highlighting, taking notes and typing hold points.
  4. provide Insights and bibliography.
  5. encourage Sharing and Comparing between colleagues.

For making a training course, Companies pre-select objects and contents for a pre-defined audience who has to achieve pre-fixed performance … but this is not enough.

Otherwise, Companies that collaborate with customers, suppliers and employees to build their own system of shared knowledge, are increasing, and in this way they promote both the growth of each person, and the development of a common corporate culture.

Moreover, Knowledge Management Systems and eLearning Platforms can’t be implemented by everybody. They are developed in sophisticated and large-sized companies … and even these systems have the limit of being pre-built by people who design formats and rules and not by those who must use information to grow their company culture through their own and others’ cultural development.

With these sophisticated tools we can collect materials, feedbacks, list of participants and teachers, etc…  We can calculate dimensions: cost, duration, performances trend … but: are these elements sufficient to satisfy company needs?  Not anymore…

Social media and recent discoveries in neuroscience, are spurring interesting changes in the field of Corporate Education.

Companies that collect through social media materials of their courses, experiments, games, and the considerations made by the participants are increasing. And in many cases, they noted that ideas and solutions most interesting and useful for the company emerge during the training, when collaboration and direct relationship between colleagues are at work.

Open access to data and tools is allowing each of us to tailor data presentation and based on our “way of learning”, leaving more freedom on how to view, aggregate, and share business information in order to develop solutions useful for the whole company.

So it seems that rather than plans or training, we go in the direction of providing a “wealth of business knowledge” to which each employee can access by setting himself how to archive their activities and make them available to others.

To attend at a training course will mean to collaborate in building it and to be an active part of company knowledge and growth.

 

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