aLearning Blog

Online Learning for Trade Associations

14 Things We Can Learn from the BEST – Part 4

Posted by Ellen on January 7, 2010

What started as a short list of what we can learn from the winners from ASTD’s 2009 BEST Awards grew, so here’s the third of four posts.

Remember, these are in no particular order. No special year-end countdown here. They’re all important!

12. Most winners engender or are transitioning into a more collaborative learning environment, pushing away from conventional “sage on the stage” presentation of content formats and providing more options for employees to connect directly with each other and to work across the miles via online collaboration tools.
      India’s Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited implemented a system to help coordinate job rotations and exposure to diverse roles within the organization.
      The Dahej Manufacturing Division of Reliance Industries Limited provides cross-discipline/cross-functional training to its employees, including an “engineering for non-engineers” program.
      — What cross-functional learning opportunities are you providing your members so they build a resume that will open up opportunities for them, should they need to change jobs?
      — What could you be doing to facilitate cross-functional learning within your association’s staff?
      — Other than implementing social media, what are you doing — or could be doing — to encourage collaboration and peer-to-peer education?
13. All winners have success criteria and/or outcome measurement in place. Many include learner scorecards or other ways for learners to see for themselves where they are in their personal education path and their next steps.
      — What key metrics determine the success of your educational programs? How well are you tracking them? Are they the appropriate metrics or should they be re-visited? 
     — Are you providing ways for your members to track the training they’re receiving through your association? Do you offer a PLE (Personal Learning Environment) in some format that’s accessible directly to them? Or are they forced to call your office and ask you for a list of what they attended? How can you make it as easy as possible for your members to access their own learning records?

14. Most winners recognize the dynamics of change. Whether that change occurs in the company’s dynamic (via merge, acquisition, restructuring or other shift) or is the result of external forces (increased competition, rapid evolution of technology, etc.), these companies are helping their employees adapt and embrace that dynamic, and their training departments are central in developing those programs.
      — What are you doing to help your members anticipate and adapt to changes in their environment?
      — Are you doing all you can to help your association to deal with change internally? Is your staff ready to cope with a sudden or dramatic shift caused by external factors? Internal circumstances? What could you be doing differently? Better?

Please see the ASTD’s October 2009 T+D magazine for a full listing of winners and complete descriptions of what they’ve done to deserve the honor. (Yes, I’m behind in my reading, but wasn’t this worth the wait?)

What have you learned from our cousins in corporate training? What have you implemented or avoided?

What are you watching them do to see if it works for them before plunging in?

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