Knowledge Management – Why eLearning is the Key to Intellectual Asset Management and Corporate Survival: Part I

I love technology – at the time that this blog is published I will be tootling along through the Atlantic airspace safely encased in duraluminium and polycarbonate. All because a daemon with a clock will launch this without further instructions from me.

This will also be my last blog from Australian soil, and although I have a few meetings related to Knowledge Management and Organizational Learning before my flight, there are some things that occurred to me as I was explaining to folks in Brisbane about what I have been doing in the KM & OL space

eLearning is a big deal, and forms part of the puzzle of how to grow intellectual capital and turn a firm’s intellectual assets into a competitive advantage.

Let’s assume for the sake of discussion that you totally accept that eLearning is cheaper and more effective for the most part than traditional Instructor-Led Training (ILT). What is worth talking about is how to use eLearning as a vehicle that can be defended without considering its advantages relative to ILT.

To achieve this I propose three changes in basic corporate policy regarding learning.

Policy #1

Nobody goes on ILT without sandwiching it between layers of eLearning. There has to be some eLearning that prepares the person for the ILT so they can spend less time on familiarization and more time on the high-value material. There also has to be something they do afterwards that involves eLearning refresher and practical use of the material.

Policy #2

Nobody attends ILT, seminars, or any other industry event without a commitment to build an eLearning tutorial on their return. Far too many people go to external events and then having been inspired or having gained new understanding, proceed to squirrel it away in the recesses of their mind and let dust and spiderwebs gather on it. Building an eLearning tutorial allows them to summarize the most important parts in the context of their employer’s environment, and explain to others what the deal is and why it matters. This is a crucial part of the puzzle that allows eLearning to build a bridge to Intellectual Asset Management and to the creation and benefication of intellectual capital.

Policy #3

If it is worth delivering a presentation to an all-hands meeting, it is worth building as a tutorial and surrounding it with an assessment and social media. Most companies have some very clever, gifted, and experienced people – from the Receptionist to the VP of Marketing to the CFO. If the VP of Marketing has something worth telling everybody about branding (which they should), then it is worth capturing at least part of that presentation with extra goodies, allowing an online forum, and adding a questionnaire to hammer home the important points and see if they survived intact when they jumped from the presenter’s mind to those of the audience.

Next time, I will discuss in more detail how these can be turned into measurable benefits that the CFO would smile about.

~~~~~~~~~

Matthew Loxton is the outgoing director of Knowledge Management & Change Management at Mincom, and blogs on Knowledge Management. Matthew’s LinkedIn profile is on the web, and has an aggregation website at www.matthewloxton.com
Opinions are the author’s and not necessarily shared by Mincom, but they should be.

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