Wired for Learning
By Gary White, CEO, White Springs
The increasing use of technology in business is forcing trainers not only to use it, but to manage it. The next logical step for trainers, to maintain a competitive edge, is to take advantage of the benefits technology has to offer. Yes, it is disruptive, but how can the training industry use this to its advantage? What can you do to ensure that the impact technology has on your organization’s bottom line is a positive one?
Harnessing the science behind learning and the retention of information are integral to a successful training process. Technology already has initiated a shift in the way we learn and process information. Multi-disciplinary or blended learning, the combination of face-to-face and computer-based activity, swiftly is becoming the most reliable way to make sure training sticks.
The plethora of advanced but easy-to-use technological devices available to us has had a direct impact on the way we use information. The wheels have been set in motion. Learning theory and conceptual frameworks are being challenged. You need to ask yourself if your organization is equipped to deal with this.
This shift also is being reflected in schools. The education system now is incorporating new learning theories into the classroom to provide more effective learning solutions. iPads are being used and mobile learning and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) programs are being launched. The use of technology allows learning to become personalized and embedded into an individual’s development. The next-generation workforce and business leaders are being prepped to incorporate this methodology in everyday life. Is your organization ready for this?
Blended Learning on Multiple Platforms
This transition and adoption is going way beyond the implementation of processes and is profoundly affecting the way we work at a deeper level. Reinforcement, repetition, kinesthetic principles, and interactivity are now the pillars of training in business. From the simple action of swiping a tablet device to make a payment to the rapid uptake of social media and the need to consume information at lightning speed, the landscape is changing.
Blended learning that draws on several different platforms and activities can be tailored to fit in with cultural and operational preferences. Taking the sales industry as an example, three questions that will reveal avenues to incorporate this new way of learning into your organization are:
- What systems and software does your organization use?
- What existing processes and sales methodologies are in place?
- What hardware (desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile) does your sales team use?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you will start to see where technology can plug in to reinforce skills learned through training. For instance, if your organization uses Salesforce as a customer relationship management (CRM) system, it makes sense to use it to your advantage. Embedding the right software within CRM systems that replicate methodologies learned at formal training sessions transforms the activity into an everyday working process. Retaining interactivity within the practice of training is guaranteed to lead to success in the long term.
The same goes for other tools such as mail systems and desktops. An array of devices allows training to be continuously delivered in an enriched and logical way. Supportive technology can run across several platforms to ensure consistency is maintained. Ultimately, consistency minimizes issues and enables a workforce to do its job better, through everyone using the same language across all their devices, whether in the office or remotely.
Commitment to Technology
Committing to professional development within your organization also means committing to technology. Technology is causing disruption. Ignoring this fact will only prepare your organization for failure. As an industry, trainers across the board need to take ownership of technology and utilize it to maximum effect within the infrastructure of their organization.
Partnering with technology experts to help along the way and provide robust systems will ensure success in this arena. Safeguarding training methodologies within these systems will provide genuine solutions for customers now and into the future.
Gary White is CEO of White Springs, whose technology embeds sales process, content, and methodology into customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, giving sales teams 24/7 access via any device. For more information about embedded learning technologies, visit www.white-springs.com.