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We had the opportunity to be part of the plenary session at Online Educa Berlin this month looking at the challenges and opportunities of implementing learning technologies in diverse global organisations.
Efficiencies such as cost reduction, improvment of administration , increased access to flexible learning, consistency and quality of learning delivery, reducing carbon footprint all feature on the list of drivers for e-learning adoption in global companies. It makes sense to think about centralised purchasing, economies of scale and using learning technologies to take advantage of the geographical boundaries that are being pulled down by technology.
But the reality often does not live up to the promise!
This is because there are challenges facing dispersed organisations who are looking to take advantage of co-ordinating learning via technologies and achieving economies of scale. Those companies that have grown through aquisition wil have one business but with many cultures. Those set up to address regional and local needs will have parts of the organisation used to working autonomously to meet those needs and might reject a more centralised approach to learning provision as being irrelevant. Many local operations just can’t wait for a centralised learning provision to catch up and often forge ahead regardless. Technology infrastructue is not likely to be consistent which makes implementation more complex. Many just resist change and feel that outside intervention takes away their authority.
These challenges are not unique to global organisations – they apply equally to national organisations such as health services or policing where local provision of government services is balanced with central policy. Retail businesses working with local branches and franchise organisations can face the same challenges.
However, global organisaitons also have to grapple with the issues of language and related geographical cultural barriers. Work and learning cultures may differ from country to country and of course there is the language and localisation issue to grapple with.
In our session at Online Educa we looked at how the 6 steps of learning implementation, drawing on many of the global case studies and research in this area already on this site to highlight practical suggestions to help deliver the promise.
You can download the abstract of this session and the slides from the presentation below
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- OEB 08 - Abstract delivering the promise in global organisations
- OEB 08 Slides - delivering the promise in global organisations