New Learning Agenda Part 3: Customer Activated Learning

by | Feb 3, 2014 | Articles

In November Towards Maturity Launched ‘The New Learning Agenda’ outlining recommendations for the business and L&D professionals as a result of their 2013-14 Towards Maturity Benchmark. In the 3rd part of the series, published by Inside Learning Technologies in January 2014, we look at why L&D need to shift to customer activated learning before it is too late!

In January 2004, Linking Learning to Business’ (1), the first in the series of the Towards Maturity Benchmark Studies was launched at Learning Technologies.  Since then over 2,900 organisations and 10,000 learners have participated in the Towards Maturity Benchmark. Technology has moved on and so has the research programme, as it now looks beyond simple e-learning projects to the wider issues of implementing a technology enabled learning strategy to support today’s business priorities.
During the last decade, technology has been driving radical change in business.

According to IBM’s Customer Activated Enterprise report (Oct 2013), CEO’s consider technology the most important external force shaping their organisations today. Today’s business leaders see technology as a critical driver of change, bringing them closer to customers and creating new opportunities to connect, collaborate and innovate. Next to their board, 55% of CEOs believe that customers will be the most likely to influence their on-going strategy moving forward(2). But are today’s L&D departments as influenced by their own customer’s behaviour when shaping their own on-going strategies?  In response to their own internal customers applying the same principles to deliver?

In the final part of the series we take a closer look at the behaviour of learners themselves to help L&D deliver ‘Customer Activated’ Learning in 2014 and beyond.

Ten years of technology change
When we gathered insights for our first report ‘the business challenges driving change were, on the surface, similar to today: speed of change, external customer retention, revenue growth and efficiency. The learning technology landscape, however, was very different. Wikipedia was a toddler, LinkedIn had just been launched, but Twitter, YouTube or even Facebook were yet to be seen. There were no iPhones or iPads or talk of ‘bring your own device’. (See timeline).

By 2013, 55% of adults with home internet use social media and 94% of adults in UK own or use a mobile phone(3). Back in 2003, the Linking Learning to Business Study was one of the very first to include the learner voice – how do staff in the workplace use technology to learn – with or without us!
To read the rest of this article please download at the bottom of this page.

1. http://www.towardsmaturity.org/article/2008/06/11/linking-learning-business-original-research-2004/
2. IBM’s Customer Activated Enterprise Oct 2013:  www.935.ibm.com/services/us/en/c-suite/csuitestudy2013/ 
3. OfCom Communications Market Report 2013 – http://media.ofcom.org.uk/facts/
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This article originally appeared in Inside Learning Technologies & Skills Magazine January 2014

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