Learning Innovations: Learning In The Next 5,000 Days

Our second meeting of the Learning Innovation Network was held at Merrill Lynch from October 21-22, 2008. The photo below shows our group getting ready for a series of break-out exercises describing learning in their organizations over the next 5,000 days—or in the year 2020. We wanted to start with a visionary exercise to explore just how different the world of learning in both corporations and universities may be in the days and years to come.

LIN Group Photo

Three forward looking trends discussed by the group include the following:

1.) Learning will continue to be ubiquitous and mobile technologies will become a dominant delivery mode.

    In the UK, there are now more mobile phones than people. For every 100 Britons there are 116.6 mobile phones. According to the GSM—Global System For Mobile Communications Association we will reach 4 billion mobile phone subscriptions by the end of 2008 and close to 20 billion by 2020. Think about this: how many of your colleagues do you see carrying two devices—one for work and one for fun. At our meeting, the Merrill Lynch team shared their successful implementation of MoBull: Go Learn, their mobile learning targeted to bankers on-the-go.

2.) Learning will be embedded into our everyday lives and will be boundaryless.

    Knowledge management will give way to developing a social media strategy for sharing information and tacit knowledge. Venkatesh Rao on Enterprise 2.0 blog writes a great article on this subject. The bottom line of Rao’s thesis is one to consider as we think about re-imagining our learning departments. Rao believes that Knowledge Management is a dated concept conceived by Boomers (those born 1946 – 1962) just as they were moving into leadership positions. Social Media, on the other hand, is a Millenial/Gen Y (born after 1981) movement and because of the efficiencies inherent to it, will dominate how we share knowledge and best practices as we move into the future.

3.) Learning professionals—from chief learning officers to heads of talent management must focus first on being strategy driven, rather than customer driven.

    We had a lively discussion at the Learning Innovation Network focused on how we are moving from being customer focused to being strategy focused. This is becoming an important distinction as learning professionals move toward delivering learning closely aligned to the strategies and business priorities of the organization and beyond “responding to individual customer needs. ” The goal in this is to transform learning into a strategic function which contributes significant business impact through the acquisition, development and retention of top talent.

Interested in learning more about the Learning Innovation Network? Send me an email at

[tags]Chief Learning Officer, Talent Management, Enterprise 2.0, Mobile Learning, Knowledge Management[/tags]

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About Jeanne Meister

Jeanne C. Meister is a best selling author of three books, internationally recognized consultant and keynote speaker. Jeanne is Partner of Future Workplace, a consulting firm dedicated to assisting organizations in re-thinking, re-imagining and re-inventing the workplace. Jeanne was recently voted by her peers as one of the 20 top influential training professionals in the United States. Jeanne’s name is synonymous with the establishment and institutionalization of global corporate universities. Jeanne is the author of three books, Corporate Quality Universities and Corporate Universities. Jeanne’s latest book is, The 2020 Workplace: How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop & Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today (Harper Collins, 2010) is in its 10th printing.No information is provided by the author.

1 Comment

  1. Wow! Nice to see my casual blog post made it into a formal learning program :)

    Your participants may also like my latest post on related themes: The Cloudworker’s Creed


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