How to excite your CEO

Bryan Davis, director of solutions and production at Wide Learning, looks at
how to deliver a genuinely effective e-learning project – and keep the boss
happy at the same time

OK, so here’s the scene: your boss has just had a good idea and wants you to
run a "small project" to implement an e-learning programme.

Now e-learning sales reps from numerous market-leading e-learning providers
are beating a path to your door. They all claim to want to work in partnership
with you to provide a tailored learning solution that will be aligned to your
specific business needs, have a positive impact on your bottom line and provide
a rich and fulfilling learning experience for all of your employees.

Well, call me a cynic, but perhaps a more appropriate translation of the
above scenario might be this: the CEO wants to invest in positioning the
organisation as an "employer of first choice", but doesn’t really
have much time for the detail and, more importantly, the CFO wants to reduce
the overall cost of the training budget so, guess what? You’ve got the job!

So how can you deliver the project and remain sane? Before I address this
question, here’s a look at what’s going on. Firstly, let’s understand one thing
– only you will know your requirements and, most likely, these will be very
personal to you. They are probably, I suspect, very complex but will involve
the desire to deliver something that is of demonstrable value to your company.

Secondly, there is probably no established mechanism to audit any benefit
directly to the business’s bottom line – in fact the finance department, and
others, may consider you as a non value-adding cost centre that can be reduced
as and when necessary.

Thus, the answer may be to provide something that employees "must
have" to remain in employment and that organisations "must have"
to stay in business. In other words, a deliverable that is auditable against a
concrete, externally enforced standard and provides an insurance policy for
both the individual and the business.

So let’s cut to the chase – if you want to implement e-learning then select
something that is "must have" and has the potential to get both your
CEO and your employees excited and use this as a lever to implement the
e-learning initiative. If this can be done in a manner that is easily
accessible, cost-effective, robust and auditable throughout the organisation,
then you have a "killer learning application" or, in other words,
"must have" training which is ideal for piloting e-learning within
the company.

Bryan Davis is director of Solutions and Production at Wide Learning for

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