It’s time for learning executives to have a heart-to-heart conversation with their LMS. Ask them if they are ready to dance to the music of performance, profitability, talent management and extreme learning. Tell your LMS that your company is ready to have it step up from its early role as an enterprise database of learning activities. Now, you want it to become an engine to drive business and talent outcomes.
Take my LMS wish list as a “cheat sheet” when you go in to talk to your system:
LMS, I want you to be able to personalize and target invitations to learn for each of our employees based on current projects, performance goals and critical events in our business.
LMS, I want you to create a “dashboard” for each manager that highlights, in real time, how their teams are learning.
LMS, I want you to be our compliance tracking system. As rules and regulations change, inform our employees and customers and offer updated learning modules.
LMS, I want you to integrate into our social networking systems. Sometimes, the source of knowledge is not a class but a conversation with a colleague down the hall.
LMS, I want you to observe the learning styles of our workforce and offer appropriate learning options.
LMS, I want you to get ready for more extreme learning. Let us use you to leverage the power of podcasting, wikis, blogs and other emerging content models.
LMS, I want you to become part of our browser. Associates should be able to click on a button and interact with the LMS for content, context, learning needs and collaboration.
LMS, I want you to be more integrated with business objectives. As we roll out new products, change strategy, realign the workforce, or you need to be hooked into the process in real time.
LMS, I want you to work with a wider range of devices. Our workforce is spending less time in front of a desktop or laptop and more time with PDAs and mobile devices.
LMS, I want you to handle the growing use of content at the object level. Business is moving fast and often, and the learning needs are small. Stop calling it a non-completion. It’s a learning moment and a success.
LMS, I want to have access to more reusable content. Part of the promise of the LMS and SCORM was reusable and sharable content. I want our organization to be able to access more content internally and in external affiliations.
LMS, I want you to be able to create portable learning digital transcripts for our employees. When someone leaves our company, they should be able to take a digital record of their learning history and certifications.
LMS, I want you to work closer with your cousins, document management and knowledge management. The three of you are deeply connected in terms of our business strategy.
LMS, I want you to keep track of how valuable other employees found each learning offering. Just like Amazon.com, some of your best value will be in sharing peer reviews of content.
LMS, I want you to facilitate multi-language learning. Some of our employees learn best in their native tongue.
LMS, I want you to be able to facilitate informal learning. When I send someone to a conference, hire a coach, buy a set of books or make a development assignment, you don’t seem that interested.
LMS, I want you to become part of our emergency management plan. When a crisis hits, I’d like to be able to turn to you find competencies and to deliver rapid content.
LMS, I want you to provide a macro-assessment of how the organization approaches learning investments, benchmarked with similar organizations around the world.
In other words, tell your LMS that you want it to dance! The LMS providers have built high-powered databases that are ready to be engines. It’s time for you to add the processes and focus to make your LMS dance for you.
Elliott Masie is the founder and CLO of the Learning Consortium and the host of LMS 2006. He can be reached at email@example.com.