Learning mobility

How would you like a ‘genius bar’ to take care of you at work, instead of having to request a support ticket from IT or get an appointment with HR? It’s something that could easily work with mobile device support and help in implementing an effective BYOD (bring your own device) program.

When it comes to customer support, the genius bar is a revolution in customer care. The idea that you don’t have to make an appointment, don’t have to call in a trouble ticket, don’t have to deal with a traditional support team that is “way backed up” is nothing short of amazing for most people. Yes it requires resources, both human and capital-based. But I can’t imagine a better way to get a grip on what is happening on the mobile user front of an enterprise than by opening up a genius-bar like outlet. – Paul Kapustka, Mobile Enterprise 360

As workers get more mobile, for better and worse, supporting a mobile workforce’s learning and performance needs requires a more flexible approach. Screen size limits what you can do, so it has to be short and focused. It also has to be personalized. Jane Hart describes the role of learning concierge as providing “personal advice directly to workers on how they can address their own workplace learning and performance problems in the way that works best for them“. Mobile devices are perfect for personalization and direct to the end-user delivery.

Mobile delivery and support could be a great opportunity to make training & development departments more relevant. Start with just-in-time service, such as genius bars. Combine technical support with learning and performance support. For instance, the last time I was at an Apple Genius bar, I showed up at opening time and saw many people attending training sessions. These people showed up voluntarily and it looked like they were interested and engaged. Shouldn’t all training sessions be like this?

The future of work is social, cooperative & mobile. This should also be the future of performance and technical support. As I noted in the future of the training department, the main objective should be to enable knowledge to flow in the organization. The primary function of learning & performance professionals in the networked enterprise is connecting and communicating, based on three core processes:

1. Facilitating collaborative work and learning amongst workers, especially as peers.

2. Sensing patterns and helping to develop emergent work and learning practices.

3. Working with management to fund and develop appropriate tools and processes for workers.

Using mobile platforms can support listening and analyzing by staying in direct contact with workers. They can also help the organization stay connected in order to set context and build consensus. Connecting leadership with the work being done, or learning as we go, should be a prime function of learning professionals in the mobile enterprise.

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This post is brought to you by Mobile Enterprise 360 Community and Citrix

Note: I retained editorial control and take full responsibility for what is posted. Contract writing is one of the ways I make my living.

2 Responses to “Learning mobility”

  1. Ara Ohanian

    Harold, I love the idea of a genius bar – I’m sure everyone at work does! One question: can this advice be automated in any way? Or does it require the intense human capital investment that Paul Kapustka alludes to?

    • Harold

      I think you could capture some of the explicit knowledge gained from each interaction, but would still need the human & personal contact for it to work well.


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