Webinar: Why Your Sales Ramping is Way Too Slow

Sales Enablement Webinar 5

Why Your Sales Ramping is Way Too Slow — and How to Accelerate It

Join us on May 18 at 11a PT /2p ET (CLOSED – View Recording) for a unique sales enablement-focused Webinar featuring author Amy Slater, Founder and CEO of Amy Slater Consulting and former Vice President, Enterprise Corporate Sales for Salesforce.com. The Webinar will also include Protik Mukhopadhyay, Principal Partner at Standav, a leading Systems Integrator that delivers business and technology solutions focused on CRM, Quote-to-Cash and Sales Enablement. And the Webinar will be moderated by Philip Levinson, a Business Insider contributor and Vice President of Product Marketing at EdCast, which just launched SalesU, a sales ramping software suite.

We will discuss the typical traps that sales organizations fall into that lead to slower-than-expected ramping of their sales efforts. These challenges include:

  1. Initial and ongoing training of sales team members
  2. Asynchronous sales education processes
  3. Rapidly-changing market and product environments
  4. Diffuse and varying sales efforts involving communications, presenting and demonstrating on behalf of the company

We will also review tools and methods that companies are using to overcome these challenges along with specific, real-world examples.

Sales enablement is a key priority for us, and you may have seen our press release about the launch of EdCast’s SalesU yesterday.

To watch the recording of this webinar, click the button below:

Webinar Button

EdCast Launches SalesU for Faster Ramping of Sales Teams

Train Sales Teams SalesU

EdCast Launches SalesU for Faster Ramping of Sales Teams

 

The SalesU Productivity Suite Features Three Key Sales Acceleration Solutions Complementing EdCast’s Industry-leading Knowledge Cloud

 

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–EdCast, the award-winning knowledge management and learning platform, announces the launch of SalesU™, the most robust end-to-end sales ramp suite available to mid-to-large enterprises. EdCast’s SalesU allows enterprises to seamlessly train and coach their sales teams using its AI-powered SaaS platform.

The SalesU Suite includes three core SaaS solutions that help sales ramping in terms of both training newer sales reps and helping experienced reps learn new products, skills or target prospects’ details:

  1. AI-powered role-play and mentoring app for perfecting sales pitches and demos called EdCast Coach™
  2. Real-time contextual knowledge and information from both internal sources and external premium content providers (e.g., Bloomberg, Dow Jones, Hoovers, Crunchbase, Pitchbook, Mattermark) from a Salesforce AppExchange app called EdCast Insights™
  3. EdCast’s GuideMe™, an in-app guidance and training app for software, websites and online services that sales ops managers and administrators use to create personalized walkthroughs of companies’ customized instances of sales tools (e.g., Salesforce, Apptus, Steelbrick, Five9)

“We are thrilled that EdCast’s SalesU solutions have already been embraced by many of our large enterprise customers,” says EdCast CEO and founder, Karl Mehta. “Sales enablement is one of the most important aspects to our partners’ success, and we have designed our SalesU Suite to address these specific needs as both a complement to the EdCast Learning Experience platform and as a stand-alone offering to new customers.”

With current customers that include GE, HP, Accenture, Shire, Dell EMC and other Global 2000 companies, EdCast is already making its SalesU Suite available to these and other customers in addition to their current EdCast Knowledge Cloud solutions. In addition, new customers can also buy or test EdCast’s SalesU solutions via the SalesU.io website on a no-cost trial basis.

Mehta reiterates EdCast’s commitment to enterprise sales teams with his recent blog post, stating, “Making salespeople highly productive is absolutely mission critical.”

This notion is reinforced by industry experts.

“It is clear that companies across industries have a common need to quickly ramp their sales teams to accelerate sales cycles and to grow pipelines,” says Amy Slater, Founder and CEO of Amy Slater Consulting and former Vice President, Enterprise Corporate Sales for Salesforce.com. “EdCast has a great track record of success with its enterprise knowledge platform, and its SalesU Suite represents a new and innovative approach to address the challenges we consistently see in sales enablement.”

For more information, contact EdCast at SalesU@EdCast.com.

About EdCast

EdCast’s Knowledge Cloud uses artificial intelligence and analytics to weave together internal content, expert insights, and millions of external resources into an easy-to-use, personalized knowledge discovery platform. EdCast’s solutions are now being used by 50+ companies and organizations, including GE, HPE, Dell EMC, Salesforce, Shire and Accenture. The EdCast executive team has a track record of building large-scale transformational technology solutions and is passionate about enhancing enterprise knowledge-sharing and learning experiences for organizations around the world.

Leading the Sales Productivity Revolution with SalesU.io

Sales Productivity

Leading the Sales Productivity Revolution with SalesU.io

Why is EdCast launching a sales ramping platform today?

One of the most precious assets a company possesses is its salespeople’s time. Analyze your salespeople’s workday. If they are not spending at least 70% of their time interacting with prospects, then there is a significant probability that your organization will under-perform on its revenue forecast. As we know, your sales team drives the new revenue that helps pays the bills and company payroll. I often say to my company’s employees and companies I meet, “Imagine how all those innovative growth plans and wonderful employee perks will fare if revenue targets are not achieved.”

Since EdCast was founded, we have believed that  the learning curve is the earning curve. Some of the smartest thought leaders in learning, including Bersin by Deloitte’s Josh Bersin and Accenture’s Chief Learning & Talent Officer Rahul Varma have been quite articulate in explaining this learning equals performance/earning equation in depth at our Future Learning 2020 Summit last year.  

Over the past three years, we have been fortunate to work with some incredibly talented CLOs and Learning & Development (L&D) leaders as we rolled out and implemented our Knowledge Cloud platform at visionary and fast-growing companies. We have worked with various job families, roles, functions and departments with the quest to empower them with better performance via continuous learning. In this quest, we have discovered that although the correlation between learning and earning applies to all functions and to an organization as a whole, there is one function that stands out with the most urgent needs and largest push for mission-critical ROI: the sales team.

Needless to say, making salespeople highly productive is mission critical. Failure to do this can and will lead to catastrophe, regardless of the size of a company and the moat it has in the marketplace.

With this in mind, we have been inspired to solve this hard and important problem of making sales teams productive and making this “learning equals earning” equation work better. We think of the sales team ramping problem across three dimensions, and we are thrilled to make them the three core pillars of our new SalesU.io platform:

  1.     Contextual insights that reduce unproductive time by 30%: Sales teams are drowning in content but starving for precise knowledge and insights that can help them specifically close a deal faster. There is a deluge of collateral, playbooks and content both on the web and inside internal repositories, but why have salespeople waste time searching unproductively or using ineffective and outdated content? Based on our three years of work in perfecting our Knowledge Discovery Engine, we are excited about making content discoverable and pushed based on the context with each opportunity that a salesperson is chasing — and surfacing it right inside the CRM (Salesforce.com in our first release) with daily recent and curated insights.Sales teams can discover content they need much faster. In our experience, this capability helps cut down at least 30% of salespeople’s time and makes each interaction with prospects more meaningful, accelerating the sales cycle as a result.
  1.     Great coaches can make the difference between success and failure: Last year, I took my family to the Himalayas and Nepal to learn what it takes to summit the gorgeous Mount Everest. I learned that no books or reading was comparable in preparing us compared to getting actual real-time insights from a Sherpa. This is not a surprise because we know that behind every winning team, there is a great coach. We know successful leaders have great mentors. Marc Benioff, a great visionary and  compassionate leader in the tech-industry, discussed at TechCrunch Disrupt in 2013 how he would look up to Steve Jobs as his mentor and would go to him for advice.  In designing the EdCast Knowledge Cloud, one of the first features we had created was SME (Subject Matter Expert)-based learning. With SalesU.io we have built a mobile-first experience for salespeople to perfect their pitch through feedback from coaches and mentors. We are also leveraging some cool machine intelligence technology to act as coaches and provide feedback. We think great performers in sales are not born with all the  talent they need to succeed; we believe they work hard and are well-coached
  1.     Becoming a Ninja in Sales Tools:  We see salespeople struggle using at least several tools they are required to use at their company, including highly customized CRMs, Quote-to-Cash tools, etc. Just finding information from the tools and reports is becoming increasingly hard to do as these tools gets customized and configured. Last month, we had launched GuideMe.io as an in-app interactive guidance to train any person on any software or online solution in minutes. Every time a configuration changes, it is easy for administrators to create a walkthrough (guided tour) about it in few minutes, and save the frustration and unproductive time of salespeople. GuideMe.io is part of the SalesU package to provide on-demand and real-time in-app training to ramp new and existing sales teams faster.

SalesU EdCastAlthough we spent a huge amount of time with the best talent in Silicon Valley building this solution for sales teams, we have a beginner’s mindset, and we look forward to learning from sales leaders and sales enablement experts and their feedback, so we can iterate rapidly. With the launch of SalesU.io today , our goal is to both enhance and accelerate improvements in  productivity that will have meaningful impacts on companies’ profits. Please test SalesU today — and let us know your thoughts at km@edcast.com

Killer Apps for AR/VR: Interview with Karl Mehta

AR VR Apps

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) get a lot of attention when it comes to pure entertainment — but this reflects just a fraction of the power of AR/VR video. According to Karl Mehta, CEO of video education platform EdCast, more useful applications for enterprise and consumer markets alike are truly revolutionizing the AR/VR video space.

Telco Transformation recently sat down with Mehta for a Q&A about demand for and trends in AR/VR video. The Q&A has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Telco Transformation: Where are you seeing the greatest demand right now in terms of your customers and how they want to use more advanced video solutions like AR/VR?

Karl Mehta: The demand is really mainly in the private sector. There is consumer demand, but I think it’s still more in the early stage; consumers are [saying], “It’s nice, fancy new stuff,” but there are not that many applications that are targeted yet for consumers in a lot of this VR, AR or 3D video space. But in the enterprise space… field operations are getting revolutionized. (See AREA’s Sage Advises Augmented Reality and Defining Productive Video.)

Think of a company like a cable company, and they have 10,000 people in the field installing routers getting you Internet to your home or to your big commercial building. If you’re running that operation, how do you train those 10,000 people on a continuous basis? Because [as] a new router comes in, new complaints come in. So you could, rather than bringing people [and] flying them in to one location, you could now have a video-based app or a virtual reality-based app where right on their phone they can see what is the way to install, implement and configure a router.

You can immediately see ROI because you can see the cost savings [comparing] a traditional way of trying to learn something [versus] now using video and VR.

TT: You mentioned the difficulty in the AR/VR consumer market. Do you see a possible solution — or at least a process to finding that solution — to figure out how this is going to work for consumers and how they are going to want it, etc.?

KM: The fundamental thing that every great technology needs is a killer app. I think AR/VR still needs to find its killer app in the consumer. I mentioned the killer app in the enterprise sector is anything to do with field operations, because field operations is “people who are not in the building.” It’s not in your office. They are outside in the field. Think about oil and gas. There are people who are out on the rigs in the ocean — and how do you train them? How do you replicate situations which will be so expensive to replicate inside in an office or in a lab? So I think field operations is a killer app.

On the consumer side, gaming is where you’re seeing pretty much all the investments and funding going from the VR companies. Pretty much all VR and AR companies right now are focused on games or entertainment. There is education going on, but very little, because there isn’t enough funding available for that.

TT: Do you see a role for this advanced video definition, 3D video, AR/VR, and that sort of thing in helping along what we’re talking about?

KM: Absolutely. I think the killer app for AR/VR and 3D videos is a model in education. I mean, yes, there are other applications like health and military and all of those, but fundamentally, even within each one of those verticals, the fundamental is education. How do you train military personnel? How do you train healthcare professionals? And we’re already seeing tremendous use of virtual reality now in a lot of situations where you just cannot replicate that in a lab; you’re teaching someone chemistry and you may not have all of the equipment, but you can actually create it in virtual reality.

I just built a virtual reality app for an automobile company who trained the mechanics across all of their dealerships about how to change the brake pads [in] a new-model car. In the old format, you would have to write so many instruction manuals — and still, some mechanics would install the brake pads the wrong way. But now, you can just go into 3D virtual reality — and you know exactly where to go in and pull out which screws, and how to pull out the old brake pads, and how to put in the new one. (See How VR Helped Land Rover Raise the Roof.)

I mean, I did it in like ten minutes, and I felt like I’m a pro. I’m nowhere close to being a good automobile mechanic to do anything hands on, but that’s the power of virtual reality.

— Joe Stanganelli, Contributing Writer, Telco Transformation

GP Strategies Partners With EdCast to Modernize the Learner Experience

GP Strategies Partnership

COLUMBIA, MD., April 6, 2017 — Global performance improvement solutions provider GP Strategies Corporation and EdCast, provider of a workforce learning experience content aggregation and curation platform, have partnered to offer EdCast’s premier learning platform to GP Strategies’ clients. With the EdCast platform, learning and development (L&D) teams empower today’s learners to personalize their learning experience while improving organizational learning as a whole through a real-time view of the flow of knowledge.

The demand by learners to modernize their experience with comprehensive, targeted search and impactful social connectivity has been difficult to appease.  With its strong, machine-based aggregation and curation features and elegant interface, EdCast allows L&D teams to create a seamless experience for learners to find what they need as well as easily contribute their insights. Through its detailed analytics, EdCast quickly allows business leaders to address and identify learning needs.

Deborah Ung, Executive Vice President for GP Strategies, stated, “EdCast’s exciting interface and cutting-edge discovery engine will help GP Strategies move the needle with our learning customers. Through our performance-centered consulting approach, we are able to guide our customers in creating impactful learning environments to equip the workforce with intelligently curated knowledge, provide expert insights that drive business outcomes and foster learning collaboration across the organization.”

“We are excited to partner with GP Strategies to deliver world-class learning solutions that significantly increase human capital efficiency and employee engagement with their training programs,” says Daniel McKelvey, Vice President, Partner Solutions for EdCast. “GP Strategies and EdCast are already seeing a great response to our joint work to meet demanding corporate knowledge management needs and long-term growth strategies for Fortune 500 and Global 2000 companies.”

About GP Strategies
GP Strategies Corporation is a global performance improvement solutions provider of training, eLearning solutions, management consulting and engineering services. GP Strategies’ solutions improve the effectiveness of organizations by delivering innovative and superior training, consulting and business improvement services, customized to meet the specific needs of its clients. Clients include Fortune 500 companies, manufacturing, process and energy industries, and other commercial and government customers.

About EdCast
EdCast turns knowledge into performance by powering informal and formal learning initiatives with industry-leading social, mobile and cloud-based technology for institutions, enterprises, governments and nonprofits of all sizes to enable millions to become lifelong learners. EdCast establishes knowledge networks built to inspire, empower and educate individuals, teams and organizations with personalized curated content, microlearning insights (SmartBitesTM) and easy-to-use live streaming video. It provides direct access to internal and external industry-specific experts to capture experiential knowledge to benefit everyone. The EdCast executive team has a track record of building large-scale transformational technology; all are passionate about the global impact of mobile and online knowledge-sharing. EdCast is based in Mountain View, CA, in the heart of Silicon Valley, with offices worldwide.

Webinar: Why Content Fails

Webinar Future Workplace Content

Join this webinar to discuss why your learners are not engaged!

Title: Why Content Fails: Designing the Learner’s Experience

Summary: Are the engagement and satisfaction levels of your learners below expectations?

If so, then putting the learner journey where it belongs — in the center of your strategies — is likely to be the solution. In this information-rich webinar, Amar Dhaliwal, Chief Evangelist at EdCast, will lay out the challenges, opportunities, technologies and suggested tactics to building experiences that your learners will love — and will also leverage your learning investment for measurable success. Kevin Mulcahy, partner at Future Workplace, will be co-hosting the webinar and will provide valuable insights into how to get more out of your learning and development program by focusing on the learner’s experience.

Date: Apr. 19, 2017 at 10a PT / 1p ET

Limited seats available – register today

Bios:

Amar DhaliwalAmar Dhaliwal, Chief Evangelist at EdCast

 He was a co-founder of the learning management pioneer THINQ and, after its acquisition by Saba in 2005, led Saba’s product, engineering, cloud, and customer operations teams. A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, he was a management consultant. Amar studied at The London School of Economics.

 


Kevin MulcahyKevin Mulcahy, Partner at Future Workplace

Kevin J. Mulcahy is a partner with Future Workplace and along with Jeanne Meister, is the co-host of The Future Workplace Network, a membership community for HR executives. Organizations across multiple industries and geographies regularly engage him to facilitate corporate workshops on “future proofing” their business and HR strategies. Kevin coaches on leadership effectiveness at the Harvard Business School and is an adjunct faculty member at Babson College.

Continuous Learning Is the Best Way for CEOs to Stay Ahead of Change

Read Time: ~3 mins

Continuous Learning

Continuous Learning Is the Best Way for CEOs to Stay Ahead of Change

Every day, the biggest challenge for CEOs is staying ahead of change. It effects every aspect of business and without a handle on what’s happening, you could be left in the dust.

“The speed of current breakthroughs has no historical precedent,” wrote Klaus Schwab, the chairman of the World Economic Forum in his groundbreaking report, The Fourth Industrial Revolution. This Fourth revolution “…is disrupting almost every industry in every country. And the breadth and depth of these changes herald the transformation of entire systems of production, management, and governance.”

Every day, CEOs looks for a way to hedge against this uncertain future. If they don’t, massive numbers of jobs — and possibly companies themselves — will simply cease to exist.

How can a CEO hedge against an uncertain future? By becoming smarter. On every level of a company, inside the mind of every employee, create a culture of continuous learning. This will arm the business with the most resilient and innovative force that exists: the agility and potential of the team.

The New Metric: Learning  

You’re already familiar with the continuous education (CE) that doctors, lawyers, certified public accountants, investment advisors, and insurance agents undertake. For decades, professions like these have required people to engage in a minimum of 20-50 hours of continual education (CE) or continuous learning (CL) per year — the amount of time often dependent on the state.

In recent years, associations for these industries have started to accept non-formal learning, such as micro-learning, into the fold. Take, for example, the American Institute of CPAs, which is doing brilliant things with its Future of Learning initiative.

Today, it’s not only accountants who need to be one step ahead of the rate of change. The speed and complexity of change in business and technology is growing at such a curve that business and engineering professionals need CE/CL as much, if not more, than their CPA, doctor, or lawyer counterparts.

So in order to future-proof their business, CEOs need to arm their people with the knowledge and skills to rapidly build the next innovation in their industry and enter new markets. They do this by making CE/CL mandatory. They weave in an expectation for learning into the very fabric of the culture.

An Emerging Trend for Visionary CEOs

We’re already seeing this emerge in Corporate America. IBM has introduced a mandatory 40 hours a year for all employees. GE, and its visionary CIO Jim Fowler, has instituted a necessary 20 hours of technical learning for all IT and tech employees. AT&T’s CEO Randall Stephenson has set up the expectation that all employees learn new skills, as reported by the New York Times.

Consider initiating a mandatory 50 hours per year of continuing education for your team. This works out to four hours per month, one hour per week, or 10-15 minutes per day. Require that 50 percent of the learning be related to their role and skills/competency that will keep them as an A+ player. The other 50 percent can be aspirational: anything that takes someone a step further in their career. By investing in the collective learning of our people, we are investing in an agile and innovative future.

The Democratization of Enterprise Knowledge and Learning

Read Time: 4 mins

Democratization of Enterprise Knowledge and Learning

The Democratization of Enterprise Knowledge and Learning

Enterprises waste money on antiquated learning management, knowledge management and content management systems that come with outdated, irrelevant, off-the-shelf content with poor discovery and personalization. The irony is that most organizations fail to tap into the best knowledge and insights, which come from their own experts.

Studies have shown that the best form of knowledge is the tacit knowledge of the subject matter experts (SMEs) inside our own organizations. In fact, Google has moved 75 percent of all its learning and knowledge-sharing to a model it calls “G2G” — Googler-to-Googler.

Unlock Internal Knowledge

There is a revolution sweeping through learning and development (L&D). In the old world of corporate learning, we witnessed a top-down approach. A few people, often in HR, decided what to teach, and they pushed that learning content down through the organization. In today’s digital world, the best approach is the other way around: Content moves from the bottom up and is no longer about pedigree. The power has shifted to the employees, and they are eager to share their knowledge and insights. And everyone wants to measure the results (i.e., who learned and how much).

This knowledge-sharing is radically good for business. Kevin Oakes of I4CP has said that sharing information is four times more common in high-performing companies. It’s what makes a company resilient and agile.

Knowledge-sharing also builds on something you already have. You’re hiring smart people who have the right knowledge and know the best ways to keep your business in its most successful state. But do you have programs in place to identify who your experts or high performers are? Are you empowering them with easy-to-use tools so they can efficiently share what they know with their peers? If not, you’re missing out on some extraordinary benefits.

The Importance of Tacit Knowledge

Learning is already happening in your organization. It happens when people reach out through informal networks every day, whether it’s on Slack chats or in hallway conversations. They are gathering two main types of knowledge: explicit knowledge and tacit knowledge. Explicit knowledge is the content that we can all access easily, via courses, articles, LinkedIn feeds, etc.

Tacit knowledge is less obvious. Ritesh Chugh defines it as “skills, ideas and experiences that people have in their minds and are, therefore, difficult to access because it is often not codified and may not necessarily be easily expressed.” Or, as Nick Snowdon brilliantly puts it, “We will always know more than we say; we will always say more than we can write down.”

Tacit knowledge is the more important and relevant type of knowledge that drives performance, increases resilience and weaves a culture of innovation into the very bedrock of an organization. It’s what drives the informal learning that has become top of the agenda for CLOs.

Tacit knowledge is “where the value is,” says Charles Jennings of the 70:20:10 Institute. “When you look at organizations, the value is in extracting from tacit information and from tacit knowledge, and then institutionalizing it.”

The Democratization of Expertise

So how do you identify and help your experts educate others? First, you need the tools.

When companies make it easy for people to share knowledge by acting as a network that facilitates the digitization of the informal learning process, they make it more tangible, shareable and effective.

For example, by giving employees the tools to share their knowledge directly through their smartphones—e.g., by filming short video segments to convey their insights—they become incredibly empowered. They can then share these videos automatically with people inside their networks and with people who have identified the sharer as an influencer or SME.

Second, you need to manage the key process of curating material. For example, you can use expert curators and AI algorithms to sift through and approve content, which is then sent to the rest of the enterprise or relevant individuals. As the rest of the organization watches or reads the content, they rate it, and the key experts emerge.

This isn’t just a wisdom-of-the-crowd approach: There is a curation layer to make sure the information is, indeed, correct. But the point is that the knowledge is coming increasingly from employees themselves and not from outside the organization.

There are three key benefits to democratizing expertise in your organization:

1.    The Benefit for Employees: Valuable Content

The content employees access delivers tangible value that helps them improve performance. The SME has an exact understanding of the problem definition; therefore, it’s smarter to tap into this expert, who has a valuable contextual understanding of the topic, than it is to reach out to someone outside the enterprise.

2.    The Benefit for Experts: Recognition and Retention

Studies show that recognition is a key driver in high retention. One of the main factors that makes people leave companies is that they don’t think the company fully appreciates them. With a knowledge network in place, employees receive “likes,” comments and feedback from their peers. They will feel that recognition viscerally. In fact, it will be woven into the fabric of their work day.

3.    The Benefit for Enterprise: Visibility

Most companies have no idea who their experts are in key topics. For example, an oil and gas insurance company may not know who their best data scientist is on a specific issue. By using digital tools that help them identify their experts frequently and on a granular level, they will be able to access data that provides powerful visibility into the company’s knowledge bank that may have previously gone unnoticed.

Herein lies the paradox: An organization may have the best knowledge and expertise with its employees, but it cannot be easily accessed because it cannot be easily discovered. Yet it is right there, sitting in the minds of the organization’s team members. Companies just need the technology and tools to draw out and benefit from the great potential of the minds of its employees.

Reflections on Davos: Future-proofing your organization

Davos 2017 WEF
Reflections on Davos: Why future-proofing your organization is the most important thing you can do and why I started EdCast

Upon reflecting on the topics discussed last month at the World Economic Forum in Davos, it is clear that the Fourth Industrial Revolution was perhaps the most significant. The first revolution started with the use of water and steam to power machinery. The second replaced water and steam-powered machines with electrical power. The third is the digital revolution. The current fourth revolution is the combination of hardware, robotics, and massive computing power that will make technology an essential part of almost every aspect of people’s lives.

There is a lot to be optimistic about the opportunities that will come from these fast-paced innovations. However, as a board member of Governor Brown’s California Workforce Investment Board, I worry about the massive shift in employable skills that will be needed. It will be a challenge both for employers looking to hire a skilled workforce and for employees looking to continuously upgrade their skills.

During previous industrial revolutions, it took decades for people and organizations to develop major new skillsets on a large scale. With the rapid pace and scale of disruption of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, this will not be an option. The WEF report says, “Without targeted action today to manage the near-term transition and build a workforce with future-proof skills, governments will have to cope with ever-growing unemployment and inequality, and businesses with a shrinking consumer base. Moreover, these efforts are necessary not just to mitigate the risks of the profound shifts underway but also to capitalize on the opportunities presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The talent to manage, shape and lead the changes underway will be in short supply unless we take action today to develop it.”

Informal learning and knowledge sharing is the answer. Organizations that will succeed are the ones that create a culture where knowledge is actively shared between employees, partners and customers. This mostly comes from informal learning, through online and offline social interactions and curated insights personalized to each individual’s interest-graph. Strategic informal learning is essential to ensure all workers have the most up-to-date skills and knowledge. Informal learning also fits with the learning style of Millennials, which are now the largest group in the American workforce.

Many companies have begun creating a company culture of knowledge-sharing via informal and social learning. Nearly half of all organizations encourage informal learning, among which many have shown interest in implementing a peer-to-peer (P2P) knowledge network for their employees. But we’re just starting out – and there’s still a lot to be done to create more effective knowledge-sharing-based collaboration.

I am convinced that any corporate culture must value informal learning and reward informal learning achievements. Knowledge-sharing is vital to the success of any company. Fortune 500 companies squander nearly $32 billion per year by not sharing knowledge adequately. In a business environment filled with rapid technology change and hyper-competition, such a number is unacceptable.

So what’s the solution? Formal learning such as online classes, certification courses and e-learning based on LMS has long been a part of talent development. LMS require people to be ‘pushed’ to take courses, which are long-format and often boring. They try to create the digital replica of classroom training where one person in the room instructs others. Millennials in the workplace are digital natives and wired to learn in a peer-to-peer, informal and social learning style. They have shorter attention spans, need a compressed learning curve and rely more on knowing who/where to go for expertise. They enjoy collaboration, discussion and networking with experts in their topics of interest. It’s noteworthy that three in five young executives plan to rely more heavily on video as a learning and communication mode. The current workforce absorbs knowledge in many ways, from reading articles online and watching videos to water-cooler discussions with co-workers and scanning social media posts.

In my previous role as a venture capitalist, I acutely felt the lack of a social platform for informal knowledge sharing across teams, influencers and subject matter experts, while working with multiple small and large teams across my portfolio companies. This led me to start EdCast, a knowledge-sharing platform that was incubated at Stanford University’s StartX Labs.

At EdCast, we have a clear vision of how to future-proof individuals and organizations to stay ahead in the knowledge economy shaped by the fourth industrial revolution. We are building a massive knowledge-sharing platform that connects employees with influencers inside and outside the organization to engage in social-learning that is frictionless and effortless. A personalized feed filled with bite-size insights makes learning a daily habit rather than a once-a-year affair. Livestreamed 5-10-minute insights by influencers and thought-leaders are easy to watch, discuss, and engage with.

For our companies and societies to thrive in this fourth industrial revolution, we need to make lifelong informal learning the dominant culture of this decade.

EdCast Featured in the March Edition of Chief Learning Officer Magazine

 

EdCast Featured in the March Edition of Chief Learning Officer Magazine

Everyone is hearing and reading a lot about AI these days. At EdCast, we have embraced AI, Machine Learning and Natural Learning Processing (NLP) technologies in the development of our updated Knowledge Discovery and Knowledge Creation solutions. These will not only facilitate highly targeted and highly relevant learning – but they will do so in real-time.

Our Chief Evangelist, Amar Dhaliwal, recently authored a piece in the March 2017 issue of Chief Learning Officer magazine, which we are excited to feature HERE:

Chief learning officer magazine

Please read and let us know your thoughts/questions. With AI, Machine Learning and NLP advances coming fast, what implication or prospective result are you most excited about in your organization?

We at EdCast look forward to hearing from you.