Archive for the ‘Business Partner’ Category

News – Khan Academy Partners with Samsung

November 6, 2012

For those of you that are looking at mobile devices as a way to enhance your learning environments for you clients or employees, here is a little something to keep your eye on.

Khan Academy Partners with Samsung

I have written about Kahn Acacdemy in the past and its impact it is having on the K-12 education system in the US.

They just announced a new partnership with Samsung that will provide the Galaxy Note tablets as part of a pilot program to Mountain View Whisman School District in California. The tablets will ship with a pre-loaded Khan Academy app that provides direct access to their extensive library of instructional videos.

The electronic device market has truely affected how we access information and thus how we learn and collaborate. The logical next step in this progression is moving this technology and its capabilities to our education system and making it available as a tool for our teachers to better educate our youth for the next generation of careers.

 As a side note to this story, let’s clarify the picture a little for you. This story appeared this morning in USA Today: Shift to Mobile Devices Causes Concern. The crux of this story is about how the shift in internet access from the desktop to the mobile device has created a serious wave that many of the current tech companies are having issues keeping up with. For example, Dell, HP, Intel, and Microsoft are all behind the curve when it comes to mobile devices – they are rooted deeply in the desktop or laptop environment.  Google and Facebook were able to conquer the online web space…in a desktop environment. However, both these companies have a revenue model that is weighted heavily on selling online ads. When you move to the mobile device, the screens are so much smaller, that you can’t just fill the screen with ads and both these companies have apps that launch what you need without ads. Now, new tech companies may step in to fill this void and figure out how to actually make money in this new space.

Personally, I find it very interesting how mobile devices have been able to completely change the world we live in. In this author’s humble opinion, we are about to see a new tech boom, much like in the 90’s around the web and in the 2000’s around search and social media. My prediction – apps and connectivity to learning content. I am pretty sure I am not the first to say this though.

Book Review – Great By Choice

September 17, 2012

I was listening to an audio book that really caught my attention. It is a book about some basic strategies and thought processes that go into being a leader that makes a difference. The book is called Great by Choice. It was written by Jim Collins and Morton Hansen.

The book is basically a study they performed on a series of companies during the time periods of the late 70’s to right around 2001. One set of companies (which they call 10X’ers) were compared to a comparable company during that time. 10X’ers are companies that surpassed the market by 10 times. Only 7 companies out of over 20,000 companies passed the test. So, the 10X’er company would be Microsoft and the comparable would be Apple (which was a 10X’er, fell without Steve Jobs, and became a 10X’er again when he came back). Another was Intel, compared to AMD. Yet one last example was Southwest Air compared to PS Air (which isn’t even around anymore).

The question laid out was “in a time of uncertainty, turmoil, and chaos, how come some companies thrive and yet others in the same market with a lot of the same capabilities fail?”.

They found some interesting patterns.

(more…)

Consulting – Getting to know the Learning & Development Consulting Occupation

May 30, 2012

The May ASTD Chapter meeting was about getting familiar with being a consultant in the Learning and Development space. The host of the event was Seema Rafay of Spectrum Performance Services. She specializes in Performance Management and is strategic partners with Profiles International.

WHAT IS A CONSULTANT?

There was quite an interesting discussion as to what a consultant actually was. Two of the definitions that came out were:

  • Someone who has to influence thoughts and actions of others without control.
  • Someone who is a motivator and understands the needs of a company. They affect outcomes and they are familiar with who the players are in a within an organization. It is all about relationships.
    Essentially, what we ended up with was a three-point definition.

A consultant is someone that:

  • Professionally counsels to advise, guide, and inform.
  • Is qualified to engage in this type of activity.
  • Delivers solutions to the stated problems.

There are many of us that have no real desire to be an private consultant for one reason or another, but, it is important to realize that you have the capability to be a consultant within your own organization. If you assist in solving problems, are qualified to do so, and making recommendations that meet the problems, you are a consultant.

The one thing we also agreed to was that consultants do NOT tell people what to do.

(more…)