Thursday, September 8, 2011

90% of all Corporate Learning is Informal Learning

Because a consulting organization is only as good as its people, Deloitte wants its people to learn every which way. While classroom training still holds an important place, Deloitte emphasizes the importance of informal learning, including learning through social media--public social networks as well as company-controlled enterprise social networks. Meanwhile, about half of Deloitte's formal training has shifted online.

Nick Van Dam is the Chief Learning Officer for Deloitte which employs about 170,000 people worldwide. He says 90% of all corporate learning is informal learning, including information gleaned through social networks

He called me in to write a chapter in his new book Next Learning, Unwrapped.

"Ours is an intellectual capital business," van Dam said. "There is no software, no hardware we're selling--it's all about the people." Deloitte plans to hire about 50,000 people in the coming year, many of them straight from university recruiting programs, so it has to continually bring new people up to speed, he said.. "Almost everyone is coming in with a smartphone, tablets, iPads, and they're on Facebook LinkedIn, you name it. They embrace technology, and it's part of how they learn, how they collaborate. We need to support the needs of our talent, where we provide them working technology they like to use and have been using before they joined Deloitte".

That the company still values classroom training is shown by the fact it is investing about $300 million in Deloitte University, a training facility in Dallas that is due to open later this year, van Dam said. "About 50% of our formal learning is online based, but we're making significant investments in both."

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