Microlearning isn’t just an initiative and needs to be treated as a platform. Even with two different approaches, each can be applied to a number of situations. Thus, microlearning needs to be treated strategically.
The strategy includes not just launching an approach, but ongoing considerations. As Richard Rumelt documents in his book Good Strategy/Bad Strategy, the core elements of a strategy include a diagnosis of the situation and need, a guiding policy, and coherent actions. You also need to course correct. It’s like science: you continually check on reality and adjust based upon results.
Your policy is to provide the mechanisms to enable the approaches. Your actions, however, will be dependent on your context. They’re several different areas, and they’re related, but it’s worth thinking about each separately.
who are you serving, and who are the stakeholders? How will you engage them?
what devices and what channels will you use? Pre-existing tools or a new platform? How do you work with IT and HR for policies?
how do you handle microlearning as an organizational change (hint: it is)? How do you message? How do you provide channels for support and success?
who needs to work with you, what data do they need, and how will you get their feedback?
what questions do you need to answer, what data can and will you collect, and how will you analyze it?
From context to strategy
Your answers to these questions will dictate that aspect of your strategy. If your people are provided devices, you might use them instead of their own. If your audience is working on knowledge machines your solution will likely be different than if they’re mobile. Communication can be from executives, HR, or L&D, whichever makes sense. Your governance will depend on who’s got what relationships in your organization. Finally, your evaluation will depend on who you’re serving and what their goals are.
Strategy is about questions that you should answer. You have to evaluate your situation and put the elements together. Making sure you ask the right questions, however, is the first start to a viable microlearning strategy.
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