Mastering Knowledge Acquisition in the Extended Enterprise

technicians in training class | Mastering Knowledge Acquisition in the Extended Enterprise

We speak about skills quite frequently and about what it takes to develop the skills of your network members. One of the main pillars that you lean on for this is the ability of your organization to provide your members with knowledge of the industry, the company, and their job duties. 

It doesn’t stop there, though. You have to be able to provide this knowledge at the scale of the organization to accommodate multiple locations in different sub-industries all across the globe. This is what we commonly refer to as acquiring knowledge at scale — providing the appropriate information on a broad range of topics across a vast enterprise.

Where to Start With Acquiring Knowledge

The best way to provide knowledge across your enterprise is to identify what knowledge is essential versus what isn’t. Every network member won’t need to understand every moving part of the organization, but there will be some topics that will be very valuable to them based on the role they play within the enterprise. 

We want to make sure that we have the necessary topics identified by role and responsibility to provide all end users with the information that is pertinent to them in their day-to-day function within the organization. 

It is important to note here as well that knowledge is not synonymous with skills. Take basketball, for example. You can consume information about basketball – how the game is played, how the players interact, and even play strategies. But that will never make you capable of being a 90% free-throw shooter. That is a skill, whereas the rest is knowledge. Skills take much more time and exercise as opposed to understanding a concept. 


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Building the Foundation for Skills

Knowledge and the appropriate accumulation of knowledge set the stage to begin building skills. Without a thorough understanding of the basketball game, you would not understand why a free throw is so essential and why it is a valuable skill to have. 

The appropriate accumulation of knowledge also allows you to demonstrate capabilities before you begin to build hard skills. There is a reason why you take the written driving test before you go on the road. You must prove that you understand the concept before you put it into practice. 

Acquiring knowledge at scale provides a similar structure. You can ensure that your network members and technicians have the foundation necessary to move forward in building hard skills by providing this information through a learning management system (LMS), and then setting up assessments to gauge their understanding of a concept before moving forward to hands-on training. 

Why Self-Paced Learning is Key

Self-paced learning through an enterprise learning platform or LMS provides the flexibility and adaptability for your organization to compile the information you want your network members to know and deliver it with the expectation of learning and assessments. This puts the initiative back on the end user to learn and retain the information they consume to move forward to the next step in their development. When supplemented with a human connection and a mentor to whom they feel comfortable asking questions, you have the most effective recipe for learning. 

Take our own learning, for example. Traditionally, you attended class or lectures, you were taught a new topic, and then you had to complete homework showing that you understood what was taught. This system is outdated and often leaves learners behind when they struggle to understand concepts in a timely manner. 

When we flip this learning to something that has become more commonplace since remote learning in the day of the pandemic, we find that learning increases when you provide recorded lectures or webinars ahead of time, give your students time to consume it, then have a “classroom” session devoted strictly to questions necessary to clarify the concept that they have reviewed on their own time. 

People learn best at their own pace, providing them the opportunity to digest and retain the information they consume. However, this learning must be supplemented with the ability to ask questions and get answers to be effective. Informed discussions are more productive and help solidify the information. Additionally, assessments are effective tools to ensure that information is being conveyed in such a way that it is clearly understood. 

Customized Delivery

Now that we understand the importance of conveying information, acquiring knowledge, and how it relates to building skills – how do we execute it? How do we make sure that the right learner is getting the information that is pertinent to them? 

When building course material for acquiring knowledge in your training platform, automated algorithms can help support personalization. These algorithms can identify what information your end user needs based on self-paced assessments. These assessments can identify where their understanding is weak or lacking to automate course enrollment based on who your learner is and what function they perform in the organization. This process automates the process of identifying knowledge gaps and filling them

To add another layer, you can also incorporate different levels of understanding. By labeling users as good, great, or expert in specific areas of knowledge, you can provide a personalized learning experience by integrating performance metrics.

Finally, leaning on supervisors’ observations in a real-life setting will help provide a solid understanding that the concept was conveyed, understood, retained, and put into practice effectively. 

Expanding Modalities

Traditional LMS modalities typically provide training courses and a plan of completion or path to development. There is a defined structure and milestones that must be achieved before moving on in the plan.

A newer idea that has proven effective is that of self-embedded training. Self-embedded training is an alternative modality that provides employees with the opportunity to embed the learning necessary in the activity that requires the learning. As an example, when you go to a department store, they almost always ask you to sign up for their store credit card to receive a percentage off of your purchase. When you agree, you are giving them Personal Customer Information, which they need to understand the dos and don’ts of handling. This is known as PCI training. 

Now, you can keep a spreadsheet that shows when cashiers need to renew their PCI training, follow up with them regularly, and hope that it gets completed before it expires. Or, you can embed the training for PCI compliance directly on the point of sale that would be used to collect the Personal Customer Information in the first place. This will prevent them from taking applications until the training is complete while also providing them with a convenient modality, woven into their day-to-day operations, for completing their required training. 

Another example is adding a course into an FAQ field for a platform. If a user is scrolling through an FAQ page looking for an answer, and their FAQ has a course, they are presented with the option to enroll in it and learn the answer in the form of course material. This answers their questions in the same place where they are already conducting learning and doing their daily work. 

These unbroken streams of learning and training provide a new level of efficiency for both the training managers and the trainees. The more frequently you embed knowledge into the workflow, the more effective it becomes. 

LatitudeLearning Makes it Easy

The more attributes of your end user that can be digitized, the more you open the door for customized automation and algorithms. LatitudeLearning understands precisely what it takes to create, manage, deliver, and maintain the caliber of training program your extended enterprise needs.

When performing everything at scale, your enterprise learning system has to have the capacity to provide as much information as possible while staying relevant to the end user, gauging their current understanding, and filling their existing knowledge gaps. 

LatitudeLearning has implemented some of the best practices for managing these types of training programs for extended enterprises and is the most effective tool that is constantly evolving to meet the needs of an ever-evolving industry. 

Take your training program to the next level — download the Extended Enterprise Training Guide 


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