professional development

Corporate Education Needs to Change

Salman Khan of Khan Academy on HBR:

How much of what you’ve learned about effective education applies to the business world?

"The idea that you do K–12, four years of college, maybe some grad school, and then stop learning is a myth. The book applies to lifelong learning: Go at your own pace, master content before moving on, and do it without disrupting your current work and productivity. A lot of corporations, when they do training, mimic the classroom. They create corporate universities; people have to take time off and listen to lectures. But the information and credentials you get coming out of those classes aren’t as useful as other things. At Khan Academy, when we hire, it’s nice if you have a high GPA and an academically rigorous major. But what we really care about is what you’ve made. For engineers, show us software you’ve designed. We also want evidence of how you work with other people, the leadership you exhibit, and what your peers think of you."


The Quantified Employee

What's next in the data world? The Quantified Employee. The article talks about quantification around influence ala Klout. But that's not how I see it. I think we will start to see more skill based quantification like ongoing education and professional development credit or certification. Peer ranking is inherently problematic in an organization. I believe it's useful as an input, but really has to be a part of other metrics.

I predict we'll see more software that tracks an employee's progress within an organization based on skill building, goal setting and achievement, and eventually other HR metrics, like vacation days taken and of course, peer reviews.

The first step will be data gathering and the enterprise will face the tough data privacy issues that we're only beginning to talk about in the public arena - like should results from a background check be a part of your "data" HR file. The goal, of course, will be to optimize hiring and retention, but the data required to answer important organizational questions may reach beyond the work place.

What do you think?