CrossKnowledge fights back at the credit crunch despite L&D cutbacks, 2010 looks to be a promising year for e-learning.

Paris, 15th February, 2010 – Throughout the course of 2009, many organisations had to make adjustments in response to the harsh economic reality of the recession.

When budgets are tightened L&D is often the first casualty, yet despite the significant constraints experienced by L&D budgets, CrossKnowledge, the European expert in the remote development of leadership and management skills through new technologies, continues to demonstrate steady growth and expects a favourable year for e-learning.Recent financial pressures have forced many companies to continue in their mode of cost-cutting and headcount reductions. Evidently, these pressures have continued to have a negative impact on learning and development (L&D) organisations which are typically squeezed hard in a budget crunch. Yet, economic indicators suggest that the economy is recovering, and many analysts expect this trend to continue.

Despite the hardship organisations have recently experienced, recent research suggests that half of learning executives remain optimistic about the outlook for employee development in 2010 and this is a sentiment echoed at the heart of CrossKnowledge. It would seem that more and more managers and executives are asking for support in leading their organisations through the dramatic and often uncomfortable changes that have resulted from the current recession. Therefore, with fewer overall resources available, it is imperative that organisations align training initiatives to corporate priorities.

2010 Spending Levels to Favour Leadership Training

For Micka«l Ohana, Associate Director at CrossKnowledge in charge of Strategy and Business Development, ”The majority of our clients are planning to increase or maintain spending levels in 2010 despite facing a challenging year ahead. Incidentally, leadership training is undoubtedly the area in which we expect to experience the most significant positive impact in the next 12 months. Organisations consider this form of training as essential to successfully functioning in the current competitive business environment.”It becomes apparent that all organisations, especially large ones, can benefit from adopting e-learning as part of their training strategy. Additionally, for many, it is currently the only feasible way of addressing basic compliance and knowledge issues.”

Informal Learning Important

CrossKnowledge also expects informal learning to have a major impact on training over the course of the next few months. A considerable portion of learning takes place outside of the classroom or online course and the company has created training tools that reflect this. These include putting in place coaching, mentoring and social learning environments. The company has long been aware of the power of informal learning as an effective tool for sharing information and skills between employees, in an unstructured and cost-effective manner. The company is therefore an advocate of web 2.0 in learning and social networking in particular.

The widespread use of blogs and wikis for learning purposes also increased significantly in 2009. Communities of practice such as CrossKnowledge Dialogues 2.0 for example, have proved extremely popular.  These take the form of veritable dialogue and online contribution platforms and place exchange at the heart of skill development programmes. Such tools make resources and experts available to boost knowledge sharing and engage learners in ongoing dialogue.

Steve Fiehl, Associate Director at CrossKnowledge, also predicts that in 2010 we will witness a dramatic shift in company business objectives. ”There is a definite trend towards training that is closely allied to company business objectives. The majority of our clients still have clear business objectives and realise the importance of training in relation to business goals.” Fiehl’s remarks are backed up by recent Business Intelligence Board (BIB) survey data showing that learning will remain focused on driving individual and organisational performance. Therefore, as well as fully embracing technology and building broader internal capabilities, CLO’s will have to be able to form rapid response teams that can mobilise new management development initiatives with only weeks’ notice and be capable of operating as a just-in-time organisation. In the long run, learning organisations will become increasingly agile and efficient, more in tune with the needs of their interna  l clients and better able to craft solutions to meet those needs.

About the CrossKnowledge Group: http://www.crossknowledge.net/en-gb

Founded in 2000, CrossKnowledge is the European leader in remote development of leadership and managerial skills, using new technologies. CrossKnowledge designs, develops and markets the fullest catalogue on the market, with more than 10.000 multilingual learning objects, tackling all management and leadership topics. Its ”Faculty” comprises the best authors, professors and Management professionals from the most renowned Business Schools in the world, such as Harvard, Stanford, IMD and HEC. CrossKnowledge has offices in the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland, and thanks to strategic partnerships, in Morocco, India, China, Japan and Canada. CrossKnowledge already has 1.5 million users.

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