Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The passion of Nick van Dam

Nick van Dam is author of The e-Learning Fieldbook and the Global Chief Learning Officer of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. It is an organization of member firms around the world. Member firms offer services in audit, tax, consulting and financial advisory. With access to the intellectual capital of approximately 150,000 people worldwide, member firms focus on client service through a global strategy executed locally in nearly 140 countries.

Nick @ Learning2005 talking about e-learning For Kids.

Nick was with the special guest at our (Stoas) e-Learning Round Table event. A recurrent event with CLOs and HR presidents of big international organizations and governmental organizations. It is a selected group of about 10 people. It was a privilege to join this group of visionaries.

Nick has a nice and sound story about development of talents and learning within big organizations. Beside this he is the founder of e-Learning For Kids, a non-profit foundation to support learning amongst youngsters.

One of the challenges of Deloitte is to attract new talent. As the say in their 2010 Talent Vision: "To be the first choice of the most coveted talent-the place where the best choose to be." Nick told us that new employees are really looking for personal learning and development possibilities. On the other hand: also Deloitte and their customers are looking for people with better competencies every year. A great employee is not necessary a great employee in 3 years. The world and the demands are rapidly changing.

For me the interesting part was that Deloitte is a very service based organization where human capital is all there is. In that case I think that a lot of other companies and institutions will feel the same urge as Deloitte to attract the talented people. In Europe we will face (and for some professions this is the case already) a shortcoming of talented people. So within Deloitte learning is a way to empower talent and to empower the business. Their solution is to create a very powerful learning atmosphere and environment. A very varied and blended one with formal and informal learning and all kind of didactical formats you can name. They team up with Harvard to give credentials and are not afraid to loose people after they finished the course. Their solution is fluid: Books24x7, podcast, vodcast, TC network, communities of practice, EPSS, intelligent knowledge management and more. Podcasting was considered as a very popular learning tool (I'm glad I just finished the course on pod/vodcasting). One more thing: in the US the ratio F2F & classroom = 50/50, in the Netherlands it is 20/80.

For me the thing I enjoyed the most was the true passion Nick was showing. He loves learning. And only then you can perform that way. Passion combined with knowledge, experience and vision is a very strong accelerator for a truly learning organization with (learning) professionals.

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