Digital transformation has reached the boardrooms, and many executives are frightened. A number of them fear being “Uberized” or disrupted by new market entrants who use technology in an innovative manner.

To stay ahead of the curve, companies need to begin rethinking their business models, processes, and the way they work. Organizations must also start improving – or re-engineering – customer and partner engagement using digital tools. With these changes comes the need for continuous learning – around new technologies, processes, methods, or business models. So how can you impact your enterprise with an increased commitment to learning and education? Here are three tips:

1. Expand formal learning with informal learning

According to the forgetting curve, people forget 70% of the information they learn after only one day. Although many classroom trainings have been optimized with methods like hands-on exercises, transferring new skills and learnings to work remains a key challenge of formal training. In the past few years, the 702010 model has become a more frequently used framework. It illustrates that new competencies are developed mainly from social learning – learning from and with others – and learning on the job, not only from formal classroom training.

Formal training is still critical in standardizing skills in areas such as leadership, compliance, or communication. But it needs to be expanded upon, as ongoing social and work-related learning has proven to be more effective, leading to increased collaboration and innovation.


Tip #1: Enterprise social networks like SAP Jam – featuring user communities, videos, polls, blogs, etc. – can help optimize your existing formal training programs. Leverage them for social learning.

2. Develop tech-tool competencies in the workforce

Everyone needs to be more tech-savvy – mastering the right tools for the right tasks. Fax and telephone are no longer the only means for communication. Tools such as videos, wikis, and blogs – not to mention the Getting Things Done time-management method and the SCRUM agile method – are bringing a level of effectiveness to knowledge transfer that we’ve never seen before.

People have demonstrated an adeptness for using modern tools and apps in their private lives. There’s no reason they can’t use similar tools in the workplace.


Tip #2: Working out loud is a good approach to fostering higher tech-tool competence. These modern solutions can help you create new sales opportunities, increase collaboration, and drive innovation.

3. Transform the learning culture and roles

Although learning with and from others collaboratively happens naturally when people engage via social media, a majority of companies have yet to institute social learning practices into their organizations.

The first step to achieving this would require designating a social community moderator or facilitator, who’s responsible for curating interesting content, coaching learners during their learning processes, answering questions, and summarizing learning activities.


Tip #3: Learning with social collaboration – like sharing and discussing ideas – cannot be too strictly formalized like classroom training. So it’s important to emphasize the following values:

  • Trust: Everyone should have the freedom to use collaboration tools for learning, problem solving, or sharing content.
  • Empowerment: Experts, employees, or managers must all be empowered to use – and learn from – social software tools.
  • Openness, participation, agility and connectivity are values which can be driven via social networks – but are also successfactors  for their successful use.

Sound difficult? It’s not.

But if you’d like to learn more, check out the blog by my colleague, Lars Satow which was posted as the next part of this series. In it he explores how SAP Education has helped set up social learning for 350,000 customers and partners on our digital learning platform, SAP Learning Hub.

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