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 Predicting future marketplace needs is difficult to do

Ongoing training and development is critical for businesses to thrive and stay ahead of the curve, especially in the fast paced high tech space.


Global computer giant Microsoft has built up a culture of learning and development that has enabled it to retain a key competitive advantage in a rapidly changing marketplace, says Shannon Wallis, Global Director, High Potential Leadership Development, Microsoft.


A speaker at the marcus evans Chief Learning Officer Summit Spring 2011, in Hollywood, FL on April 11-13, Wallis explains that a well established learning culture has ensured that Microsoft is able to address customer needs more effectively and efficiently.


Wallis says that a learning culture starts at the top. “The most senior leaders in the organization have to embody it. They must believe that the organization’s true competitive advantage lies in its people and their ability to learn and to rapidly adapt their learning to meet market demands. Also, they must value the partners who create the environment that turns learning into action.


“Organizations that embody a learning culture will be more aware of new trends developing and will know how best to address those trends and get products to market. They will be better equipped to address customer needs. These organizations will secure competitive advantage by fostering a learning culture and developing their people to their full potential.”


The high tech industry is a challenging and ever fluctuating place, she says. “Global customer needs and the industry in general are moving at such a rapid pace that it is hard to know what the market will look like in five years. This becomes even harder given the fluctuations in the current global economy. When it is hard for us to predict future marketplace needs, it becomes increasingly difficult to translate somewhat ambiguous knowledge into actionable learning objectives for learning and development.


“Currently, our biggest challenges are staying on top of trends and understanding our business strategy to address them,” she adds.


The marcus evans Chief Learning Officer Summit Spring 2011will take place in Hollywood, Florida on April 11-13.

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