Trends in Workplace

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Trends in Workplace Learning: Supply and Demand in Interesting Times
By Laurie Bassi, Scott Cheney, and Eleesha Lewis
The ancient Chinese saying "May you live in interesting times" has perhaps never been more relevant. As the 1990s draw to a close and the new millennium fast approaches, life is phenomenally interesting--and demanding. Professionals who are responsible for workplace learning and performance improvement are squarely in the center of the swirl of exciting possibilities--and requirements--that are emerging.
The inextricable link between rapid technological change and the emergence of the global economy has created the necessity for profound change in the way people and organizations work. As a result, workplace learning is
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In many ways, this is nothing new at all. A firm 's knowledge--the brains of its employees, their know-how, the processes and customer knowledge that they create--has always been a source of competitive advantage. And by extension, so too has been knowledge management--the processes by which a firm creates and leverages knowledge. Whatis unique about the knowledge era is that knowledge is becoming the primary source of competitive advantage within a growing number of industries. Organizations from industrial-era industries, such as automobile manufacturing, to information-age industries such as consulting are recognizing that they each have a unique storehouse of knowledge, and that the future belongs to those that can grow their knowledge fastest and then apply and use it best.
With the benefit of hindsight, it is apparent that in the knowledge era, creating and leveraging knowledge is the business of business. By all available measures, the stock market is already providing handsome rewards to companies that successfully leverage their knowledge--a phenomenon that will almost surely grow in significance as knowledge-based organizations increase in size and number. A number of firms are anticipating this and looking to knowledge management to enhance, measure, and manage the knowledge of their employees and organizations more effectively.
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