Clive Shepherd, chairman of the eLearning Network (eLN) – a non-profit organisation run by the e-learning community for the e-learning community – has revealed ten things to do to prosper during the economic downturn. HIs advice – based on a presentation at the recent Learning Technologies event in London – is freely available on the organisation’s website ( Shepherd recommends that you:


1. Engage with the technology because technology:

  • Reduces travel, saving tons of money and the planet as well
  • Connects people with ideas and other people
  • Increases accessibility and flexibility
  • Is what ‘Generation Y’ wants and expects


2. Use the language of business because employers interested in performance, not learning.


3. Promote your brand inside and outside your organisation. You can:

  • Add credibility to your professional status by touting your membership of associations and professional bodies.
  • Upgrade your qualifications.
  • Start a blog.


4. Be proactive in devising solutions to help your organisation get through the current crisis. If you leave it to senior management, they’ll make daft decisions because they’re not the experts on learning and development: you are.


5. Learn from others – watching out for good ideas that you can adapt to your own interventions.


6. Take advantage of bargains – notably the increasingly impressive array of free and open source tools.


7. Become more efficient – doing more for less. The best way to do this is to budget from the bottom-up. Start with nothing and build up, focusing on the value that each learning intervention brings to the organisation.


8. Maintain quality – but remember that quality is about fitness for purpose. As long as a learning intervention is relevant, timely and does the job, then ‘good enough’ is a reasonable level at which to aim.


9. Harness people power

There have always been informal learning processes in place to meet organisational learning and development needs. Now, however, we have software – such as social networks, wikis and forums – that makes it easier for expertise to be shared within an organisation.


10. Get networked – Networking gets you in touch with trusted sources of information that you can call upon when you need it, whether those sources are human or digital.


Comment: That sounds like pretty good advice, especially for those associated with the HR function.