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Personalised learning support could increase the contribution of higher education
University administrators shown a quicker, more affordable and less disruptive route to greater relevance and cost-effectiveness
The University of Greenwich academic reports “there are cheaper, flexible, more focused and less disruptive alternatives to the general, expensive and time consuming approaches being adopted. Change is occurring in higher education but many universities are missing opportunities to provide the more personalised 24/7 learning support that could impact upon a range of their activities and massively increase their cost-effectiveness, creativity, relevance and contribution to society.”
Using a variety of examples Coulson-Thomas illustrated key findings from his recent reports that draw upon a five-year investigation into the most cost-effective route to high performance organisations. He showed how a variety of separate initiatives can be replaced by a simpler and more flexible approach that can boost performance, speed up and personalize responses, increase engagement and understanding, allow flexible working and learning, ensure compliance and reduce stress by making it easier for front-line staff to do difficult jobs and for students to learn.
Coulson-Thomas believes: “Universities are sometimes concerned with knowledge about things rather than understanding how best to do things. In many fields innovation is relentless. Cutting edge technologies may be current for a matter of months. Some companies have narrow windows of weeks or days in which to develop and provide the international learning support that can equip people from diverse communities to understand, sell, adopt, support and benefit from them. Social networking and flexible performance support can roll out global solutions to problems and responses to opportunities that people did not know they had a few hours before.”
Highlighting innovations and the benefits of greater connectivity the author of Transforming Knowledge Management, Talent Management 2, and Transforming Public Services showed how the provision of personalised 24/7 learning and performance support could transform many aspects of our lives. The 'new leadership' he advocates works with existing people, cultures and structures and puts greater emphasis upon implementation and particularly bottom-up and front-line support that helps customer-facing communities to excel at important tasks and enables more effective learning.
University of Greenwich academic Prof. Colin Coulson-Thomas is an experienced vision holder of successful transformation programmes who has helped organisations in over 40 countries to improve director, board and corporate performance. He holds a portfolio of board and other roles and is the author of over 50 books and reports. Since being the world's first professor of corporate transformation he has held professorial appointments in Europe, North and South America, the Middle East, India and China. Colin was educated at the LSE, the London Business School and the Universities of Aston, Chicago, South Africa and Southern California. He is a fellow of seven chartered bodies and obtained first place prizes in the final examinations of three professions.
The opening plenary on Achieving Successful Corporate Transformation by Prof. Coulson-Thomas, author of Winning Companies; Winning People was delivered at the Association of University Administrator's (AUA) Annual Open Forum for Managing Change in Higher Education which was held at London Metropolitan University. The presentation summarised some key findings from Colin's latest reports Transforming Knowledge Management, Talent Management 2, and Transforming Public Services which are available from www.policypublications.com.