During a short trip home from Brussels where I was attending an Executive Board meeting of the European Consortium for the Learning Organisation http://www.eclo.org/ I had the time to reflect upon the exciting and stimulating and extensive discussions that had taken place over the previous 24 hours. My thanks go to Ruud (Netherlands), Olé and his wife Elly (Denmark), Ulrich (Switzerland), Marc and Brigitte (Belguim), Jim (Scotland), Mary (Ireland), Andrew and Richard (UK) for their wonderful company and innovative ideas which will help us to drive forward the latest developments planned by E.C.L.O. across 2006/2007, things like:
- an International conference in Prague on 22nd & 23rd May (mentioned in last posting below)
- a Corporate Learning Think Tank focusing on Academic & Professional Practice
- The E.C.L.O. Book
- The ECUANET (European Corporate Universities and Academies Network) an EU-funded project conducting action research into Corporate Universities/Academies and strategic corporate learning with a view to creating a best practice network of European players – adopters and providers http://www.ecuanet.info/
Thinking about Corporate Universities/Academies and from online discussions with some of my Post-Graduate students (studying Management Development as part of their Masters programme in Personnel & Development), there are varying views regarding the benefits to organisations considering developing their own CU/A.
One student wrote:
“CU’s can create a strong culture within an organisation which in itself would have advantages such as unity and understanding amongst all employees, getting everyone focused with organisational goals leading to business success”
“…why not industry academies, where all organisations, regardless of size, can send their employees?”
As an alternative argument, another contribution raised issues such as:
“…CU/A’s are complex and I am not convinced that this is the right way forward…might these become vehicles for corporate socialization and propaganda?”
Wow, powerful thoughts and worthy of this further ECUANET research.
With an agenda as extensive as this, E.C.L.O. promises to be an interesting consortium to be involved with over the next few years and I am delighted to be part of these emergent themes.
If you want to get involved yourself then send an e-mail to Brigitte Jack at firstname.lastname@example.org or even try and come to the conference in Prague in May. Readers of this blog get a special discounted rate resulting in a whopping €100 off the conference price but only if they quote my name. So review the programme http://www.eclo.org/Description%20and%20Programme%202006.htm and maybe see you in Prague?