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Instructor Led Companies Can Succeed At Online Learning (Pt. 1): Choose The Right Leader.

Many traditional training companies are experiencing difficulties in launching online learning initiatives. Why? For more reasons than we can cram into this issue. But, fortunately, none that aren't addressable. Here's a start:

First, appoint the right leader. Leaders are out and teams are in. But, trust me, every team needs a leader. And it takes a very special kind of person to lead you across the treacherous waters of online learning.

Begin by seeking out a proven performer with demonstrated business development credentials. Mary, who pulled together and landed the training outsourcing deal with the Fortune 50 manufacturing company. George, who masterminded the multi-module course that's setting sales records. If they're not an entrepreneurial, can-do type, forget it.

Next, be sure your candidate has credibility across your organization and has earned a large reservoir of trust. They'll need that in getting the resources and cooperation they need.

Most of all, look for genuine enthusiasm for the job and belief that success can be achieved. If you have to beg or bribe Mary or George into accepting the assignment, then you have the wrong candidate. Better by far if they come begging to you for the opportunity.

Finally, don't make the common mistake of appointing Fred, your resident Generation X technology fanatic who oozes Java and HTML from every pore. Because online learning is 20% technology challenge and 80% business challenge. Better for Fred to be a team member than the team leader.

Some common questions concerning online learning leadership:

Q: Must the leader give up their prior responsibilities?
A: Not necessarily, if they have a good backup.

Q: Can the CEO serve as the online learning leader?
A: Sorry, the CEO should be the one who holds the leader accountable.

Q: Should the leader work outside of the "establishment?"
A: A totally maverick solution is not likely to fly.

Q: Should the CEO run interference if the leader encounters opposition?
A: The right leader shouldn't need this kind of help.

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