Asynchronous Learning Network Conference. Government & Military Panel. Integrating Distance Education Technology and Organizational Learning into the Army National Guard (ARNG). MAJ Todd Chamberlain Army National Guard. Ira Monarch & Gene Miluk Carnegie Mellon University.
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Government & Military Panel
Integrating Distance Education Technology and Organizational Learning into the Army National Guard (ARNG)
MAJ Todd Chamberlain
Army National Guard
Ira Monarch & Gene Miluk
Carnegie Mellon University
In the case of the ARNG, “failure” to adopt a shared learning tool becomes an opportunity for incipient organizational learning and the basis for the culture change needed to perpetuate organizational learning.
Technical issues: networking, connectivity, multicasting, machine performance (speed, memory, resolution…), microphones, video cameras, maintenance expertise
Social issues: innovations and the carriers of innovations threaten current cultural and social schemes, especially positions therein of power and security
The Army National Guard (ARNG) is very similar to a large national conglomerate.
Learning Tool to Measure ARNG Performance:
Implementation:formed a team of 20 action officers representing all functional divisions to look at the ARNG Directorate business processes using systems thinking
What We Learned
If the ARNG is to become a learning organization, availability of technical infrastructure like the dashboard is not enough.
It will only be installed, used, and improved if there is sufficient social-technical infrastructure for the inquiring system that enables and interprets it.
Utilize CMU’s expertise in managing cultural and technological change to assess the ARNG cultural readiness for change
Assist the ARNG Directorate to become a “Learning Organization”
Capitalize on GuardNet XXI and the ARNG Distance Training Technology Program to establish a Virtual Readiness University
Not merely a matter of the transfer of expertise from CMU to ARNG–Mutual understanding is needed.
Increasing recognition that mutual understanding would benefit by emergence of a virtual organization representing both CMU and ARNG
Organizational learning by the ARNG Directorate begins in the emerging virtual organization.
The virtual organization is the scaffolding of the coming ARNG virtual university and learning organization.
First Steps: Training at CMU
Both Directorate and Senior Leadership identified the same top two barriers in implementing change:
State National Guards
The Army National Guard Directorate
When mobilized for federal active duty, state guard units report to Army or Air Force commander.
Division ChiefChief Surgeon
Division ChiefProgram Analysis
Division ChiefStrength Maint
CMU training provided a recognition space for the ARNG to learn about problems that thwarted previous introductions of organizational learning tools.
Senior leaders agreed to the following next steps:
Need to overcome barriers to fielding and implementing the virtual university
ARNG and CMU can mutually learn from one another by reinforcing virtual organization
New technology must be introduced as part of overall change management and usually involves cross-organizational collaboration
Technology introduction is inextricably tied up with cultural/social issues–both organizational and cross-organizational.
Change management requires distance education, training and mentoring to be successful.
It will take longer than you think.
Cultural/social issues need to be addressed
Technological change cannot be separated from social change and must be introduced as part of overall change management