BNET posted “The Biggest Management Challenges in 2008”, which are predictions from Harvard Business faculty. They flag the usual suspects: technology, green business, global economics, volatility in the markets, social networking via the Web, and soft skills (I hate that term!). But underlying all of these challenges is the challenge of managing learning. Nobody can deal with the rapid pace of change in technology, economics, and political-social demands of society and nobody can deal with the unpredictability of change without continuous learning. So I submitted the following comment to BNET:

Learning is one of the biggest management challenges. All other challenges can only be dealt with effectively if people, from the C-level to the front-line, know what they need to know and know how to know what they need to know. With the prospect of information being available when, where, and in the form it is needed, the challenge will be to facilitate and support learning (technical, social, financial, etc.) that achieves important business results.

I know, an enormous amount of information is literally at our fingertips. The problem is that much of this information has not been edited or vetted, sorted and organized, and employees don’t have a line of sight from what they need to learn to the tactical and strategic goals of the organization. In addition to all of that, the goals keep changing. So employees can’t know what they need to know unless the organization as a whole is helping them do that. This is the challenge for management.