Xpert Learning hosts its first-ever 5@Ten session

Dubai, April 29, 2010. At its head office in Knowledge Village, Dubai, Xpert Learning held its first 5@Ten session, which brought together key professionals and executives within the Learning & Development arena, from high-profile companies across the Middle East. The objective of this initiative was to bring together thought-leaders within the industry in one room, on a roundtable, with an open agenda, allowing them to share anything they want to, on any topic, with or without any relation to learning or e-Learning. This first 5@Ten session was attended by the following key individuals:

Patricio G. Porras (Chief Learning Officer, Axiom Telecom)
Ali Zaheer (Training Officer, Emaar)
DharamVeer Sood (Assistant Manager, Rivoli Group)
Lara Gibbs (Training & Development Manager, FlyDubai)

The session was chaired by Paul Michael Gledhill, Director and Co-Founder of Xpert Learning, and facilitated by David Hastings, new e-Learning Account Manager at Xpert Learning.
Paul kicked off the session by introducing the attendees and laying out the purpose of the session. To break the ice, he started the discussion on an informal note by narrating a recent story of ‘extreme learning’.

Paul’s story led Patricio Porras to outline a few of his achievements, on a more formal note. Patricio talked about the induction process at Axiom Telecom. He mentioned that 80% of his time was invested in the induction process which turned out to be very successful. “Companies traditionally recruit when a position becomes vacant. This is a bad policy. Our new induction process aims to break this tradition. Once new recruits pass and get certified, what we do after the first 90 days of induction is my new focus at the moment”, said Patricio. “This is the year of people development!”, further added Patricio, who is currently hiring about 20 employees per month. His current induction cycle is: 1st and 2nd day, everyone attends a broad spectrum induction at head office, 3rd day in the market place, 4th and 5th day are sales, product knowledge, process. Quizzes and evaluations come after the 4th and 5th day, following which there is a department induction and then a personal induction.
Following Patricio’s account, Ali Zaheer picked up on the discussions by sharing with the audience how online assessments are conducted at Emaar. “These tests save costs and time”, declared Ali. Visibly a few steps ahead of everyone else, Ali explained that Emaar uses online video key messages from senior management to encourage staff to use the eLearning Portal. According to Ali, this scenario has been properly tried and tested and works well for Emaar. Ali went on further to explain that they have created online policy and procedures instead of paper using rapid conversion tools. With the addition of visuals and voice-overs, these have become more interactive and effective.

Lara Gibbs contributed to the discussion by asking about the problem of missing the personal touch during the induction process. This led to further discussions amongst the attendees.
On a slightly different note, DharamVeer Sood followed up by giving his account on how induction to e-Learning happens at Rivoli Group. “We made the learners at Rivoli aware of the financial implications involved in e-learning and they appreciated that the organization was investing in its people even during these times”, declared DharamVeer. According to him, e-Learning keeps people engaged. He attributes the success of the e-Learning initiative at Rivoli Group to the shortened induction period, pilot evaluations and giving people the flexibility to opt out if they do not want to participate. DharamVeer added that he monitors the progress of the learners by running reports regularly and setting the pass mark at a high score to ensure that the learners knew their materials.
After more than an hour of discussions and interactive engagement, Paul wrapped up the session.

Following this successful session, with microphone in hand and in a truly journalistic style, Nabeel Nazeer, Technical Consultant at Xpert Learning, requested for feedback from the attendees.
David Hastings, who recently joined Xpert Learning and was invited to facilitate the session, was very impressed by the multiple topics of discussions which arose within a session which had no agenda at all. “Having joined 5@Ten as part of my induction into the world of e-Learning, I would say that if I had any lingering doubt or anxiety about joining Xpert Learning, it was washed away by listening to the thoughts of major players in today’s session,” said David.

Lara Gibbs
As L&D professionals, often we spend our days, eyes and ears focused on the day- to-day of making training/learning & development happen without taking time out to develop ourselves 5@Ten was a great opportunity for me to share best practices and learn from my peers in various industries – Thank you Xpert Learning for including me in this inaugural endeavor and for giving back as you always do, I look forward to participating in subsequent sessions.

Ali Zaheer
It’ a great initiative! No Doubt! I think that sessions like these will bring companies (who have implemented e-Learning solutions) closer and share their strategies. Great work Xpert Learning!

Patricio G. Porras
Thank you Xpert Learning. Really enjoyed the discussion and looking forward to the next invite.

Paul Michael Gledhill
I found the session very flowing, engaging and enjoyable. It was a breeze! I can’t wait to chair the next one.

We, at Xpert Learning, are now looking forward to the next 5@Ten session which will happen on the last Thursday of next month, 27th May 2010. Please contact us at info@xpertlearning.com or call +971 4 3910503 for more information if you want to be part of this interactive and fun-filled session.