Learning Management Systems and their effect on Hierarchical Organizations

June 3, 2015

Written by:  Reggie Wilson

Over 45 years ago there was a wonderful book published that caused quite a stir entitled “The Peter Principle: Why Things Always Go Wrong” by Dr Laurence J. Peter.   The author takes on the subject of Hierarchical Management and the often unseen consequences for employees. The basic premise of the book is that everyone will eventually rise to their level of incompetence if it has not happened already. Just because you succeed in one position does not guarantee success at the next level.   Yes I know, the aforementioned can be very tough to digest as many of us have been conditioned to ascend the corporate ranks by way of the traditional “stair step” method.

I first read The Peter Principle over 20 years ago, and have reread it recently after a conversation with a friend.   The book certainly holds up today and explains plenty of the “unique” situations that one might encounter in the business world. It is an easy and rather short read with plenty of tongue-in-cheek commentary and anecdotes. Certainly a recommended read if you have not done so already.

The rapid advances in Learning Management Systems (LMS) can be a strong deterrent to the pitfalls of the Hierarchical Organizations.   The improvements in LMS have allowed organizations to extend beyond traditional coaching and move to targeted learning programs. These programs are more relevant to the associate’s desired career path and aspirations.   Given the majority of these LMS platforms are cloud based, ongoing support of fresh catalog content is never a challenge for the Human Resource or Talent Management team.

Naturally being cloud based these LMS platforms can scale as an organization grows, however beyond that you have the added benefits of mobile and social learning. Social learning allows the user to collaborate with communities, discussions, blogs and more on the learning topics of interest. The benefits of mobile enhances the level of accessibility to the desired content.   All of this can be accomplished on a single platform.

The flexibility of today’s LMS are vast and can certainly result in higher employee retention and a better skilled and more agile workforce.  With the new and improving class of LMS, there can be hope of a reduced effect of the Peter Principle.

Reggie Wilson3

About Reggie Wilson

Reggie has nearly 20 years of technology sales experience that ranges from Telecom to Human Capital Management systems.  He joined HRchitect in 2013 as a Regional Sales Manager, and leads the sales efforts in the 15 state central region of the US as well as central Canada.  Reggie has worked with clients from mid-market to enterprise scale, who have deployed solutions ranging from Workforce Management to Core HR systems.