Marine Forces Reserve: accelerating knowledge flow through asynchronous learning technologies
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Most scholars agree that knowledge is key to competitive advantage. Organizations able to move dynamic knowledge quickly can outperform their rivals, peers and counterparts. The US Marine Corps is clearly a knowledge organization, and Marine Forces Reserve (MFR) is an organization exemplifying the need for rapid knowledge movement. Indeed, a key component to MFR success is the knowledge of Active Duty Inspector Instructors (I-Is), but a great number of them are required to take charge quickly—although most lack prior training and experience working with the unique and dynamic challenges of the Reserves—and their extant knowledge flows are relegated principally to questionably effective presentation slideshows and error-prone on the job training. Leveraging deftly the power of information technology—in conjunction with knowledge management principles, methods and techniques—we employ a class of systems used principally for distributed and remote learning, and we engage key subject matter experts at MFR Headquarters to accelerate the knowledge flows required for effective I-I performance. Preliminary results point to huge return on investment in terms of cost, and early indications suggest that training efficacy can be just as effective as—if not better than—accomplished through previous methods. This sets the stage for even more effective use of I-I personnel time and energy when they gather for their annual conference in New Orleans, and it highlights enhanced opportunities for continuing our acceleration of knowledge flows through online training and support—both for I-I personnel and across other MFR training populations. Further research, implementation and assessment are required, but results to date are impressive and encouraging.
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NPS Report NumberNPS-IS-14-008
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