EET is poised to become the “next big thing” in corporate L&D, but what is it exactly? Most sources I’ve looked up agree with Webanywhere’s definition of the term:
Extended Enterprise Learning is any training that is provided to learners outside of your organization. The training could be targeted at dealers, channel distribution partners, suppliers, resellers, franchisees, and even your customers.
I don’t disagree with this definition, but I do wish to provoke deeper thinking by challenging it.
Take franchisees as the first talking point. I consider it a stretch to think of them as being outside of your organisation. Sure, they might not be on your payroll, but my local McDonalds is a part of the universal Golden Arches empire. I bet my Big Mac that Ronald says so too.
I put dealers in the same basket. Indeed, the folks in Aichi Prefecture don’t pay the sales guy at my local Toyota dealership out of their own pockets, but they’d choke on their saké at the suggestion he didn’t belong to the Toyota family. And rightly so.
Partners, suppliers, resellers… these make much more sense to me. And I would replace “even your customers” with “especially your customers” – as that’s where I believe the untapped upside of EET lay.
So I guess my argument relies on the concept of brand. To me, anyone doing business wearing your logo is a part of your organisation, whether you pay them or not. Anyone doing business with you or for you, without wearing your logo, is not a part of your organisation.
I hereby propose EET applies to the latter.