“As soon as I have this little piece (of information), I’m out of here.”

That’s how Heinrich Koenen once described the mindset of just-in-time learning in an article for Computerworld. What’s interesting, however, is that the article and quote are from April 2000. And while it might be surprising that the concept of just-in-time learning has been around since the days of dial-up Internet, Koenen’s explanation here is still pretty much on target.

While new phrases and ideas have made their way into the corporate lexicon over the past decade (eLearning, informal training, and so on), just-in-time learning still abides by the same basic principles:

  • Employees are short on time.
  • They need specific information, but not all the information.
  • They want it right when they need it.

Of course, what has changed quite a bit is the technology that makes just-in-time learning possible. It’s no longer about when business professionals can access information; it’s about how and where as well. With smartphone sales set to reach 1 billion by 2014 (and tablet sales not doing too shabby either), mobile workers in particular can now access more information on the go, quicker than ever before. And for certain professionals, this is a very good thing.

“Salespeople are notorious just-in-time learners,” explains Brainshark CEO Joe Gustafson in the short video below. “They learn in the parking lot, in the airport and in the lobby, right before they’re going into a meeting.”

The challenge of providing salespeople with relevant training information at the very moment they need it is hardly unique. As Media 1 reports, Hewlett-Packard designed a just-in-time learning program aimed at tackling this very issue. The result? An average quota achievement of 148% for sales reps who completed the learning program in less than 30 days.

Of course, you don’t need to develop an entire program for your business to benefit from just-in-time learning. It really comes down to the ability to easily create up-to-date information, such as on-demand video for maximum learning retention, and sharing that content seamlessly to those who need it, when they need it.

And this ability to prepare “just in time” for a presentation is only one way that technology has helped to re-imagine today’s business meetings. For more details on how modern meetings have evolved, check out the complete video with Joe below.