Thursday, December 22, 2011

My own predictions for 2012

You care what I think is going to happen in 2012?  I'm touched.
Well I don't have the massive reach of ASTD or of Bersin or Training Magazine, but I do read a lot and talk to people.
So here is my big prediction for 2012.

Learning Pro's like me will be looking at ways to get out of the way better.
By this I mean that we will see a continued move towards informal learning built on social platforms. We are just a couple of years away from Millennials becoming the majority of the workforce, and it's clear that incoming millennials are the workplace learners of the current time. Yes I know that there are 3 (0r 4) generations in the workplace at the moment but the boomers are on their way out of the workforce, and the Gen X'ers are hitting levels when they don't get to do much learning as they are supposedly good at their jobs already.

So as these are our 'customers' we need to look at the environment that they thrive in.
It is digital, socially networked, mobile and googled!
These learners will not sit in a classroom and be told stuff! They will find out the stuff they need to do the job they want to do. They will use their friends, their peers, their colleagues. They will go to Google, to YouTube to Facebook and Twitter to look for it and the only reason they won't do it on the iPhones is if they have Droids!

One of the people I've learned the most from in my time as a Learning Pro is Thiagi. I've taken his concept of Rapid Instructional Design (well I learned it from him so I'm crediting him) and boiled it down to what I refer to as "The Lazy Trainer' method.  Rather than have an instructional designer spend hours prizing knowledge from a SME to boil it down into small chunks to create courseware so a learner can learn some of what the ID thinks the SME uses to do the job, just set the learners loose on the SME and tell them to get the information for themselves.

Millennials are self-directed, self starting, social learning machines.
Let's get out of their way and let them do it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

More predictions for 2012

My inbox this morning contained a link to the January edition of CLO magazine. (OK I know I'm not a Chief Learning Officer....Yet!) There were some great articles including one by Bob Mosher on context and Marcus Buckingham selling his latest 'Strengths' book Standout. But the one that caught my eye was the 'A Look Ahead at Learning in 2012'  there seems to be a theme here!
Being CLO magazine their survey was of CLOs and there seems to be a bit of a turning point going on and it's not a good one.  According to their survey only 44% have a 'more optimistic' outlook for employee training & development in 2012. Down from 59% in the last 2 years.
the good news is that CLOs believe that their training will be more aligned with company objectives. If we as Learning & development people are to deserve the famous 'seat at the table' we had better ensure that what we are doing is aligned with what the rest of the business is aiming for.
One other nugget is that 'Informal learning' topped the 'Activities expected to have the most impact in 2012' list. I recall sitting in on a CCASTD meeting on informal learning earlier this year. When I suggested that if 80% of the learning in an organization is informal maybe that's where we should spend 80% of our money I felt the pressure in the room drop as 30 instructional designers and facilitators all took a sudden deep gasp of air! 
Must remember when to use my inside voice and my outside voice.
Happy Learning

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Something else from the Bersin Predictions

I promised in my Looking Forwards blog post that I'd share some other gems.
One thing that struck me was the the bullet point within their final prediction 'Talent Management Software Market: Growth, Convergence and Disruption'. The bullet was that their is interest in Single Vendor Solutions.  It said that almost 40% of the companies they surveyed were willing to sacrifice functionality for a single vendor solution.
Now as my paychecks arrive from SumTotal I have to declare that this is not an unbiased viewpoint. I know that we claim to be one of the few companies that can offer the whole suite, from soup to nuts, or maybe in the TM world from recruitment, through performance and learning management through to benefits. Coming from the HR / Payroll company that was called Accero prior to being acquired by Sumtotal I am seeing first hand the steps being taken to integrate one system into another. From my time on the client side I've seen how annoying it can be when one system does not talk to another. Building links between them takes time and energy and if those links break there is the support issue of neither supplier taking on responsibility. As such I understand the business need for single vendor solutions.

As a learning professional I'd love to have a system that shows me the competency gaps in my organisation, and allows me to automatically assign learning inside my LMS to the best candidates to close those gaps.
Is that asking too much?