Our attitudes about learning seem to slant too far toward numbers & mechanics or too much toward people & relationships; a good balance is rare. In late 1998 we were headed to the numbers extreme. Web-based learning was going to cut costs, eliminate jobs, reduce face-to-face meetings, automate training, and boost ROI. Having found that you can only take that so far until it bites back, in 2003 the pendulum is swinging back into the extreme people-side. The focus is shifting from mechanics to community, connections, collaboration, social software, faith in worker self-determination, mentors, and coaches. In sum, the pendulum is still swinging to extremes and overcorrecting on its return.
Learners weren't being treated as customers fast enough for my taste, so Lance Dublin and I wrote a book about it to try to speed things up. Most organizations have yet to buy into this concept.
No one talked about Web Services in '98, but it was no secret that interoperability based on the notion of XML was on the way.
Well, okay, not all my predictions come true. If you, too, drank the dot-com Kool-Aid, you'll remember when the sky was the limit, Moore's Law applied to everything, and Wired magazine could pass for truth.
Most of my uncertainties in 1998 remain uncertain today:
By now, I expected us to have recruited our corporate "village elders" as mentors.
My vital questions in 1998 were:
Jay in 1998.
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