||January 31, 2003|
||Happy New Year!
You signed up to receive sporadic email from Internet Time Group. This is
person-to-person, how-Jay-really-feels sort of stuff. Forgive the typos and
My predictions for 2004: Conflict in the Middle East, Taxes Rise, Time Flies,
Entropy Increases, Shit Happens, Study finds "There's No Free Lunch," and
consumers ask "What's in it for me?"
If you want to tackle something tougher, try looking at 2014. You need to
divorce yourself from the present to get there. That's the role of scenario
planning, a discipline for looking way out there.
The Edinburgh Scenarios focus on eLearning circa 2014.
You're invited to take part. I'll be co-hosting a free webinar on the Edinburgh
Scenarios the morning of January 20. eLearning Forum will take them as their
January focus. I hope you'll share my enthusiasm for brainstorming the
possibilities and shaping our vision of the future. Monitor internettime.com for
announcements and invitations. Since Scottish Enterprise is sponsoring the
scenario project, some participants will win wool and whisky.
-- Does It Matter?
My eBook on measuring the value of eLearning has met with mixed reviews. A KM
guru I truly respect wrote me, "I love this book! You have both the sizzle and
the steak. Great style, great look, great content." Another industry leader
emailed me, "Can't imagine anything I'd add or change ... for anyone looking for
a real understanding of ROI, as well as various ways to calculate their return,
this is the best A-Z guide I have read. And you hit the nail on the head ...
it's ultimately about performance and the cost of improving performance." The
only other comment I received was a consultant writing a book on performance
evaluation who said, "I found it to be mostly a essay on various miscellaneous
metrics topics, but it was not very useful. There was a lot on what shouldn't be
done and the weaknesses of existing metrics, but not much on WHAT SHOULD BE
You can order Metrics for $25 and see for yourself.
How to Order...
| || |
I enjoy reading the New York Times and the content it pushes
at me. On the other hand, I prefer picking and choosing websites to catch up
with rather than overloading my inbox with their email alerts. I go to sites
that exert the strongest pull on me at the time. I asked a
fellow at eLearning Producer how I could improve my blogs; he told me to add
more push. Okay. (This is for you, my friend.)
I'll continue to send out sporadic emails, but if you want to keep up with my
doings, or lots of blogs and news items, on your own schedule, you really need
to get into RSS. Syndication. RSS ("Really Simple Syndication") lets you
to sift though an amazing amount of information, only drilling down to detail
when you are interested. A free program called BlogExpress shows me the
headlines and a teaser from several dozen blogs I enjoy keeping up with. If I
see something I like, I click for more. Bloglines, a free hosted service, tracks
more obscure things for me. It alerts me to items that mention Workflow+Learning
or Internet+TIme+Group. Take it from me, this is simple. Go to
Edu_RSS to get a feel for what
I'm talking about.
The 20/80 Rule
On Learning Circuits Blog last
month, Sam Adkins posted an item entitled "We are the Problem. We are Selling
Snake Oil," that declared that Training doesn't work, eLearning doesn't work,
Blended leanring doesn't work, KM doesn't work." (Disclaimer:
Sam and I are co-founders of the Workflow Institute.) Sam
expected to start a debate, but instead he began a movement. His article was
emailed far and wide. A record number of people responded on the Leanring
Circuits blog. Few disagreed that learning and KM were out of touch with the
requirements of business.
This lit up my cerebral panels. If Sturgeon's Law ("90% of everything is
crap") applies to learning, isn't it time to take out the garbage? If lectures,
courses, shovelware, PowerPoints, and assorted chrome aren't doing the job,
let's flush 'em down the toilet. We can simplify our lives and improve out
reputations by eradicating exercises that are irrelevant, unclear, poorly
packaged, dogmatic, boring, unsupported, or not engaging.
We would become champions of purposeful learning that works. I imagine we'd
be promoting discovery learning: watching others, solving problems, creating
one's own vision, picking things up from others, and taking time to reflect.
Conversation, dialog, and debate are great teachers. We'd make learning part and
parcel of figuring things out, from Googling an answer to being prompted by a
smart system. Teaching others works because it requires reflection and making
our own connections. Storytelling works because our internal storytellers create
our own private versions that relate to what we already know and believe.
If not now, when? If not us, who?
Workflow InstituteSam Adkins and I have opened the Workflow Institute to promote the
understanding of real-time enterprise-level learning in industry and government.
We're giving presentations, writing white papers, helping vendors educate their
customers, and providing a news feed on the convergence of learning and
We're experiencing some pushback from people who think Sam and I are calling
for turning ALL training into some Orwellian nightmare. For example, Stephen
"Honestly, if it's all about productivity, I want to pack up my computer and
take up a new line of work. These predictions by Sam S. Adkins of the Workflow
Institute seem well grounded, but they miss the wonderment that defines real
change. 'Enterprise Application Integration accelerates.' Yawn. 'Productivity
gains from new mobile technology explode.' Sigh. Where's the motivation, the
urgency? He could have written all his predictions in one line: online learning
will continue to be commodified and co-opted. Is all this what people really
want out of our great new internet?"
No, we're not saying Workflow Learning is all people want out of the
Internet. We are predicting a new era in corporate training fostered by
enterprise application integration, web services, contextual collaboration, and
learning at the point of need. The motivation and urgency come from replacing
lackluster, ineffective training programs with something more effective and less
expensive. Our vision is new, so we're groping along with too many four-syllable
words and three-letter acronyms. Yawn. Co-opted? C'mon. Sam and I are trying to
share some good news, not commodify our life's work.
Rendezvous in Q1?
You'll find me at:
- Collaborative Learning, online,
- Webinar with GBN on Scenario Planning, January 20
- eLearning Forum, Scenario
Planning, January 27
- ASTD TechKnowledge, Anaheim,
Ediburgh, February 18-19
- eLearning Forum, Open Source, February 25
- eLearning Forum, Advanced Learning Technology, March 19
If you value your privacy, please follow my example by running AdAware and
Spybot to kill off the spyware villains installed on your computer when you
weren't looking. (Download these from tucows.com or download.com.) And don't tap
anything into a computer at a cybercafe or at a conference's free email
stations: they're probably sending your every keystroke to some dubious
Change your passwords. Frequently. And don't be stupid. Somewhere this year I
read about a scheme that could crack into the systems of most major
corporations. Bait senior executives with a free, high-quality porn site. Most
of those who sign up will use their single, all-purpose passwords. Use those
passwords to access their corporate accounts. Could this happen to you?
All the best!
Internet Time Group
email: [email protected]