Scenario Learning

In November 1998, I gave a presentation on Learning in 2004 at TechLearn. At the time, 2004 seemed so far away that far-out predictions went unquestioned. Predictions can go astray, I pointed out, quoting:

    H.L. Menken, "For every complex problem, there is a solution that is concise, clear, simple and wrong."

    Decca Records in 1962, "We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out." (Rejecting the Beatles.)

    Jay Cross in 1986: "I think I'll pass." (To then start-up Cisco Systems.)

I described the Scenario Learning I was doing, and my online vehicle, the "Internet Time Machine." (I couldn't stomach the term Scenario Planning. I wasn't planning anything. I was learning about the future.) Michael Porter had said, "Scenarios aim to stretch thinking about the future and widen the range of alternatives considered." That's more what I was after.

I spent six months talking with people, devouring books, and surfing the web. The future became clear. Training was going to follow the same path as e-commerce -- and for the same reasons.

Web services were an obvious direction we were headed:

Some of my predictions were a bit optimistic. (I've been expecting cheap wall-mountable TV for the last 35 years.)

My "vital questions" from five years ago remain unanswered.

Only one of my possiblities for the web has come to pass, and it's pretty primitive.


Posted by Jay Cross at January 1, 2004 07:40 PM | TrackBack
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