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2010 Workplace Learning Strategic Predictions:

What are your unscientific predictions (opinions) regarding workplace learning in 2010. Here are mine - please disagree - it helps me learn!

1. "Free Training" will be an intentional component of business initiatives

2. Performance by the learner (i.e. impact of learning) will be an increasingly intentional component of the compensation for training organizations

3. We will intentionally "fail to harness" informal learning

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1. I believe that "On-demand" training will eventually be a cost-effective option eventually. In some cases, that could be free, but the model of having "training and support" as a revenue stream is a good sales strategy. As such, I'm not sure it's going to change that quickly.

2. $ will not be spent on training unless there are meaningful metrics in place. If you don't have these built into your programs, you're going to need to greatly enhance your sales and marketing programs.

3. Facilitated learning will be a growing strategy. Tactics should be in place to allow informal learning, so it cannot be ignored. Attempting to "control" it would be insane, since it is on-demand and non-linear by nature.
Good thought starters, Paul.

1. No opinion, but I'm interested in others' thoughts so I'll stay tuned.

2. Agree. I am seeing this line of questioning more and more. The demand for proof of impact will become more pervasive and I think everyone on both sides of the podium will agree that this is a healthy thing. Kirkpatrick's model has been in place a long time, so we're overdue on this.

3. Agree. The "wait and see" crowd are quickly becoming the "left behind" crowd. What the industry needs is a standardized ROI model and effectiveness metric (Kirkpatrick 2.0 maybe?) so the case can be made and can be more streamlined.
Unscientific observations on your 2010 predictions for workplace learning:

1. Still unclear about the definition of "free training". However more than ever training providers will be required to establish their bona-fides prior to getting hired. This may require giving away some content or free proof of concept sessions. References alone will no longer suffice.

2. "Pay for Performance" now there is a novel idea - sorry for the sarcasm. I would hope that this become an larger part of the the decision-making process. It would certainly go a long way to cleaning up the training industry. A lot of the Dr. Free Good operations would be unable to compete and that would be a good thing.

3. Why would you want to "harness" informal learning? In fact if you did harness it, it would no longer be informal. Observe it and learn from it in order to improve formal learning but let's not mess with it.
1. Not sure what you mean by "free" training. Will trainers be doing the work for free?
2. I'm not sure companies are this savvy to actually do this. Training, for most companies, is an afterthought or a reaction to a particular problem that is biting them in the butt.
3. I think this is true although informal learning will take place anyway.
One of the big things that will be happening in the informal learning and formal learning is the Social Media aspect. Whether it is with Relational Onboarding or user generated training material it will become a large portion of any type of communication and training. Those who have the information will be able to share it in real time and new hires will be more connected to the organization than ever before.
1. I am skeptical of the impact of "free training." So much self-promotion has been touted as "free training," that it is becoming difficult to sell "free." Also, I think more and more people are recognizing that there is always a cost, even with "free." That cost is the implementation cost, or the learning curve to competence. It is often less expensive to hire the expert to teach you quickly how to do it right, and reap the rewards from your market place in increased sales, customer loyalty or profitability.
2. So what is new about this? Just kidding. I "lost" an opportunity last week because the prospective client did not want to discuss his objectives for the training, the behaviors he wanted to change, or how to measure the results. He just wanted the "quote," so he could make the decision based on e-mailed pricing. There still seem to be organization executives who see training as events that "somehow" produce results, so let's get the lowest cost provider. I agree, however, that it is difficult to persuade a serious prospect without some way to measure results as it will impact his business. I'm still concerned about being compensated for results because of the variables that I cannot control.
3. I'm not sure what you mean about "fail to harness." Pat made a good point: If we "harness" it do we destroy the effectiveness of informal learning? There is probably opportunity in finding ways to identify informal learning and to make it a part of the formal process, or at least capture it. This is too simplistic, but maybe it is like an "internal blog," or a "best practices" document.

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