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This discussion has a series of "large questions for the training industry."

 

-What is the career path for the CLO?

-Do you think the training industry has a "blind spot?

-2009 Social Media Trends - what is your opinion on what this means to our industry?

-What innovation do you expect will gain widespread acceptance by the workplace learning community in the next 10 years?

-What is the impact of time, money, access and credibility to your learning preferences? (elaboration immediatey below)

 

If time, money, access and credibility were not in question - which of these methods would be your preferred method of learning:

Classroom
Online via an LMS (Learning Management System)
Online via other means (e.g. Google, LinkedIn, Wikipedia, You-Tube, Social Communities, etc.)
Conversation with a friend

Since time. money, access and credibility are in question which of these methods is most likely to be the one you use most often in the future when you need to learn something?

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Thank you. I posted this question in several forums (including one that is not specific to the training industry.) The consensus about the blind spot (most of you identified it) is that:

"We have lost sight of the learner."

Certainly we try to see them. Ironically the early attempts at video based e-learning were focused on the "talking head." Since then I have asked many training professionals and learners what they thought was important in terms of how people learn:

1. Learners "seeing" the instructor and asking questions to the instructor
2. Instructor "seeing" the learners and asking questions to the learners
3. Learners "seeing" each other and asking each other questions

Now if we observe (i.e. remove our blinders:)

Which do you think is actually done most often?
Which do you prefer?
Which do you think is the most effective?
Which is the most difficult to track to provide ROI, root cause analysis and hard metrics?
Which does social learning address the best?


Paul Terlemezian said:
Do you think our industry has a "blind spot?"

Most of us have an opinion about what the automotive, newspaper and mortgage industries seemed unable or unwilling to fix. What about our industry? Are we doing everything right? Is there a common area that people outside our industry can see that we are unable or unwilling to fix from within?
Today I read an article titled: 11 Questions every CIO should ask their IT Manager. My observations of CIO's has helped me to learn that they face similar challenges to those that the CLO faces., so:

I have created questions that are analagous to what a CLO might ask their training manager:

1. Who is making our training decisions?
2. What are we doing to control costs?
3. How many licenses (e.g. LMS, collaborative learning) do we have?
4. Are we using training industry standards?
5. Are we using open learning tools and content?
6. What are we doing to improve the utilization of our existing licenses, classrooms and instructors?
7. Are we using social learning tools and concepts?
8. What will it cost us to migrate from our existing investments?
9. How can we improve our management efficiency?
10. What can be done to improve the management of our inventory?
11. How can we reduce our operational costs?

Does this list surprise you in any way?
Does it reveal a blind spot?
Is it simply a reflection of the "reality of the times?"
I guess it all depends on what is meant by training. It is such a broad church!

Many eLearning providers produce practical training courses that demonstrate exactly how something should be done and even has checks and balances in place so that someone is not able to "move on" to the next stage until they are able to demonstrate that they have properly understood and learned the current stage. The downside with eLearning is that if a procedure is changed within a business, then the course may need to be tweaked, which impacts the upfront investment element.

Classroom based learning is still preferred by many, is adaptable, however relies on tests and exams to prove understanding, which can be a little more formal and requires another level of organisation.

I would agree that many educationalists can be too practical, however I would make the distinction between trainers and, for example, lecturers, who predominantly focus upon the theoretical elements of subject matter, which, although interesting, are often of little practical use to a school or university leaver. As a marketer leaving university 16 years ago (was it really that long ago! :-s ), understanding Ansoff and Porter did little to help me to undertake research involving conjoint analysis. I had to go through a whole new learning curve.

A friend of mine has just finished at Uni and just missed out on a 2:1 degree in History. He is a very bright 21 year old man, however his literacy is truly appalling. I think people must measure educational standards differently nowadays, however I would never give this guy a job checking, let alone writing copy.

I think that there is an ideal state for many trainers, myself included, namely where training becomes coaching which possibly also becomes consultancy. I see a natural transition between the three. Getting businesses to accept this model can be challenging, however I have attempted a 'risk and reward' proposition before with a small business, whereby they wouldn't pay me for my services in exchange for a shareholding & executive directorship upon successful attainment of goals. I think this was a leap too far for them at at the time. Who knows? We could have all been multi-millionaires by now. ;-)

For me, the current blind spot with training comes down to the individual trainers. The people I have learned most from in life haven't necessarily known most about their subject matters, however have been extremely exciting and engaging. It is very difficult to draw these types of people into teaching because the pay is so poor, which is such a shame.

Within the training industry in the UK, another problem is the lack of training qualifications required to deliver training, which I understand is something that the industry is looking to tackle in the coming years. Many trainers are engaging and entertaining (although many 'jobbing' trainers are not!), however some are simply obsessed with the sound of their own voices (we can all be guilty of that from time to time, myself included!) and fail to observe the pedagogic & learning requirements of successful training. This balance is something I work very hard to maintain.

Ian Williams
+44 (0) 7962 058123
ian@jerichotraining.com
Website: http://www.jerichotraining.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/jerichotraining
Blog: http://jerichotraining.blogspot.com
Skype:

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Paul Terlemezian said:
Do you think our industry has a "blind spot?"
Most of us have an opinion about what the automotive, newspaper and mortgage industries seemed unable or unwilling to fix. What about our industry? Are we doing everything right? Is there a common area that people outside our industry can see that we are unable or unwilling to fix from within?
What recommendations would you make to someone about to organize and run an unconference?

Are there any tools that you would recommend - why? What have you learned from running an unconference that you would do differently next time? How did you prepare the attendees? How did you support the facilitators? How did you measure results? Thank you.
CLO Magazine posted an article today:

Strategy Expired: Updating Management for the 21st Century

http://www.clomedia.com/executive-briefings/2010/May/2940/index.php
Visit Chief Learning Officer magazine at http://www.clomedia.com/

The article asserts: "CLOs also should groom leaders to be more comfortable with uncertainty and to be able to make decisions amid ambiguity"

What is the growth path for the CLO?

 

I have been asking this question and most people think that there is no growth path for the CLO.

 

I think they should be candidates to be the CEO of their company or the CEO of a Training Industry company.

 

What do you think?

Preferred method: Classroom

 

In future, mix of classroom and online resources.

Companies are starting to understand the importance of training, but are still reluctant to do so.   When they see that statistics of younger people having a dozen jobs by age 30, they don't want to invest in people who will likely leave.  They say, "What if I train them and they leave?"  My response is, "What if you don't train them and they stay?"

 

In response to the learning, I would say from a friend in a classroom.

The type of work we do can be supplemented by web based learning, but ultimately, the need for human interaction both peer to peer and one on one coaching is vital to creating true behavioral changes.  I feel like a salmon.  The HR people I talk to want it cheap and down and dirty and easy.  I'm afraid what we do can't be done that way.

 

Brent, I have been fond of saying the following to get a laugh - but I think it is true. CEO's (top executives) make business decisions for three reasons - 1. to make money 2. to save money 3. to stay out of jail (this one usually gets the laugh)

 

If training is mandated (by courts or laws or industry standards) then we help the CEO "stay out of jail."

If we are willing to be held accountable for revenue production (i.e. make money) without putting ourselves in jail then we can appeal to the make money "mandate." Most training companies and HR Departments are unwilling/unable to commit to revenue so - that leaves one choice most of the time - you guessed it - save money!

 

We'll be stuck with this for quite a while yet - I am afraid - until we can turn the industry perception around by focusing on revenue impact - and proving it.

Brent Darnell said:

The type of work we do can be supplemented by web based learning, but ultimately, the need for human interaction both peer to peer and one on one coaching is vital to creating true behavioral changes.  I feel like a salmon.  The HR people I talk to want it cheap and down and dirty and easy.  I'm afraid what we do can't be done that way.

 

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