Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Please check out Marginally Competent in the new digs.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

ILT development times 2007 vs 2010

Bryan Chapman, Chapman Alliance, provides another great research service for the workforce learning professional in reporting development times across ILT and elearning for 2010. Contrasting this with the 2007 report [note you'll need to scroll down for the 2007 data],  I would have thought that we'd see the average flat versus more improve numbers.

In 2007 "average" ILT ratio was 34:1 (low range 10:1 to 72:1) versus in 2010 of 43:1 (low 22:1 to high 82:1). Note that these are development hours needed for one hour of delivery.

So what's up here?
  • Are the training issues tackled in the classroom more complex leading to higher development ratios? 
  • Or staff has been cut and drawn too thin leading to the higher ratio? 
  • Or something else?
BTW - The 2010 survey had nearly 2 x participants than the past survey.

Lessons: Internal groups should be aware of these studies and certainly have some measures in place that track effort and "explain" variances from this data.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dead Ideas

Matt Miller's book, The Tyranny of Dead Ideas, is a great book in framing my thinking about the world. His thesis, framed in both politics and economics, are "dead ideas" hold us hostage. His dead ideas are: our kids will earn ore than we do; free trade is "good" no matter who gets hurt; your company should take care of you; taxes hurt the economy and they're always too high; schools are a local matter and money follows merit. (Miller, pp 8-9) I'll leave it others to debate these dead ideas but think of dead ideas from our nation's past - an economy based upon slavery is moral and that a great democracy can exclude women as voters.

When reading I like to identify what appear to be dead ideas. In the September 13 Bloomberg Businessweek, Out of Work, Not out of Oomph, author Diane Brady questions the long held belief that the impact of long term unemployment may be overstated. The premise is that depression and physical ailments impacts mortality. This research dates back to the 70s and 80s. Brady also questions whether skills erode so quickly. Maybe in some narrow technical fields but with access to blogs, social networks, perhaps not so much. My belief is that social media and the ability to virtually network counter this dead idea. When not engaged in project work in my business, I'm active in professional associations and continuing to develop skills while participating in discussions and other online activities like the eLearning Guild's Online Forums. For me, it's important to maintain skill, engagement with my profession and network. With social media, the cost barriers are very low.

So in learning, are learning styles a dead idea?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Two different views

It's brutal in the job market and ain't so great for those that provide services either. I believe that the job loss in workplace learning will not recover, never, ever. Organizations will look to outside resources (like me) to get the work done project style. This will require different skill sets for those in the corporate side in managing program, projects and contracts. That's my theory.

From the September 2010 Training + Development Intelligence// story, As Future Brightens for Job Seekers, Disturbing Trends Emerge for Trainers, hiring will increase. However, only 11% of respondents described their HR and L&D functions as industry leading.  This is a tremendous lack of confidence in the internal resources in training and developing new hires.  From the September 2010 CLO Magazine, Cushing Anderson in Business Intelligence, When, Why and What to Outsource, we learn that training outsourcing is overall declining. However, when organizations outsource, they outsource "important" functions. For 2011,  81% of companies will hold steady or increase outsource spending. Those outsourced functions are: custom content design, development; training delivery; learning strategy development with program oversight; technology management and reporting and measurement.

The message for me is that internal providers must build credibility and deliver results. If not, there continues to be a willingness to buy.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Those who "click" are promoted?

From a recent Bloomberg Businessweek Etc. Social Studies story, those that click with others are more likely to be more successful in their careers. Psychologist Mark Snyder has dubbed this “high self monitoring,” the ability to adapt one’s personality, behaviors and attitudes to fit in. High self monitors, when pigeon-holed by someone blathering on and on, would find a way to make the conversation meaningful rather than pretending to listen and move on. High self monitors have the ability to ask “who does this situation want me to be, and how can I be that person?” The story mentions several click accelerators with one being proximity and vulnerability by opening up and sharing feelings.

However after reading this I was wondering how will this work in the world of remote workers. As more of us work remotely, will we have the necessary skills to click via the phone, e-mail, IM and other collaboration tools? How will you become open and vulnerable to make those clicking connections across webinars and twitterchats?