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.