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Owning the advice, not the decision

August 30, 2012

It must be the full moon.  And the fact that I have been out of the company of like-minded #change11, #cck12, #ds106 and #fslt12 moocers for too long now.  Perhaps #oped12 and #cfhe12 will appreciate this as well…

This week has been one headache after another as I attempt to share what I consider to be expert advice and guidance on the development of competencies for designing, delivering, managing and evaluating e-Learning.  The insights I’ve offered are certainly not ones I created alone.  My advice is synthesized from all of the thought leaders, action leaders, sharers-by-default, pioneers, collaborators, early adopters and just-fed-uppers out there whose personal and professional expertise has been woven into the fabric of my knowledge network over the past three years.

My advice goes something like this: if you want to save a lot of time, money and effort on training design and delivery while continuing to improve performance, you’d better take a closer look at some of these unacceptable habits:

– It’s not okay to procure thousands of dollars worth of courses for individuals whose needs haven’t been analysed and whose current levels of competency are unknown.

– It’s not okay to design courses without documented, measurable performance objectives for the recipients.

– It’s not okay to expect training to compensate for the absence of work descriptions, business processes, standards and feedback.

– It’s not okay to say we “hope” this training intervention is going to work when time, money and energy are at such a premium.

– It’s not okay to use the current economic turmoil and organizational transition to fall back on traditional push training.

– It’s not okay to say “we’re not there yet” when we’re already a decade behind.

– It’s not okay to take baby steps when the walls are on fire.

– It’s not okay to say “I don’t have time”.

– It’s not okay to replace hours of e-boring with avatars and simulations when what people *really* want is timely access to the information to do their jobs.

– It’s not okay to promote an agenda of excellence and participant-centredness one day and then mandate a one-size-fits-all course the next.

Well, the only way that I can actually sleep at night is to make sure the integrity of my advice is sound: well-researched, well-documented and unwavering in its pursuit of excellence rather than lowest common denominator thinking.  After that, the decision lies in the hands of those with an extra decimal place on their paycheques.

Update September 10, 2012: Just discovered how eloquently Harold Jarche makes the elevator pitch for social learning for business.  I am so grateful for his insights and those of our networks.


From → Smarter worker

  1. Amen sista! Wish I could be as upstanding, but I hear you in all kinds of horrible ways. One hand giveth while the other hand taketh away, and both belong to the same person. Still stuck in the muddle through and do the best the system will handle rut, ’cause the best I can is more than what’s wanted 😦 As much as I aspire to the transgressive, with friends and colleagues moving, leaving, or worse (not knowing what the heck’s happening to their jobs), I’m not brave enough to push.
    Keep fighting the good fight. I’ll live vicariously though your valour until I can find some of my own.
    Rock it, Brainy!

    • Thanks so much, Mel, I know it’s a really scary time to consider push-back. Am thankful to Craig, if he’s reading, for the title that kicked this post off today. Keep well and keep using the written word as our greatest weapon, ‘kay?

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