6 Comments

  1. Excellent piece of work and great to see a clear flow of logic in an industry that seems obsessed with one-shot quick fixes. The recent Harvard article on “The Great Training Robbery” is a case in point. Nothing wrong with their critique of most work-place training, but their solution seems to go no further than “get senior level buy-in”.
    Modern work-place learning needs clarity of thought and a balanced approach. Good work Todd.

    • Wow, thanks very much, Bill. Glad you found our thinking useful. This is a complicated, messy problem and there are no quick, simple fixes. The answers, unfortunately, are much more nuanced than most people would like to believe. The good news is, there are lots of examples of “better” out there now.

  2. Excellent piece of work and great to see a clear flow of logic in an industry that seems obsessed with one-shot quick fixes. The recent Harvard article on “The Great Training Robbery” is a case in point. Nothing wrong with their critique of most work-place training, but their solution seems to go no further than “get senior level buy-in”.
    Modern work-place learning needs clarity of thought and a balanced approach. Good work Todd.

    • Wow, thanks very much, Bill. Glad you found our thinking useful. This is a complicated, messy problem and there are no quick, simple fixes. The answers, unfortunately, are much more nuanced than most people would like to believe. The good news is, there are lots of examples of “better” out there now.

  3. #1 is disingenuous. Employers need to schedule training time, not the employees. Ensuring employees maintain current skills and knowledge is part of their job. To claim that “If they want it, they’ll make the time” is just a dishonest way of pushing it down on the employee. When people are scheduled 110%, there’s no “Work-Life Balance” when the expectation is that employees will take personal time to seek out their own training. I call “Busted” on #1.

  4. Number 2 depends a lot on where you work. I frequently have workers approach me to schedule a computer training class -usually Excel- and upon further questioning, find that they only need the answer to a single, relatively simple question. When I suggest that they could just do a web search for the answer I find they are unfamiliar with using search engines to find learning or they claim they don’t have time. (But they do have time to attend a six-hour class, especially if it’s off-site.)
    Because I work with a number of non-tech people who need to occasionally send an email or fill in a form, and many of these folks grew up before computers were common, I frequently encounter staff who’ve never even owned a computer, or a smartphone for that matter. In this world, it’s a huge mistake to assume that everyone is familiar with microlearning let alone willing to use it. On top of that, some of the companies I work with don’t allow their employees web access at all, as they are still living with the presumption that if someone can access the Web they will spend all day playing games and looking up porn.
    And finally, for some topics. microlearning is simply insufficient or inefficient. I have yet to encounter an effective application of customer service skills training that didn’t involve face-to-face practice. Dealing with an upset, dissatisfied customer is not something you can learn from watching a YouTube video. First, there are too many variables and there is never any one correct answer, and second, clicking on an option in a branching-path scenario is absolutely nothing like looking an angry person in the eye and saying “I’m sorry.”


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