I’ve been in this field many more years than I’m willing to admit. And each year something is the NEXT BIG THING. You know – total disruption.
And every year, I sit and wait. And wait.
Truth is, there are more and more tools to do more and more stuff. But yet, we still need to hit deadlines, and few of us have the luxury to play with the new toys to get up to speed on them. And so year after year, I watch the hype over the next big thing come and go. Let’s list them in no particular order, shall we?
- eLearning (ok, that was a big one),
- mobile learning,
- AR (augmented reality),
- VR (virtual reality),
- Performance support only
- Virtual training (ok, this was a big one too)
- Video learning
- Social learning
- ooohh…who remembers the Social LMS????
- Blended learning
- Design thinking
- Flipped classrooms
- yada, yada, yada…
See what I mean? Yes, these are all new tools in our arsenal. But let’s focus on the reality. We are humans trying to teach humans. And that means we need to connect with each other. Humans have an astonishing ability to connect with others, as you can see by the list above. But none of these are the be-all and end-all for Learning and Development or Training or Talent Development or whatever you want to call us.
So, rather than always chasing after the newest shiny toy hoping it will solve all of your problems, define your problems. Define the causes, the players, the systems, the processes, the culture, the everything. Fix as many of the causes, systems, processes, culture, everything you can without training.
Then, AND ONLY THEN, do you get to look at the latest shiny toy. And you know what? Most of the time a simple communication will solve your problem. Because at the heart of it all, that’s what most of us want. To connect with others, to communicate with them, to listen and to be heard.
Try it and tell me what you think.