Keynote: Training’s Future with Social Technologies

by Kevin Jones on February 3, 2010

Dave Wilkins’ keynote at Training2010 was amazing.  I got into the auditorium an hour before hand to see if I could help and to save places on the front row to so we could heckle him.  He had me run through the slides of his preso and my reaction was, “It is about time.”  What he says in his presentation is RIGHT ON and has needed to be said for some time in front of a large audience.

The essesence for me was this: Training and Learning folk, you are behind in adopting this.  Either adapt or become less valuable than you are now, if not (personally) extinct.

Here are my rough notes.  Here are his slides.  Some times I forgot to write because he articulated the conundrum the learning community was in so well that I was wrapped up in the presentation.

Here ya go…

Déjà vu – Other industries are going through what learning professionals are going through.  But more about that later.

Scenario #1 – Enterprise software solution or a new product launch.

Social Learning or not?

67% said yes, 33% said no.  Much higher NO than we expected.

Scenario #2 – Workers with specialized expertise on deep, complex and ever-changing subjects all around the country or even the world with social profiles & discussion boards

Gives the Ace Hardware example – 500% ROI in under 6 months, better customer satisfactions, culture of sharing.

Social Learning or not?

93% said yes.

Who owns it?  36% Learning & Dev group, 34% Knowledge Management.  Hmmmm.  Not convinced that you own it, though, eh?

Scenario #3 – Your sales teams needs more information about competitors.  Info might be in the minds of clients and employees.  You have decided to document this infor and examples in a wiki.

Social Learning or not?

88% said yes.

Who owns it?  41% Sales, 23% L&D  So it definately is social learning, but you don’t own it.  Do you see the problem here?

What is the difference between KM, Learning, Document Mngmt, etc?  Is it all in our head?  Good question to ask!

Scenario #4 – As a group, your clients know more about your product or service than you do.  Mining the information is costly. Use message boards to allow them to support each other.

Social Learning or not?

92% yes, 8% no.

Who owns it? 43% was Product group, 20% is L&D.  Same here.  Do we see what is happening?  We agreed that it was Social Learning yet someone else is in charge of it?  Is this a disconnect?

If the organization learns from clients, it is any less valuable than learning that is pushed from the top down?

Corporate walls are melting – deptartments are starting to melt into each other with less ridgid walls.

Teach a man to… teach and you become exponential.

Too many people try to rush in to say, “I want the technology.”

Where do newspaper reporters do?  Interview, write, publish.  What do trainers do?  Same.  What has happened to the newspaper industry.  It is being replaced.  Why?  They are the middle man between content that those who consume.  How is this different from most of the functions of the training department?

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