March 22, 2010

If I Were a Training Vendor …

Last year, I posted some thoughts on the evolution of the training vendor entitled “An Updated Business Model for Training Vendors“.

This is the bulleted form follow-up to that post.

Formal Learning Thoughts

  • Instructor-led classes are not going away … but don’t make it your only value proposition, make it part of the arsenal
  • How can you package up your ILT into small bite-sized ‘snacks’ (as Martin King suggests)?
  • What used to take 5 days to teach … can it be done differently, incorporating formal, informal and social learning means?
  • eLearning is an important piece to the puzzle … but I don’t want to go to your fancy LMS to take it
  • eLearning also shouldn’t be any longer than one hour these days
  • Are you building formal simulations and beginning to utilize gaming? (I know Koreen Olbrish would want you to)
  • How are you addressing virtual world or virtual ILT delivery?
  • Is all of your formal learning taking too long to develop? If so, and you are spending too much time/money on the design and development costs … maybe you should think about shifting some of your talent to informal or social learning delivery models versus spending so much time, effort and money on the ‘perfect course’ (we don’t care anymore if it’s perfect)

Informal Learning Thoughts

  • Your staff should be allowed to provide their expertise via informal learning approaches such as mentoring, coaching, live webcasts, recorded webinars, etc.
  • Informal learning thrives when experts can repurpose their knowledge in, well … informal ways. Seek out a model that allows this to happen.
  • Do you have an informal content plan? (ie. remember the days when we talked about ‘rapid development’ … well, now we need our content fast and fresh, and delivered in some informal vehicles, so how are you going to provide this?)
  • Work together – why are training vendors so afraid to work together with one another. Form some partnerships, strategic alliances, whatever … it’s hard to find one shop that can do everything for a company, yet informal learning lends itelf so well to this model
  • Books – for those companies that utilize Books 24×7 or Safari Books as their employee ‘bookshelf’ or ‘library’ … find a way in which to repurpose this informal learning investment into your strategy

Social Learning Thoughts

  • Most of you aren’t there yet when it comes to a Social Learning model … but think of it as an extension of Informal Learning. (that should make Lance Dublin happy)
  • You need to utilize the systems and tools of an organization that are already established or about to be, and free your people/staff up to extend the formal and informal learning opportunities via social media, social networking and social collaboration inside of the virtual private network of an organization itself
  • NOTE: like the LMS … we don’t want/need to go to your social systems – please find a way to utilize ours
  • Coach your people that are reticent to ‘social learning’ that it’s not going away, it’s here to stay … and that they need to step up their ‘learning game’ (ie. branch out)

And finally, course-by-course bums in seats modelling is not going to cut it.

Think of it as electricity. When I need it, I turn it on … but it’s always there, reliable and able to transmit light, power, sound and experience with whatever I throw at it.

(and yes, I still hate the word training)

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