let’s continue…present challenges. future predictions

6 12 2006

so in that long post below, i describe 2006 for me as a workplace learning professional and for workplace learning in general.  where does that leave me and the field?

what are the challenges we face heading into 2007?


personally, as i said at the beginning of my first post, i could be down.  this ti
me around, looking for a job has been an exhausting, frustrating, sometimes demeaning process. Keeping a positive attitude and having faith that all will workout for the best in the end have kept me moving forward one day at a time.

learning circuits blog

learning circuits blog has been a blessing.  it’s enabled me to get to know some of the best people in our field and it has been a positive focus for me in between sending out resumes.  we’ve built a solid, foundational readership in the past year and a half, but lcb has struggled a bit to find the way to the next level.  the challenge is to morph into the next generation of resource when no one is really clear what those resources will be.  taking a leadership role in that definition of the next thing is the challenge for lcb.

workplace learning

it seems that the workplace learning field is out of sorts today.  we know our past practices and attitudes just aren’t going to cut it in the work environment of the future, but we’re not certain of where we need to be headed.  part of this is natural due to the huge amount of change society in general is going through today.  part of this is due to a deep down feeling that we might not be totally prepared to  deliver what is expected of us in the near future.  the challenge is to find a way or ways that will allow us to meet expectation with quality and efficiency.  we also need to assure that these new ways help build both our understanding of ourselves and each other and others’ perception of us as professionals

dealing with the  incredibly exciting, mind boggling changes in technology has been a struggle for everyone in every walk of life.  many of our colleagues in learning have chosen thus far to bury their heads in the sand and hope that it will all be easier to grasp in the future.  in some sense, that’s exactly the mission for those of us who are at the front edge of learning technologies – to help our colleagues by finding easy ways to understand the new technology.  on the other hand, technology is not likely to become a one size fits all, no directions required, you already know how to do this environment any time soon.

at the same time, many of us are wading in, shifting paradigms, experimenting with new processes and ideas,  openly questioning our assumptions, challenging each other to change our ways of being.  this is where the hope and challenge lies.  the hope is in that we have people who are stepping foward to take the risk of questioning the status quo, to declare that the emperor has no clothes, to send the sacred cows out to pasture.  the challenge is to find the new way for learning professionals to add value to the enterprise before other equally capable professionals end up meeting the same goals without us.

predictions for 2007

for workplace learning

the storm isn’t over – 2007 will be a year full of tectonic shifts and changing expectations. 

talent managment rules the house – by the end of 2007 the talent management approach to recruiting, learning and development, performance management, leadership development, organizational development and succession management will be the norm in all but smallest organizations and the most recalcitrant among large organizations.

web office tools take the lead – a stumble by microsoft in the area of document compatibility will open the door for one or more of the web office suites to stun everyone by shooting to #1.  placing the cornerstone for ubiquitous online workflows and processes in the near future.

mobile learning goes mainstream – thus far, mobile learning has been a novelty.  but the combination of the introduction of the wireless broadband standard, the emergence of new, powerful and inexpensive handheld devices, and continued acceptance of short, mini-learning events will drive mobile to the forefront of delivery of learning.

rapid leadership development will be mission critical – the retirement of the baby boomers and  management ranks that are not sufficiently prepared for leadership roles leads to a generalized crisis regarding leadership skills.  learning will be expected to solve this problem asap.

"simple" simulations arrive – this is a pure guess, but someone will introduce a line of simulations that are inexpensive, easily distributed to desktop, laptop and mobile devices, and instructionally compelling.  their market penetration will look like the emergence of podcasts in late 2005/early 2006.

outsourcing/offshoring slows already there are signs that outsourcing/offshoring’s honeymoon is coming to an end.  business models and longer range strategic and budgetary considerations are called into question.  resulting in a slowdown of companies shifting competencies outside of the enterprise.

web 2.0 tool makers find their long tails venture capital investment in web 2.0 slows and business models are changed to reflect the fact that most web 2.0 applications can’t support a staff of more than 10-15 employees.  but the great majority of the tools can support 1-5 in a mom and pop set up.

 learning circuits blog

5th anniversary brings new image – our 5th anniversary in April will be marked with a new look and direction that reflects the new understandings about learning and when and how it happens.


working for money – i’ll find work just in time…..



2 responses

7 12 2006
Karl Kapp


I think you are right on the money with the talent management concept. I am finding that more and more of our graduates are entering organizations that value talent and the demand for instructional designers is increasing. I hope that you are right that it takes off by 2007 but I think it might be a little slower.

Coupled with this is the leadership development point that you made. I think our succession planning is a mess. We need rapid development but can someone “rapidly” become a leader…interesting concept.

Also, the beauty of Web 2.0 is the fact that 1-5 moms and dads can do it. I agree, upscaling 2.0, in many cases makes no sense (or dollars)

Thanks for all your work this year on LCB, I think you and Tony really have taken it up a level.

11 12 2006

thanks karl.
regarding rapid leaders, i think the question really is not can someone rapidly become a leader, but who will become a rapid leader. from what i can tell, it’s not going to be an option for many companies. thorough succession planning, early identification of potential leaders and laser beam focused development for those potential leaders will provide competitive advantage for those who implement them.

thanks on lcb. after a year of trying to find a focus that would be appealing to our readers, it’s been wonderful to see the response to the big question. hopefully we’ll be able to build on its success.

happy holidays!

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