Must reads from July 2014

stone-figure-10541_640Every day I receive hundreds of new posts and articles in my Feedly stream. I can’t read them all from beginning to end, so I scan the headlines for those that are “clickworthy”, then I skim those articles to see if they contain anything of real value for me, and if so, I go back and read them fully. Finally, if  I consider any of them “tweetworthy”,  i.e. I want to share them with others, I tweet about them. In July I tweeted over 80 links to great resources, and also stored them here. But if you haven’t got time to read them all, then here’s my pick of the bunch. It was a tough choice as there was lots of really good stuff last month, but once again the theme was very much about change and doing things differently.

(1) The need for change

Right at the beginning of the month, Ethan Edwards asked, Why Do We Continue to Perpetuate and Promote Ineffective E-Learning?

“Following tradition, doing what is recommended by many authoring tools, and patterning one’s work after many examples in the workplace is going to result in pretty ineffective e-learning.”

and Nick Shackleton Jones showed – graphically – what people really think of elearning, in Learning, Listening (7 July)

“I’ve been collecting screencaptures of what people think of elearning for a while. I’ve gathered some of them above .. They tell us how elearning makes people feel (bored, sleepy, like they want to die), they tell us why organisations procure elearning: ‘it’s a week’s worth of school IN A SINGLE DAY’. They tell us that elearning is pretty much as bad as school.”

In Nothing Has Changed. Everything Has Changed (July), Charles Jennings reviews Clark Quinn’s latest book, and includes the results of piece of Corporate Leadership Council research, which found that …

“although participants and their managers report high levels of satisfaction on individual learning interventions, their feedback on the performance of the L&D function as a whole was extremely low.

  • “Only 23% of line leaders report satisfaction with the overall effectiveness of the L&D function”
  • “Only 15% of line leaders report the L&D function is effective in influencing their talent strategy”
  • “Only 14% or line leaders would recommend working with L&D to a colleague”

(2) “Less is more

The “less is more” mantra cropped up a few times this month, in a few relevant articles

In a succinct post, Why less is needed more than ever before, Mindy Jackson (7 July) recommends

“Just-in-time knowledge resources combined with a self-service model is the answer to course content glut.”

In Three Shifts Every Company Should Make to Shape its Learning Culture, the Corporate Executive Board (29 July), recommends that organisations “right size learning opportunities”.

“Unfortunately, employees are now overwhelmed with the available learning opportunities and choices, often failing to identify those relevant to them or take advantage of them. Instead of increasing learning choices, the best organizations limit learning opportunities to only those that are most relevant to employees and impactful for the organization.”

(3) One size doesn’t fit all 

In Preparing your workforce for tomorrow, Harold Jarche (21 July) notes

“Many vendors and training practitioners try to sell one-size-fits-all solutions, but there are no cookie-cutter solutions in the complex domain.”

and asks if we are supporting the entire work-learning spectrum – and offers the following diagram

(4) The changing definition of social 

There were some interesting posts about what the term “social” means, now that we have a range of social tools, and in particular whether it is making us more social or indeed anti-social.

In, Social is being there, Mark Britz (9 July) concludes ..

“Social tools can do much more than connect us to others as sources of knowledge, they can (if we accept it) extend the entirety of our humanity.”

David Kelly reflected on Mark’s post in The Expanding Definition of Social (18 July) and remarked

“Communicating with one another digitally isn’t a distraction from being social, it’s an integral part of what it means to be social in today’s world. It enhances and extends our ability to be social in many ways, and ultimately removes many of the barriers of location from the social landscape.” 

(5) Change isn’t something you do to other people

On the topic of change, I’ll give the last word to Euan Semple (26 July) in Be the change. I’ve paraphrased his thoughts below.

There is much busyness in business around change …  Most of this is displacement activity to avoid actually having to change .. But real change doesn’t happen until you do it.”

My July posts

Here’s a reminder of my own posts in July

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