The LEARNNOVATORS team (specifically Santhosh Kumar) asked if I would join them in their Crystal Balling with Learnnovators interview series, and I accepted! They have some really great people on the series, I recommend that you check it out!
The most impressive thing was that they must have studied my whole career history and read my publication list and watched my videos because they came up with a whole set of very pertinent and important questions. I was BLOWN AWAY—completely IMPRESSED! And, given their dedication, I spent a ton of time preparing and answering their questions.
It’s a two part series and here are the links:
Here are some of the quotes they pulled out and/or I’d like to highlight:
Learning is one of the most wondrous, complex, and important areas of human functioning.
The explosion of different learning technologies beyond authoring tools and LMSs is likely to create a wave of innovations in learning.
Data can be good, but also very very bad.
Learning Analytics is poised to cause problems as well. People are measuring all the wrong things. They are measuring what is easy to measure in learning, but not what is important.
We will be bamboozled by vendors who say they are using AI, but are not, or who are using just 1% AI and claiming that their product is AI-based.
Our senior managers don’t understand learning, they think it is easy, so they don’t support L&D like they should.
Because our L&D leaders live in a world where they are not understood, they do stupid stuff like pretending to align learning with business terminology and business-school vibes—forgetting to align first with learning.
We lie to our senior leaders when we show them our learning data—our smile sheets and our attendance data. We then manage toward these superstitious targets, causing a gross loss of effectiveness.
Learning is hard and learning that is focused on work is even harder because our learners have other priorities—so we shouldn’t beat ourselves up too much.
We know from the science of human cognition that when people encounter visual stimuli, their eyes move rapidly from one object to another and back again trying to comprehend what they see. I call this the “eye-path phenomenon.” So, because of this inherent human tendency, we as presenters—as learning designers too!—have to design our presentation slides to align with these eye-path movements.
Organizations now—and even more so in the near future—will use many tools in a Learning-Technology Stack. These will include (1) platforms that offer asynchronous cloud-based learning environments that enable and encourage better learning designs, (2) tools that enable realistic practice in decision-making, (3) tools that reinforce and remind learners, (4) spaced-learning tools, (5) habit-support tools, (6) insight-learning tools (those that enable creative ideation and innovation), et cetera
Learnnovators asked me what I hoped for the learning and development field. Here’s what I said:
Nobody is good at predicting the future, so I will share the vision I hope for. I hope we in learning and development continue to be passionate about helping other people learn and perform at their best. I hope we recognize that we have a responsibility not just to our organizations, but beyond business results to our learners, their coworkers/families/friends, to the community, society, and the environs. I hope we become brilliantly professionalized, having rigorous standards, a well-researched body of knowledge, higher salaries, and career paths beyond L&D. I hope we measure better, using our results to improve what we do. I hope we, more-and-more, take a small-S scientific approach to our practices, doing more A-B testing, compiling a database of meaningful results, building virtuous cycles of continuous improvement. I hope we develop better tools to make building better learning—and better performance—easier and more effective. And I hope we continue to feel good about our contributions to learning. Learning is at the heart of our humanity!