Making a Space for Disruption

December 28, 2007

Did you notice that no one’s really calling themselves an LMS company anymore? If you use the Wayback Machine to analyze familiar LMS systems, you’d see a transition from standalone e-learning courses to learning management systems to added LMS functionality like authoring tools, learning content management systems, synchronous training platforms, and then to the convergence of learning management with talent and performance management. Most companies are now calling themselves something more than just an LMS company- the LMS is just part of a suite. The first chart below is adapted from one by Bryan Chapman and illustrates the learning & talent management convergence.
lms_tm.jpg

In addition to the convergence of learning management and talent management systems, we’ve got this disruptive technology thing going on. (and I do realize that e-learning was very disruptive…)

However, I find myself having two entirely different conversations with people…

One conversation will be about creating tracking workers’ competencies, addressing skills gaps, managing the pre-hire to retire cycle, developing learning plans, and matching gaps to learning interventions. And it will likely flow into discussion around labor shortages, boomer retirements, skills of new workers, etc.

The other conversation will be about collaboration and connections – how to use wikis, blogs, social networks, virtual worlds, etc. and it will likely flow into discussions around control and culture. We’ll talk about open vs. closed, pull vs. push, hosted vs. installed, generational issues in learning, and how to manage change.

Take a look at this second chart, below, which illustrates e-learning 1.0 and e-learning 2.0. If you combined the two charts you’d have 3 little galaxies…LMS converging with talent management and LMS (e-learning 1.0) converging with disruptive technologies. What’s a learning professional to do?

disruptive.jpg

Is this familiar?

  • Joe is retiring; Julie is a college graduate just starting her job
  • Joe has a boatload of knowledge; Julie has limited knowledge of the job
  • Joe is an exemplary worker and is the model for creating competencies; Julie gets a learning plan based on the model
  • The learning plan was created and includes online courses, face-to-face instruction, webinars, tutorials, reading, and periodic mentoring by her supervisor.

Meanwhile…

  • Julie completes everything in her plan…(oh no, now what?)
  • Julie wants connections and to be connected, experiential learning, interaction, and feedback from Joe (and others) before he retires
  • Julie starts to look for another job…

But wait…like superman the training dept….

  • provides avenues for online social networking (public or add-on to LMS)
  • has Joe and Julie work together in a Wiki (public or private)
  • blends learning methods & delivery channels
  • provides a repository of learning assets that Julie can choose from
  • provides access to the Internet

The difference here is about making a space for disruption. Often, an organization will not adopt disruptive technologies because they don’t think they are as good as what they already have. Or they’re too new, too small. Take VoIP as an example. I use Skype almost exclusively but fall back on the land line if it gets really funky. But I am creating a space for it. I don’t want to be the one holding the telegraph…

I don’t think we need two conversations.

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com/tomwerner Tom Werner

    Janet, great charts and great observations.

    I have to say that I’d be curious to know whether training departments (to use the old lingo) are getting more involved with HR-ish type issues like compensation management and talent acquisition.

    In other words, does the evolution of LMS systems into talent management systems reflect (a) training departments getting more involved in traditional HR issues or (b) the LMS vendors casting a wider net beyond training departments?

    Or, put another way, are the talent-management vendors selling to trainers who now have broader HR interests… or, are the talent-management vendors selling to HR departments with the thought that the trainers will use the training modules, the compensation people will use the comp module, etc.?

    Interesting…

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com/tomwerner Tom Werner

    Janet, great charts and great observations.

    I have to say that I’d be curious to know whether training departments (to use the old lingo) are getting more involved with HR-ish type issues like compensation management and talent acquisition.

    In other words, does the evolution of LMS systems into talent management systems reflect (a) training departments getting more involved in traditional HR issues or (b) the LMS vendors casting a wider net beyond training departments?

    Or, put another way, are the talent-management vendors selling to trainers who now have broader HR interests… or, are the talent-management vendors selling to HR departments with the thought that the trainers will use the training modules, the compensation people will use the comp module, etc.?

    Interesting…

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com/tomwerner Tom Werner

    Janet, great charts and great observations.

    I have to say that I’d be curious to know whether training departments (to use the old lingo) are getting more involved with HR-ish type issues like compensation management and talent acquisition.

    In other words, does the evolution of LMS systems into talent management systems reflect (a) training departments getting more involved in traditional HR issues or (b) the LMS vendors casting a wider net beyond training departments?

    Or, put another way, are the talent-management vendors selling to trainers who now have broader HR interests… or, are the talent-management vendors selling to HR departments with the thought that the trainers will use the training modules, the compensation people will use the comp module, etc.?

    Interesting…

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com Janet Clarey

    Re: “are the talent-management vendors selling to trainers who now have broader HR interests… or, are the talent-management vendors selling to HR departments with the thought that the trainers will use the training modules…”

    My answer: yes. both. And it can lead to an HR dept with a training problem or a training dept with an HR problem. This is where the SaaS model comes in to play…

    One example of the problem is this: at the point of implementation of Phase 3 of a system (1-LMS, 2-LCMS, 3-Talent Management) the training dept. learns the HR dept. has been working on its own implementation of a new compensation system. The compensation system feeds into the performance management system and wasn’t compatible with the new talent management system. Yuk. Normally compensation types wouldn’t have to work directly with training types…

    All that is changing…I think this is where traditional organizational hierarchy is a problem. Silos create this type of problem. You can be working on making fire all year…only to find out that the guy down the hall is making the same type of fire. I think the key is to get the hub – IT – involved in the process early – even if the system is hosted. That and, have lunch with people from outside your department.

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  • http://www.daveswhiteboard.com/ Dave Ferguson

    “…That, and have lunch with people from outside your department…”

    In a collection of nonfiction I received for Christmas, I came across Six Degrees of Lois Weisberg, by Malcolm Gladwell.

    Gladwell starts with Weisberg, moves to Kevin Bacon, pointing out that it’s even easier to connect an actor with Burgess Meredith than with Bacon.

    Burgess Meredith was the kind of actor who was connected to everyone because he managed to move up and down and back and forth among all the different worlds and subcultures that the acting profession has to offer. When we say, then, that Lois Weisberg is the kind of person who “knows everyone,” we mean it in precisely this way. It is not merely that she knows lots of people. It is that she belongs to lots of different worlds.

    That’s a real benefit of eating lunch outside your department or your usual group — and probably one of the less-obvious benefits of connecting with others virtually through blogs, email, and so forth.

    That’s different from but not opposed to your point about involving IT (within an organization). As I write this, though, I’m thinking we each become a hub within our own network — and can profit from being mindful of that.

  • http://www.daveswhiteboard.com/ Dave Ferguson

    “…That, and have lunch with people from outside your department…”

    In a collection of nonfiction I received for Christmas, I came across Six Degrees of Lois Weisberg, by Malcolm Gladwell.

    Gladwell starts with Weisberg, moves to Kevin Bacon, pointing out that it’s even easier to connect an actor with Burgess Meredith than with Bacon.

    Burgess Meredith was the kind of actor who was connected to everyone because he managed to move up and down and back and forth among all the different worlds and subcultures that the acting profession has to offer. When we say, then, that Lois Weisberg is the kind of person who “knows everyone,” we mean it in precisely this way. It is not merely that she knows lots of people. It is that she belongs to lots of different worlds.

    That’s a real benefit of eating lunch outside your department or your usual group — and probably one of the less-obvious benefits of connecting with others virtually through blogs, email, and so forth.

    That’s different from but not opposed to your point about involving IT (within an organization). As I write this, though, I’m thinking we each become a hub within our own network — and can profit from being mindful of that.

  • http://www.daveswhiteboard.com Dave Ferguson

    “…That, and have lunch with people from outside your department…”

    In a collection of nonfiction I received for Christmas, I came across Six Degrees of Lois Weisberg, by Malcolm Gladwell.

    Gladwell starts with Weisberg, moves to Kevin Bacon, pointing out that it’s even easier to connect an actor with Burgess Meredith than with Bacon.

    Burgess Meredith was the kind of actor who was connected to everyone because he managed to move up and down and back and forth among all the different worlds and subcultures that the acting profession has to offer. When we say, then, that Lois Weisberg is the kind of person who “knows everyone,” we mean it in precisely this way. It is not merely that she knows lots of people. It is that she belongs to lots of different worlds.

    That’s a real benefit of eating lunch outside your department or your usual group — and probably one of the less-obvious benefits of connecting with others virtually through blogs, email, and so forth.

    That’s different from but not opposed to your point about involving IT (within an organization). As I write this, though, I’m thinking we each become a hub within our own network — and can profit from being mindful of that.

  • Michael Maier

    This is a useful read on Social Networks and how they function.
    Social Networks And Group Formation

    Theoretical Concepts to Leverage
    by Shiv Singh

  • Michael Maier

    This is a useful read on Social Networks and how they function.
    Social Networks And Group Formation

    Theoretical Concepts to Leverage
    by Shiv Singh

  • Michael Maier

    This is a useful read on Social Networks and how they function.
    Social Networks And Group Formation

    Theoretical Concepts to Leverage
    by Shiv Singh

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com/ Janet Clarey

    Thanks Dave. Sounds like an interesting book. I’ll have to put it on my reading list.

    I’m reasonably certain that I don’t belong to enough ‘worlds’…apparently my kids are already aware of this since they often say, “you don’t know everything!”

    Seriously, there have been time periods in my life where I have gotten so caught up in communicating electronically that I lost site of the value of eating lunch with someone outside my world.

    I strongly believe in the idea of becoming a hub and that suggests ‘knowing everything.’

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com/ Janet Clarey

    Thanks Dave. Sounds like an interesting book. I’ll have to put it on my reading list.

    I’m reasonably certain that I don’t belong to enough ‘worlds’…apparently my kids are already aware of this since they often say, “you don’t know everything!”

    Seriously, there have been time periods in my life where I have gotten so caught up in communicating electronically that I lost site of the value of eating lunch with someone outside my world.

    I strongly believe in the idea of becoming a hub and that suggests ‘knowing everything.’

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com Janet Clarey

    Thanks Dave. Sounds like an interesting book. I’ll have to put it on my reading list.

    I’m reasonably certain that I don’t belong to enough ‘worlds’…apparently my kids are already aware of this since they often say, “you don’t know everything!”

    Seriously, there have been time periods in my life where I have gotten so caught up in communicating electronically that I lost site of the value of eating lunch with someone outside my world.

    I strongly believe in the idea of becoming a hub and that suggests ‘knowing everything.’

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com/ Janet Clarey

    Thanks so much for the link Michael. I marked it to read in depth (actually the whole series). I did notice quote from the first paragraph which supports what Dave is saying…we’ll call it the ‘Burgess’ factor…”Know-who information rather than know-what, know-how or know-why information has become most crucial.”

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com/ Janet Clarey

    Thanks so much for the link Michael. I marked it to read in depth (actually the whole series). I did notice quote from the first paragraph which supports what Dave is saying…we’ll call it the ‘Burgess’ factor…”Know-who information rather than know-what, know-how or know-why information has become most crucial.”

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com Janet Clarey

    Thanks so much for the link Michael. I marked it to read in depth (actually the whole series). I did notice quote from the first paragraph which supports what Dave is saying…we’ll call it the ‘Burgess’ factor…”Know-who information rather than know-what, know-how or know-why information has become most crucial.”

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com/ Janet Clarey

    Re: “are the talent-management vendors selling to trainers who now have broader HR interests… or, are the talent-management vendors selling to HR departments with the thought that the trainers will use the training modules…”

    My answer: yes. both. And it can lead to an HR dept with a training problem or a training dept with an HR problem. This is where the SaaS model comes in to play…

    One example of the problem is this: at the point of implementation of Phase 3 of a system (1-LMS, 2-LCMS, 3-Talent Management) the training dept. learns the HR dept. has been working on its own implementation of a new compensation system. The compensation system feeds into the performance management system and wasn't compatible with the new talent management system. Yuk. Normally compensation types wouldn't have to work directly with training types…

    All that is changing…I think this is where traditional organizational hierarchy is a problem. Silos create this type of problem. You can be working on making fire all year…only to find out that the guy down the hall is making the same type of fire. I think the key is to get the hub – IT – involved in the process early – even if the system is hosted. That and, have lunch with people from outside your department.

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