Do You Challenge Training Tradition?
At the 2014 Learning Technologies Conference in London, I had dinner with Brian Solis, a well-known digital analyst and keynote speaker. Brian is the principal at Altimeter Group, a research and advisory firm, and author of the bestselling books The End of Business as Usual, Engage! and What’s the Future of Business?
Amidst an impassioned discussion about the future of the learning industry, Brian mentioned that he works in the area of “disruptive technology.” Of course, I asked him what that meant, and he responded that it is technology that disrupts the status quo. While disruption often is viewed as negative, Brian works to leverage it for the good of the industry.
He specifically mentioned social networking as the current big disruptor. This led to a deeper discussion about the need to challenge tradition, as much of tradition in relation to training, learning and evaluation is not working. A key concept he mentioned was “bypass legacy.” I loved it. I mentioned the “defenders of legacy.” Together, we agreed that it was more prudent to go around the defenders rather than going head-to-head with them.
What does that mean for us at Kirkpatrick Partners? We choose to counter resistance, skepticism and defensiveness from the training event proponents by not going head-to-head with them. Instead, we look for bright lights – professionals like many of you – who have found creative and powerful ways to forward the business partnership approach to learning and performance. We then do what we can to allow our bright lights to speak for us, and not against others.We encourage you to do the same. The resisters and pure academics are very powerful and sure of themselves. Respect that, and rather than spending your time challenging them, take the high road and leverage what we believe is the better way. Find your own bright lights to serve as strong testimonies that will, hopefully, turn skeptics into believers and champions.
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