One of the consultant’s dilemmas is that you have to stay ahead of the curve to remain relevant. Yesterday’s problem doesn’t need to be solved – there’s probably an app for that already. This is why “perpetual Beta” informs all of my work.
I used to work as a training designer but there’s really not much to differentiate one course from another. Training content development has become a commodity and many companies are forced to compete on price. Even performance consulting, a good part of my consulting business for the first five years, is becoming more commonplace (and that’s a good thing). I’m now focused on working smarter, helping organizations integrate learning into the workflow, especially using social media.
More and more people in the workforce are now facing the same challenges as consultants. How can they re-skill and provide services for today’s and tomorrow’s problems, not yesterday’s? Schools don’t help much, with curriculum that is developed looking back at best practices and only reviewed every few years. Off-the-shelf training programs sure aren’t of much use, having been reduced to the lowest, and simplest, common denominator.
As I work with our PKM Workshop, now in progress, I realize that I have to keep things up to date and reflective of the participants’ needs. Before I release an assignment or resource, I have to review it in light of the current context. Sometimes I add in new discoveries just hours before publishing. This is professional development in perpetual Beta. I think more and more professional programming will go this way in time. MOOC’s are another example of this non-fixed curriculum perspective.
There is no normal. We need to think like artists, less concerned with feedback and more focused on feedforward.
Thus, the artist’s job is to dislocate the old media through their art to reveal the ground effects of the new media. McLuhan’s observations are as relevant now as they were forty years ago: The artist is the person in any field, scientific or humanistic, who grasps the implications of his actions and of new knowledge in his own time. S/he is the person of integral awareness. ~ Mark Federman