Do you want fries with that?

Here are some of the observations and insights that were shared via Twitter this past week.

@birgittaj – “Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power. ~ Benito Mussolini”

HCI : “more than 50% of line managers believe that shutting down the L&D function would have no impact on employee performance!”

Too many training departments have become mere “order takers,” responding to requests for training by harried but ill-informed managers who believe that training is the solution to every kind of performance problem. (Managers probably don’t really believe that, but ordering training is easier than tackling the real issues.) I call this the “McDonald’s Clerk” approach to training; take the order and, at most, see if they want fries with it.

Governance in a Networked World : SNA is an 80+ year old science but has been largely ignored by the social analytics community.

Now there may be good reasons for this. Some of the language is frankly impenetrable for the newcomer. The SNA measures can be quite complex and as with traditional statistics, need to be applied with care. That said there is clearly an opportunity here to build a bridge between the current social analytics practice to the more sophisticated but far more powerful world of SNA. It will require some careful translation of the language and some very selective use of the measures, but the potential I believe is worthy of a genuine 2.0 label.

Humans were not born to read – The brain has to be rewired in order to perform this newfangled skill – via @anniemurphypaul

“Reading is a cultural invention,” [Dr. Guinevere] Eden said. “There’s nothing designed in the brain to make us readers. Reading has only been around for 4,000 years, maybe a little longer. There are no systems in place from an evolutionary perspective designed for reading.”

@dpontefract – Analysis: Coursera, EdX & Udacity

There is the possibility that edX and Coursera in particular are using these non-credentialed courses as loss leaders. (see the FAQ of edX – no Harvard or MIT recognition comes with a completed course nor are any credits issued) If the courses are free, and they lead to nothing more than a certificate of completion (affiliated by no university whatsoever) students may want an actual official degree or designation from one of the Academic institutions at some point for their efforts. Do you really think Harvard is simply going to give away their crest for free? MIT? Princeton? Highly unlikely. I see these projects as opportunities to upsell fee-based programs and degrees that otherwise might not have occurred due to the lack of a sales channel.

@sjgill – Do you need a CLO?

The unintended consequence has been to reinforce the notion that work and learning are separate and that one has higher value than the other when, in fact, the success of the organization depends on continuous learning. To break out of this mental model, companies should stop doing things that appear to centralize responsibility for learning. Don’t put all the emphasis on a course catalogue and don’t hire a CLO.

XKCD on teachable moments:

Note the XKCD cartoon’s Alt Text – “Saying ‘what kind of an idiot doesn’t know about the Yellowstone supervolcano’ is so much more boring than telling someone about the Yellowstone supervolcano for the first time.

One Response to “Do you want fries with that?”

  1. Dan Pontefract

    Thanks Harold.

    Weird that kindred spirits like you and I somehow are so aligned that we both unknowingly focused our week on open ed; you with your speaking gig and I with my post.

    Thanks for the hat tip.


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