CSTD Trading Post

These are my notes and links for the Trading Post session I will be doing this afternoon at the CSTD Conference in Toronto.

Are training departments still necessary? Leveraging social networking, informal learning and e-learning are just a few ways to manage learning and training in the 21st century. Are traditional courses the best way to link learning with the business or to engage learners?

I’ll be giving the same talk three times as participants move from table to table to take in three of a possible 15 presentations. The discussion is based on what I posted on Increased Complexity Needs Simplified Design.  This is a shortened, and more focused, version of an online presentation I did for CSTD in March 2009.

Dealing with complexity is something that we all face and I’m currently reading Simplexity: Why Simple Things Become Complex (and How Complex Things Can Be Made Simple), which I’ll review as soon as I finish it. From the prologue:

There is a taxonomy of things that fool us every day and, in so doing, help the complex masquerade as the simple, and the simple parade as the complex.

Distinguishing between the two is never easy, and complexity science doesn’t pretend to have all – or even most – of the answers.

2 Responses to “CSTD Trading Post”

  1. Regan Legassie

    I read Simplexity a while back. It’s a very interesting book. It suggests that many of the things we assume are simple are actually very complex once you start to really delve into how they work.

    In a sense, this is kind of like what we discussed yesterday during your Trading Post session and what I’ve found to be the norm. Having had time to reflect, I don’t think the Trg Dept is on it’s way out – rather I think it is itself discovering the “simplexity” inherent in most performance interventions. Certainly my experience has indicated that what seems like a simple training intervention at first glance usually is only a sub-symptom of a greater issue.

    The closest I can equate it to is paitient diagnosis in medicine. If you treat only the symptoms (simple approach), you might find the cure, but most often becauses illness and the body are complex systems, you’ll fail to treat the malady. Only by stepping back and taking a broader systems or relational view (i.e. why is this happening but not that) can you truly achieve the desired result.

    Thanks for the session Harold – as always, you’ve left me thinking. Great job.


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