Complexity and change

Interesting things I learned on Twitter this past week.


The State of Social Learning Today & Some Thoughts for the Future of Learning & Development (L&D) in 2010 via @c4lpt

If it seems too complex for L&D to take on the “responsibility” for enabling learning across the organisation, then bear in mind that this role will probably be assumed by others, e.g. Bus Ops, IT or Internal Communications departments as their own interests widen. If this takes place, what is likely to happen to the L&D function? As the desire and need for formal training diminishes, L&D will probably become more and more marginalized. 2010 is therefore the year for L&D to take action! So who can help?

via @finiteattention “Seen on a colleague’s noticeboard: If everyone is doing it …” [Dilbert’s point hits the core of the “best practices” problem]

best practices

The Cynefin Framework Mindmap via @johnt

Classroom instruction is complex but do we treat it as such? Is “sensing” a priority of teacher education? How would an instructor who waits for “patterns to emerge” be viewed by their supervisor? As laid back? Aloof? And does outcome-based education (unintentionally) result in educators treating complex situations as complicated, or worse yet, simple in nature?

Networking reconsidered via @jonhusband

In a rapidly changing world, the knowledge that matters the most is tacit knowledge — the knowledge that we have all accumulated from our experiences that we have a hard time expressing to ourselves, much less to each other. The challenge is that this type of knowledge — in contrast to the explicit knowledge that can be written down and broadcast to the world — does not flow very easily. Accessing this kind of knowledge requires long-term trust based relationships and a deep understanding of context. Large contact databases don’t particularly help in this quest and, in fact, can subvert our efforts to build the kinds of relationships that matter the most.

Changing Practice

Tom Gram: Instructional Design: Science, Art & Craft: in balanc:

Effective learning designs then,  happen most when that elusive combination of art, science and craft come together. Where the three approaches coexist, through a skillfully assembled learning team the result is usually effective, motivational learning grounded in the realities of the organization.

Evidence that change does not come from within, in this ASTD article via @JaneBozarth

Old favorites dominated in our study. E-learning today appears to be mostly about delivering assessments and designs, testing, personalization, scenarios, and tutorials. All these are familiar, and they all have deep roots in the training and development community. Should we lament that the habits identified in this study are not much different in 2009 than they were in 1989 (although, of course, enabled by technology)?

Group photo of some of the ASTD survey respondents:


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