Monday, May 04, 2009

Managing your new Instructional Designers (a request)

If you are a training manager you may (or may not) be aware that the work of the instructional designer is changing.  If you follow industry trends and have seen the shift coming then you are already well ahead of your peers.  My fear is that there are plenty of training managers within the corporate ranks who have ignored the warnings from their staff.  I fear that management has become a road block to their own success. 

Of course there is the other side as well.  Maybe your instructional design team is too entrenched in their old habits to see the writing on the wall.  Or maybe they just aren't buying into the gloom and doom of the "ISD is dead" crowd.  Again, the truth will lie somewhere in the middle.  New media is changing the enterprise ecosystem significantly empowering employees in powerful ways that directly impact the work of your ISD employee/team.

Your ISDs have long since been the middle man between those that have knowledge and those that need knowledge.  The instructional design models, methods, and tools enabled the middle man to connnect with the knowers and the knowees by gathering info and creating media that delivers the knowledge.  New media technologies create a simple infrastructure that allows knowers and knowees to connect on their own and create/share content rich media in the format best suited to both parties.  No middle man required.

I don't believe ISD is dead, but I do believe the role of this employee MUST, and will, change...significantly.  I don't want to go into it in any more detail here.  I have a request of all you Corporate Training Managers...

Dear Corporate Training Manager:

Which side of this equation do you land on:  I get it, or you're nuts?
What are you doing to help prepare your instructional designers for wave of change heading their way?

I am looking for managers actively enabling change in the ranks of their training staff. 

Best Regards,
Brent Schlenker
Seriously, I want to help everyone in corporate training manage the coming shift.  If we can gather some case studies, and best practices I can help us spread the word.  Don't be shy!

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