Friday, April 20, 2012

Thinking about Clearing the Cloudy Air of our Industry

The alphabet soup of the training industry continues to grow and change.  The terms get mixed in marketing materials, and confused during otherwise productive conversations.  In my role within The eLearning Guild for the last few years I've had the pleasure of many conversations.  I've met a lot of people and gotten to know some very well.  The interesting thing is that I continue to hear frustration in the tone of many conversations with many interactions turning into arguments.  It's interesting to listen to these conversations because I know the parties involved are aligned in their thinking but as they converse the words they use cloud the message.

I've been on a rather strange mission over the past several months.  It kind of feels like a Richard Drifuss, mud tower in the living room, Close Encounters, sort of obsession more than a mission.  But then again...mission - obsession, tomato -'s the words and how we use them that either help or hinder productive conversations.

I want to draw a picture of our industry.  And yes, I know others have attempted similar feats. But the problem I'm trying to solve, as I've worked through it, turns out to be multi-dimensional and quite complex.  So, I'm breaking it down into pieces and as I am thinking about certain pieces I will blog about them here.

I want and need your help.  I need your input and feedback.  There are some rules that I am trying to follow that I want you to understand.

1) The AS IS. I am attempting to create a "picture" of the current state of our industry.  I am NOT thinking about the future state. Although I am hoping we can make some fairly accurate assumptions about the future state based on the current state, and in fact, help influence that future state.

2) No JUDGING! I don't care if you hate the LMS more than life itself.  Deal with it! They exist.  They serve a purpose. And the term LMS is part of our lexicon.  And therefore it will appear in my "picture" in some form or another.

How do you view our "industry"? Through what lens do you view it? What is it that you find confusing about the terms we use?

For many of you who work in training day in and day out your sky is not clouded.  You see your world quite clearly as do your customers, peers, and colleagues.  You are EXACTLY the person I want to hear from.  I also want to hear from the those who are frustrated with the state of our industry in any way.  Let's work through it together and help others in their journey towards helping others.

Comment here or send me your thoughts. I've already discovered this cannot be done in a vacuum. I need your help.

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