The Darth Vader Of Learning
By CEO Leif Sørensen
These days the learning industry is transforming rapidly.
“The corporate training market, which is over $130 billion in size, is about to be disrupted. Companies are starting to move away from their Learning Management Systems (LMS), buy all sorts of new tools for digital learning, and rebuild a whole new infrastructure to help
These days the learning industry is transforming rapidly...
The market is growing, and this will lead to innovative developments and great new tools. Josh Bersin, a leading analyst, Deloitte, describes the current situation like this:
“The corporate training market, which is over $130 billion in size, is about to be disrupted. Companies are starting to move away from their Learning Management Systems (LMS), buy all sorts of new tools for digital learning, and rebuild a whole new infrastructure to help employees learn.”
This will most likely lead to the death of Learning Management Systems (LMS). The argument for this comes from Josh Bersin, Deloitte who said the struggle for all LMS is to get employees to actually use the systems.
This is my why:
Internal Learning Management Systems are often not able to provide all the information the employees need, and it also delivers it in a way that many employees do not find engaging.
I will use a story to illustrate what I mean. If I want to get inspiration for my dinner I don’t go to the small almost empty corner shop, even if it is close by and it is familiar. I go to the big grocery shop, where I can get inspired by ingredients I didn’t even know that existed and then I will be able to make the most interesting dinner.
The only two arguments for going to the small shop on the corner is:
1. If my partner or kids are sending me there to get milk or something we forgot.
2. If I need some specialities I know the small shop provides.
So, the LMS might be convenient, like the corner shop. It is close by, integrated into the company/neighbourhood. But the selection of tools/groceries will be so narrow that neither the process of making the dinner/learning or the dinner itself/the applicable knowledge will be of any interest.
All studies still show that the most used learning tools are Google and Youtube. Here is a list of the top 200 tools for learning in 2017. Can you find Learning Management Systems on there? See the rest of the list here.
Put Down Your Light Swords
This leads me to the arguments for a total shift in how we develop learning in the future.
I think the dominant providers of LMS and other learning system need to stop seeing themselves as being on a Darth Vader mission - trying to exclude or kill everyone around them.
New learning tools and games are developed if the client wants to use them. Even though Darth Vader tries to fight them off. Basically, many LMS providers are trying to control the end-client and the learning market, but this approach has an expiration date.
I don’t believe the Darth Vader model is sustainable in the future due to these factors:
1. The clients want value. And if the future of learning is what Josh Bersin is arguing, there is a huge need for more collaboration and faster development of learning tools.
2. New tools need to be integrated into the internal systems and end-client infrastructure in a fast and smooth way.
The new tools need to be built on flexible integration design (API) allowing them to integrate fast into other systems. And Darth Vader must cross over to the good side and allow integration.
Second Generation Learning
In the future, we need to allow the learner to create their own learning path at a time where they need the learning.
This calls for letting go of control and entering what I call the 2nd generation of learning. This is where the learner can create a social connection with others in the same industry to solve similar challenges at the time when it is needed.
Future learning will have to create new skills, especially soft skills. And we need to make the learning available in new and flexible ways. Today we are forcing people through long learning days, workshops and ready-made programs. I believe the future calls upon more power to the learner, who can choose the amount of time spent on the learning and which subjects are relevant to them.
I believe it is important to focus on three phases of learning, where phase three, called ‘reinforcement’, is the most important. It is in phase three the highest value in the learning process is created, and this happens in the workplace and this is where the knowledge is applied and therefore made useful. See my blog about the transfer.
Let me sum up:
• Our market is growing fast and this is great.
• There is a need to stop Darth Vader and start being collaborative
• It calls for less control and more tools to integrate into the ecosystem of learning