The Revolution Will Not Get Enough Likes

It was my first week at my job and I was reviewing a unique LCMS and my colleague asked what I thought.

“This is the right approach but it is a complete paradigm shift from the way that you have been creating content. Are you sure you are ready to accept that kind of change?”

“We are so frustrated,” she told me “with the way we do things now, that we would welcome any change.”

When we launched the initial phase of our new learning architecture, I expressed concern to another contact that we didn’t go far enough.

“Are you kidding me?” she said ,”Have you seen what we had before?”

It seems that people are good at figuring out what they don’t want, but when the new thing comes along they don’t have a frame of reference for understanding it, and so they fall back on old patterns. Here’s an example. LMS’s are notoriously bad at searches. It’s a losing battle. The benchmark is set by Google. There is no way to compete with a system that analyzes millions of transactions a day and billions of pieces of content. So we created a system that pushes recommendations to the user. The response? Why can’t we get better searches?

People are fixated on what they know.

The learning community loves to talk about the death of the LMS but has anyone gotten rid of their LMS? The assumption is that we need these systems to generate reports that measure completions even though completions are not a good proxy for learning and these systems suck up all the limited resources of the learning organizations that are shackled to them. We all notice this but we keep choosing the big old players in the space even though they fall to the bottom of the list in user satisfaction. We go with what we know.

So what does this mean to the revolution? Where do we go with the dream of an open, flexible and learner-centric learning architecture? Do we just drink the Kool-aid and give in to the inertia of big systems? Never! Maybe we need to find more covert ways of making change. It doesn’t make sense to fight the megalithic systems by creating a megalithic replacement. We need to find the small opportunities. Guerrilla learning solutions. We need to sneak in the rational and simple solutions under the radar.

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