Thanks to my colleague, Honey Dave, I am reading Learning in 3D, by Karl Kapp & Tony O’Driscoll. The book is about leveraging virtual worlds for learning in the enterprise. The authors make an interesting observation in the first chapter about the absence of new thinking and the rather unbelievable adherence to the classroom model as the primary means of delivering training within the enterprise. If you assume the learning function in an enterprise was a species, Charles Darwin would be stumped.
I have a rather unique opportunity of talking to customers about the challenges they face in managing their learning and training operations. A majority of my conversations center around the need to build new learning delivery models that go beyond just a classroom based model. For some reason, enterprise learning has missed the bus. Not that I am complaining!
Quoting from the book, if we had the ability to teleport an ancient Greek to the present time, showing him a classroom would cause very little dissonance. However, if you were to show this same Hellenic time – traveler a Wal-Mart store, an interstate highway, or a Boeing 747 jet, he would not comprehend what he was seeing….Ironically, while business has clearly learned to change, the learning function itself has not. To address this issue, learning leaders would do well to pay heed to Gloria Gery ’s assertion that: “ We don’t need new technology, we just need new thinking. ”