A colleague emailed me this report on attitudes toward elearning from Towards Maturity, and it was eye opening. Perhaps the most striking statistic in this survey, which gathered responses from 2,000 learners, was that only 7% of them thought that the learning and development department would be most influential to encourage them to learn online.
It’s long been known that “if you build it they will come” is a losing prospect for learning departments – you can’t simply build elearning programs, no matter how amazingly designed or relevant to learners’ work, and expect people to flock to your LMS and complete a bunch of courses. But only 7% view L&D as essential to bringing staff to learn online?! Wow.
So what are the implications of a statistic like this?
1. L&D needs friends (especially among line managers). Relationship building is at least as important as instructional design skills when it comes to L&D teams being effective. And that means…
2. There is no room for training snobbery. Patience, understanding and a willingness – no, a desire – to meet non-training folks where they are when it comes to their appreciation for sound learning and engaging design are also essential qualities for the L&D team.
3. “Intel Inside” is a pretty good model. Very few people buy Intel products directly. They buy Lenovo or Dell or Sony. Very few consumers know (or care) what kind of processor is inside their computer. The only hint that there even is a processor inside the computer is a tiny, obscure sticker that says “Intel Inside” on the bottom left corner of the computer. This can serve as a model for L&D teams around the world. It really doesn’t matter if a state of the art elearning program comes from the L&D department; if it can be accessible to learners with little effort or thought as part of their every day work flow, staff will be more likely to use it, learn from it, benefit from it and do something new or differently or better because of it.
There’s my take. What do you think? What implications do you think this Towards Maturity survey could have on learning and development?