Nothing lasts forever. Except possibly bad ideas, which can linger long after their sell by date. I was talking to someone earlier about how we work: remotely, on agile technology, collaborating in different communities on different hardware , co-creating ideas, sharing, learning everyday, crossing borders and cultures. Exciting times. Old notions of working and learning are dying off, but some of them keep trying to drag themselves out of the tar pit.
Learning technology used to be a Learning Management System and a laptop, but those things are dead now, replaced by smaller, agile systems that communicate effortlessly and travel around in our pockets. The concept of the LMS was to provide infrastructure for delivery and to track usage, but these days, what are we tracking? It’s effortless to share: there are a thousand ways to get stuff in front of people. These days it’s the interpretation that counts: we can engage people in social learning, but how do we read the results? Does your value lie in writing more words, or in writing the right words? Does influence trump plain volume?
Leadership used to be positional, but now it’s reputational: we live in the Age of Reputation. We encourage people to ask questions, making it ever harder to restrain what they ask questions about. We need creativity and innovation, making it harder to restrict through process and protocol. Social media policies should be about encouraging people to shout, not discouraging them from sharing.
Change used to be something we feared and came in cycles: today change is the constant and we have to ride it like surfers. Old technologies, old mindsets, old processes and methodologies, none of these remain valid in the Social Age of learning. The nature of work and learning has changed: it’s more about performance support and collaboration.
Old ideas are great: they’re what we build the future on. But when they’ve had their time, we need to move on. Or else it’s just dogma.