I cannot begin to enumerate the number of great concepts and brilliant adaptations of technology that I have seen fail.  For example, someone discovers how to use state-of-the-art technology in new and exciting ways.  That excitement is quickly picked up by co-workers and friends.

“Isn’t this just the neatest thing ever!”  “What learning challenges can be successfully addressed with my idea!”  “Just wait ‘til they see this!”

With all this cheer leading reverberating everywhere — internally — investments are made, time is expended, and the new product emerges.  Success is now only months away — because, of course, everyone who encounters this “latest and greatest” creation will want to use it immediately!

Much, much too often success fades into the night — and the creations linger for awhile, burn up a lot of good-money-after-bad, and disappear.

WHY ???

Because the more important questions were not asked –- and the more important answers were not found.

Within training departments, success or failure resides in the ability to understand, motivate, and adapt the learning initiatives to the workforce to-be-trained.

Who are these people?  How do they best learn?  What motivates them?  Etc., etc.

Your training initiatives, if successful, must fit inside their dominant learning culture.  Management must tie promotions or pay increases to the successful completion of the training initiative.  Etc., etc.

A modern example is e-Learning — the latest and greatest learning technology.

So, why do more than 65% of learners never complete an e-Learning course? 

Easy answer.  Because most of it was not designed with multiple-media embedded within the content but, instead, was built around words, sentences and paragraphs.

Plus, it was often too long.  Took too much seat time which, many times, exceeded the attention span of most of today’s learners.

And, unfortunately, the training was not attached to a “what’s in it for me” strategy (employee promotions, pay increases).

So, be wary of the well-intentioned colleague who tells you, “Our workforce needs expensive media training in this new subject!” — or the brilliant programmer who exclaims, “No sweat, I can build that, easy!” — or, the customer who tells you, “If only you had it, I’d buy it.”  Each of those individuals means well, but all they are offering you is a starting point for further objective research into the true needs and limitations.  Just “because you can” doesn’t necessarily mean, “you should!”

Moving blindly ahead with a good idea — coming from anyone you might know or respect — is foolish, unless you’ve done your homework — and that should include a brutally honest assessment of the population the good idea purports to serve.

Even your best friends — and your most respected customers — can unwittingly mislead you.

More on Wednesday  –  –  –

— Bill Walton, co-Founder, ITC Learning

 April 16, 2018  (Mondays & Wednesdays)



(This is a personal blog.  Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner,, an independent consultant.  They do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in a professional or personal capacity.)