The premier episode of "Root and Branch" focused on how I thought that while brilliantly written by Dan Pontrefact, Marcia Conner and Kerry Brown, their piece; Revolutionize Corporate Learning, didn't go far enough. Now I'm thinking that I need to go further as well.
So let's say we change the names of the products/activities that we're talking about to something more reality based - instead of e-learning we'll call it "training" or "performance support" or "collaboration"...then we've changed the curriculum of all the ISD programs in the country to reflect new design sensibilities and to incorporate the latest research on things like how people remember (HT to Jay Cross). After we've done all that, we've also basically convinced the rest of the organization that training is a good thing yadda yadda. You might think we're at ne plus ultra but I don't think so.
The first additional hurdle is organizational structure. This article is a great start to thinking about new organizational structures.....the sad truth is though that 99% of the org.s out there, even the ones talking a good game are still organized in a way that Frederick Taylor would easily recognize. There isn't a whole lot of room in that structure for outside-the-box thinking trainers to move and innovate so even if we've changed all the other stuff, we're still stuck with an Industrial Age system of lines and channels (see also: Silos of Excellence).
The second bonus hurdle is our system of accounting. If you thought using an Industrial Age org model was bad, how about a system of accounting that was codified in the 15th century by a Franciscan friar? Ever get a look at those books? Tell me how people are accounted for. Simple, they're liabilities. They are a drain on the profits of the organization. What's amazing is that in the face of such widespread reaction to and recognition of things like a "talent war" and trying to recruit and retain the best and brightest - at the very base level of finances, we still regard and treat people as liabilities. Want to know why it's hard to do ROI on training efforts? One reason is because it's hard to look at the ROI on a liability. Have you ever seen a spreadsheet that reflects an uptick in the value of an employee because they completed a training course? Maybe org.s need what those of us who've been playing RPG's for most of our lives are super familiar with...the character sheet...tell you your attributes, skills, points to the next level.
So...semantics, curriculum, marketing, organizational structure, accounting methods...that's starting to be a good list for a revolution.