It’s evolution, not a revolution

What will it be Neo, the red pill or the blue pill?

I’ve made my career in L&D so far championing the alternative or some might call it the new wave philosophy.

I’ve talked often about out of the classroom learning experiences, why L&D needs to build a brand and invest in it’s marketing. I’ve told the world how if you build it they won’t come, that learning is an everyday behaviour and countless more things about how the world of learning has evolved.

So, it saddens me when I still see the same old stuff being peddled by the mountain of “training providers” out there. It frustrates me even more when I see learning teams still taking the same old approach of bums on seats, and measuring success or “people learning” by how many attendees they had.

I’ve never felt that L&D is going through a disruption or needs one. To me that is an overused buzzword at conferences. What our lovely industry is going through is evolution – it needs to evolve, to embrace the world of today.

Yet, why do so many resist or perhaps ignore this, put their heads in the sand and pedal the same old shit like it’s 1995?

A broken education system has convinced people that a classroom is the only way to learn. But all it’s really good for, is showing you how to retain data with little to no know-how on how to do actual stuff.

Till this day when I ask people what have you learnt this year, 90% will respond “well I haven’t been to many courses…”. Don’t get me wrong, classroom training has its place and can be a great experience but we are all living in a digital world my friends.

If we keep marketing that the only way to learn is in a four walled environment with a trainer delivering a paint by numbers session, then we are doing something very, very wrong.

It might sound extreme but we have to evolve or we’ll die.

All today’s younger generations know is digital. A textbook or teacher are not their primary tools anymore, an iPhone and Google are.

So, isn’t it time for the industry to really evolve? I don’t mean sit there and talk about it in conferences like it’s a therapy session. I mean actually take action, innovate and do stuff that will make a difference.

We might just live in the greatest time to be alive to learn and build a talent stack in whatever we want. Yet, we still cling to the old ways, despite having the ultimate toolkit at our disposal.

This guy gave us the digital highway we know as the internet.

These guys built the greatest collection of know-how/information known in human existence and a slick way to find it all too.

And this guy gave us the power to access all of this stuff in the palm of our hand whenever we want.

I can’t reference all these innovators without mentioning this guy either. He made doing a lot of stuff much easier.


Despite all these innovations, we still seem to be stuck in our 1995 capsule. Pushing the same old classroom experiences as gospel, rolling out the same dull e-learning that a 5 year old wouldn’t bother with. 

Plus, we expect to be taken seriously in 2019 when we still call digital resources e-learning and invite people to “check out our catalogue”.

Come on! Who are you fooling?

Sometimes, I feel like I’m in the Matrix. It’s like I’m Morpheus talking to a new Neo every week and reciting the famous speech:

“You take the blue pill, the story ends; you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.”

Here the blue pill resembles doing what you’ve always done. Whilst the red pill is broadening your mind, seeking new ways and being open to evolve.

So, what is this all about?

Honestly, I got myself lost in this one a bit. But ultimately, it’s about accepting the time we are in now.

The world has changed with the rise of the digital era and it is going to change even more, especially in the world of work.

No longer will we have just one career. We are expecting to have many which need a variety of skills. These will not be supported through the old ways. We can’t just disrupt, we have to evolve.

We owe it to ourselves, the people we commit to help and the companies we partner with to build better humans.

Innovate, push boundaries, take risks and do stuff that will actually have an impact.

Basically, we need to break the wheel! That thing we continue to partake in even though we know there’s a better way.

So what will it be my friends? Will you wake up and do what you’ve always done or will you see what Alice found down that rabbit hole?

Before you go…

If you like my writing and think “Hey, I’d like to hear more of what this guy has to say” then you’re in luck.

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Learning is an everyday behaviour

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