Friday, February 24, 2023

Does L&D take orders & deliver courses like a waiter OR worse, simply serve up food people never ordered in the first place?

Fascinating chat with three people heading up L&D in a major international company. AI has led them to completely re-evaluate their strategy. Key concepts were performance, process and data. What I liked was their focus on that oft-quoted issue of aligning L&D with the business goals - unlike most, they really meant it.

Clearly tired of the old 'waiter taking orders for courses' model, they are shaking things up big time. We concluded that the more appropriate metaphor was actually waiters serving up food which people never ordered in the first place, dishes that the organisation thought would cure you of your selfish ways or be virtuously vegan, hence the 'eye-rolling' when anyone mentions training and HR.

For the first time they felt that the tech was really 'supporting' performance with a shot in the arm from smart tech like ChatGPT. Everyone seemed to be using it, in marketing, prep for meetings, when writing. It's not as if you need to tell people what it is. And it's fiendishly simple to use. It also seemed to create that sense of urgency that Kotter used to talk about, an atmosphere where change was suddenly possible.

They were young, tech savvy, open to new ideas, understood the business needs and I came away feeling that a new generation of people are emerging who understand learning, tech and the art of getting things done. I'm a bit tired of seeing abstract Leadership, DEI, mindfulness, resilience whatever... stuff dished up to people who actually want real and practical help in doing their job. The technology that puts that in the hands of learners has arrived. Performance support will be a teacher or trainer at your fingertips.

We also talked about promoting, the need to see it as 'CHAT'gpt, an iterative process, where you need to understand how to speak to the tech. It's a bit like speaking to an alien from space, as it has no comprehension or consciousness but it is still competent and smart. We have put together 100 prompt tips for learning professionals and taking it out on the road soon. All good in the hood.

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