Tuesday, December 27, 2011

ISPI's Top Stories of 2012

I received ISPI's Performance Digest for the day, and I was struck by the lack of substance. Indeed, a couple of the stories seem to conflict ("Change Management vs. Change Leadership" and "Rise of the Change Manager"), many are the obvious ("The Best Approach to Training", "Stop Long, Boring Staff Training; Start Short, Social Learning Modules"), others are laments ("Intelligence Lost: The Boomers are Exiting"), and one puts forth a false dichotomy ("Social Media vs. Knowledge Management"). Without trivially casting aside many of the otherwise salient industry issues discussed in the collected articles, I must express displeasure with the terribly short shrift many of the subjects are given. This is hardly indicative of a quality set of articles that ostensibly have moved the industry over the last annum.

But the one I found most thin, is "Will virtual learning kill in-person training?" Nevermind that this question - or rather cliche, at this point - has been put to WLP and HPI professionals ad nauseum for at least the last 15 years, this horribly brief piece puts forth only one positive argument that virtual learning is best, and only one negative argument. Both arguments miss many points, enough to make me question whether the contributors involved were asked to cram as much as they could into a few short paragraphs. This article's inclusion in a year-end roundup is a head-scratcher, when surely there was something else of more value to communicate. The actual answer to the article's question is that neither form is going to disappear at any immediately foreseeable point, both have their uses, and both are more likely to increasingly meet in the middle as technology matures.

The other item that raises my ire today, is the apparent rise in false dichotomies, which pit one paradigm against another, and seemingly always failing to consider whether both may actually be contributing something. Take Change Management vs. Change Leadership and Social Media vs. Knowledge Management for example. This is classic one-or-the-other-ism that really doesn't do the professionals reading any service. Can the industry move away from presenting these often false choices?

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