Technology won’t make your learning department any better than it is now

No doubt, technology within corporate learning has been beneficial. The question though is to whom? The assumption from C suite has always been a decision made for the corporation will be in the best interests of the learner. But are learning leaders right in thinking the learning needs of an individual are the same as the needs of the corporation? Are the two one of the same?

The benefits of technological change are permanent but the effect on the rate of growth are temporary. Let’s unpack this. Assume that technology as a whole provides an increase in performance. You can change the rate of speed going from point A to Point B. But once you hit your point you can’t go any faster. The new level of performance has been achieved. You have actualized the benefits of technology to a level of performance that will not improve capability any further. There is a difference between 1) a permanently higher growth rate i.e., you can just keep climbing the slope on a performance graph and 2) changing the location of the slope on the graph paper! The billion dollar learning industry’s has convinced HR they can do both.

Back to our original question. Are the learning needs of an individual the same as the needs of the corporation? When resources are allocated to a new technology that does nothing more than maintain position on a performance slope, the benefits are of greater use to those who manage it than to the people it’s supposed to serve. The validity of a technology to deliver metrics should be as strong as the measures used to avoid metrics that would drive wrong behaviors. You won’t be able to see around corners unless you understand the history of human resources and the forces that drive a billion dollar learning industry – Fut