Back to Life...Back to Reality
Back to the daily grind, back in the swing of things, and sorely missing the whimsical air of the conference, I've finally eeked out a bit of time to reflect on my DevLearn 2010 experience. From a very high level, I'll simply say this: Wow. From the second I arrived, to the moment I left, I had more "Aha" moments than I thought possible. Some feasible, some completely outlandish, but all inspirational. In my time I've spent reflecting on the experience, I've summed up my high-power, hevy-duty takeaways in three words...and those three words are: INFORMAL, SOCIAL, and PULL.
No Shirt, No Tie, No Problem - INFORMAL
Omar Nielsen is not only a good friend, but an inspiration to me in this industry where I find it easy to be jaded and judgmental of others. In a field where we do our own thing, I find him to have an amount of knowledge on training, in general, that I am admittedly jealous of. I like the guy and believe him to be a genius in our field.
*whew* I feel better getting that off my chest. Anyway...
Mr Nielsen was responsible for one of my three takeaway concepts: Keeping learning Informal. Just what does that mean, though? How do you informalize something...anything? You start simple. Plain and simple. Already, I'm finding areas in my organization where the formality of 'must-do' training (not only must do in content, but must-do in method) place pseudo-strangleholds on new and existing users. And last I checked, your times tables become a hell of a lot more difficult when someone has you in a rear naked choke.
This concept, the informal, resonated strongly with me, too, because of the industry I'm in (healthcare). For a long, long time I've held that games have NO place here. None whatsoever...
...but maybe I'm wrong. (Yes, I said it) Maybe, just maybe, if we could lighten things up, make them a bit more competitive (doctors might just be that), maybe we could decrease the formality and increase the retention. All of these are maybes at this point, true...but they're being thought about. And that's a step.
'We' Are Smarter Than 'Me' - SOCIAL
The Annual Gathering back in 09 got me thinking about this, but DevLearn really implanted it deep in my brain and I've been unable to shake myself of it yet. We have Sharepoint, we use Sharepoint...but we're not really USING Sharepoint to the degree that we could. My colleague and I both realize this and, upon my return, really started a mental shakedown of how we've been using it and how we should be using it. Needless to say, we've found some disconnects...
The biggest step forward that I've arrived at in my mind is using it as a 'Facebook-driven' methodology to get users of our EMR closer and in more contact than ever before. We (the programmers, trainers close to the content) know the EMR in a certain fashion...and it's not always the most practical way for purposes of effective usage. They (the end-users...the ones in it every day and night) know it in a similar, but different light. And that bears attention. And by putting these users in contact with each other, a lot could be achieved. More than I care to get into here, but trust me...all you social learning evangelists who have been knocking on my door all these years? YES...I GET IT NOW.
If I Want It, I'll Get It Myself - PULL
Ahh, pull. Such a simple word, but admittedly, before this conference, I never thought of it in relation to Training and Development. Now, however, I will never think of it the same. What an amazing way to spin such a simple word into such a meaningful one, and what a change it's already brought to how I go about business on a daily basis...
One example of it in action, already I might add, is adding a paper-based reference to required courses. Now, the end-user is not required to view this document, but it's there. And guess what? People not only love said document, but are asking for more. It's almost like telling a 3 year old they need a bath...of COURSE theyr'e going to tell you differently. But, if the 3 year old says they WANT a bath, then not only is it the greatest idea ever, but then next time you need to remind them it's time to take one, they're more likely to go along with it. There's unlimited amounts of WIN associated with "The Power of Pull" (<-- see that?), and I'm just beginning to scratch the surface. More to come on that, to be sure...
And That, As They Say, Is That
Not much else to say on the topic. Brent put together a phenomenal event, the speakers and sessions were, in general, awesome, and I will be attending/presenting again, to be sure. These are the kind of things that I wish, with my schedule, I could attend more of, but I am eternally grateful for the few I'm able to attend. The contacts, colleagues, and cohorts I meet at every one get better and better.
So, as the title says, that's that. If you have any questions, comments, concerns, and so on, let me know! I'd love to hear from you and am willing to provide any advice/information I feel that I can. Best of luck to you all, and we'll see you next year!