Reflections from #LSCon 2012 

I have had a short week to get my feet back under the desk after a whirlwind trip to Orlando.

Such a great week amongst some of the clever people in our industry, so much to listen to and so much to learn from other’s ideas.

Of course they tweet the same about being with me and listening to my presentations, I just get embarrassed in the normal way.

What was clear in this week and in reflection since leaving the hot sun in Florida is that there are a number of interesting changes taking place across the world in T&D. The first is that T&D is on it’s very last legs in large corporations. If you are still working in a department with this name or have a business title of L&D Manager, get ready as sweeping changes will knock you off your feet if you are not ready.

The changes are a distinct move towards the Business Performance Department, delivering a set of technologies that include training where required but more of acquiring and rolling out technology that assist your workers to make more money for the organisation. The talk in the back rooms and of course on the backchannel were about revenue and profitability, not about good LMS scores or completion rates. Jay Cross almost had it right last year with ‘Work Smarter’ concept but I think in times of economic downturn that we are all experiencing, Work Leaner may have been a better term. But I take my hat off to Jay as he was ahead of the game on this one.

Those who understand business and how to generate higher revenue through capability and capable staff certainly have the edge. (Check out my paper i2 that was launched at #LSCon which aims to replace ROI with an Incapabiity Index. Paper available at http://www.thelearningcoach.co.uk/media.html)

The tools being spoken of were more of performance support, remember how that came and went, it was just too early and is making a huge comeback. Other technologies in the frame are those that provide a social lounge for the workforce to talk about what is important to them, where they can dip in and out learning materials and use new concepts like IVR (see http://www.phone2know.com) to deliver contextual information in numerous ways.

New products were in the expo to deliver to mobile devices, the imminent product from Articulate, Storyline, is the first of a new breed of tools to help deliver this type of learning. I have used the beta of this product, the latest version includes mobile and html5, very exciting prospects for the future.

The second big thing to come out of #LSCon was the concept of Conversation in learning. I was not the only person presenting or talking of this. Conversation in communication is key to creating a platform where people can learn. The presentation I made ‘Conversational Learning’ is available to watch in a cut down form from http://bit.ly/HesHMt

I have come home very enthused about this coming year. I have launched a great service at Phone2Know using the latest technologies to add conversation to learning, eLearning, mLearning and delivered as an addition to face to face training. Some cool concepts that will grow over the coming months.

The next conference I attend is Congreso de Recursos Humanos in Mexico City later this month http://www.congresorh.com.mx/ where I will be presenting what can be achieved using conversation and mobile learning. Then I am onto mLearnCon in San Jose for June to host the Mobile Tools and Tech Stage. By this time we should be seeing some very cool additions to the mobile scene.

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