Monday, January 19, 2009

Corporate E-learning Rules for 2009

1. Don’t bring down your prices; rather, strip down your solutions.

2. Think about how stripped-down solutions can produce the right outcomes. (Therefore, innovation in 2009 will be about coming up with price-sensitive solutions that produce results.)

3. Focus on outcomes before thinking about formats (a multimedia game is only a format—the outcome is performance).

4. When you select formats and develop methodologies, focus more on workability than on packaging. (Packaging is a kind of mask. In times like these, we need more honesty and fewer masks. In fact, one of the reasons for the current crisis is the use of too many masks. Remember collateralized debt obligations (CDO)?)

5. Test your solutions and see if they work. What doesn’t work doesn’t have the right to exist. We have a collective responsibility to ensure that the money spent on learning produces the results that it is supposed to produce. If everyone in the learning profession had insisted on this aspect at all times, we wouldn’t have witnessed learning budgets being cut drastically even during lean times.

4 Comments:

Blogger Manish Mohan said...

Point 4: "...focus more on workability than on packaging..." What's packaging?

4:13 AM  
Blogger Anil Mammen said...

Packaging in this context is about the way you try and dress up your solution or the way you try to sell your solution (for example, a theme-based simulation where you force-fit a theme around the content--which is not necessary (not even from an engagement angle) to improve the user's skill.) Sales people are prone to sell the package more than the potential of the solution to produce performance improvement. Unfortunately, sometimes even training managers are awed by the packaging more than anything else.

5:23 AM  
Blogger addled said...

Hi Anil,

I'm looking at your post from a more generic perspective and I choose to differ with the fact that you call these 'rules' as they are more probably guidelines for the larger community. It also occurs to me that the year 2009 is a year of recession and markets are tough, customers have smaller budgets.

The next thing that I do not agree with is rule no.1 I think rule no. 1 should be given more context, and there could be scenarios where u may choose to apply it. The other way I would choose to approach this is to look at existing projects versus bidding for new projects. I would find your rules more relevant for the former, but if you need to win new projects, you need to go all out to do what you can to continue to get projects during such times, So you might have to compromise on the money part too, just to win a bid.

This is my perspective ofcourse, but your points got me thinking a lot.

Sreya

2:53 AM  
Blogger Anil Mammen said...

Thanks for sharing your views, Sreya. I didn't intend to use the term "Rules' in a literal sense. Who am I to define rules anyway? As for point 1, what I was driving at was to avoid the typical trap of bringing down your prices in a lean period and in turn devaluing your offerings. Instead, we should focus on how to deliver solutions that can be priced lower than our typical offerings.

1:32 AM  

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