So, last week I did a keynote at the Humana Learning Consortium conference, which is a great little internal conference for Humana’s learning and development folks, and I thoroughly enjoyed my experience there.
The topic I spoke on was Design for Behavior Change, which is something I’m pretty passionate about. While I was presenting, the delightful Kelly Young, one of the organizers, tweeted this:
I’m quoting her tweet because I like her summation of what I was saying better than the words I actually used.
“when (lack of) knowledge is not the problem, more information is not the answer”
I think this is going to be really, really, really important for learning and development folks, and I’ll tell you why.
Last weekend, I was having a conversation with the wicked-smaht Elliot Felix about the design of libraries and museums. He was telling me that museums are waking up to what libraries have already started to figure out — they aren’t in the information supply business any more. There’s more information available online than anybody knows what to do with. Libraries and museums need to be about services and experiences if they expect to stay relevant.
Learning and development folks who are currently in the information presentation business are going to have the same problem. When everyone is walking around with smart phones in their pockets (which is pretty much now), then who really needs information purveyors? (btw — it’s this mistaken view of the job of learning professionals that leads to the messed up idea that Khan Academy can replace good teachers).
So I think that information-deliverers are going to need to add to their skill set pretty quickly, or they’ll find themselves obsolete. I think we need to think of ourselves as business consultants, experience designers and change facilitators (which means we need to be learning about what the business, UX and change management folks do). This goes back to some of conversations I’ve been having with Reuben Tozman, and I’ll have lots more to say on this in future posts.
Anyway, the topic I was speaking on was Design for Behavior Change (which I hit on in Chapter 8 of the book). Here are the slides from the talk: