In encouraging people to think about the shift from courses to resources I have found that the principal mistake is to break (course) content into small chunks and assume that these now constitute resources, by virtue of their format.

It can be hard for people to see why this is a mistake at all: after all the results look similar. Both sets of outputs may be short videos, infographics, checklists and guides, for example.

The difference is generally visible in the pattern of consumption: good resources will be ‘pulled’ and used, whilst chunks of course content will still require pushing. And so I see a fair bit of head-scratching ‘we produced three minute videos, but people still aren’t using them’.

The answer lies with the process used to construct the media.

The story that defines me is one of dissatisfaction I suppose: I was a young psychology lecturer who, through the application of learning theory to technology, discovered that none bore much relation to reality - and began to question their validity.

It troubled me (but no-one else, it seemed) that so much activity could be based on so little; that without an answer to that fundamental question 'how do people learn?' every 'learning' conversation was just noise.

You need to be careful with gamification.

I stopped wearing my fitness tracker a while back. Turns out, after a while the endless data, challenges, prompts and apps began to sap the intrinsic enjoyment of running. I began to feel like the device was controlling me. 

Gamification can kill the 'why'.

In my previous post I talked about the importance of the 'why' - the way that it links our activity to a deeper narrative; our personal story.
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At HRTech last year Yves Morieux described the marked decline in employee engagement, the boom in active disengagement (employees who are deliberately working against their organisation's objectives), and the resulting slide in productivity.

This is happening because people are storytellers. Bear with me. People strive to construct a coherent narrative to their lives - to make sense of their lives (this is just one of the reasons that Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is wrong).

I've used this slide many times to describe the future. People have begun to grasp Journey 1, the journey from courses to resources, but still struggle with the journey from resources to apps.

Sometimes they say things like 'but that isn't learning anymore' and they are right - it's learning elimination.

Sometimes they get confused by adaptive learning - which is like having a fax machine in your car, sending you little maps as you go.
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We tend to lionise leaders. Over the past few years I've had the opportunity to review a lot of stuff on leadership as we've worked with the Leadership Academy to shape the BP leadership model. From Schein’s ‘Culture & Leadership’ to Kellerman’s ‘The End of Leadership’.

We are such idiots, us thinkers. Babbling on, assuming that thinking makes a difference. Wild ideas compensating for dull lives. TED for the daily commute.

Thinking is like horn on a motor car. We are like a small child sitting in the passenger seat, unable to resist the urge to lean across and honk the horn, convincing ourselves that this is what makes the wheels go round.

If you don’t understand this, then my saying it won’t make much difference.
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When I first joined the BBC I was given some sage advice by someone soon to retire:

‘Just remember Nick, nobody ever got fired for not making a decision.’

I have often thought back to that advice.

I see a lot of fear in organisations. And that fear makes people behave badly: arse-covering emails, a culture of blame, failure to speak up, cowardice, selfishness.

Doing nothing becomes the safest thing to do.
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