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TechLearn Day 1
Monday, November 15, 2004

Monday morning. 8:20 am at the Marriott Marquis. Elliott is opening the show. “How many of you are …?” Plug for the 190 organizations in the eLearning Consortium. Elliott is a New Yorker by birth; New York is not a big city; it’s a collection of neighborhoods.

What keeps you awake at night? What is your measure of performance? (Find a partner!)

Things that keep Elliott up at night?

Self-service at the airport: in a year, most people switched to it. Elliott claims to interview people (with a dummy microphone) when at the airport. About 5% say the self-service kiosk is the best thing that ever happened. Self service is a reality now. It is the future. Elliott figures the airline kiosk is transitional. In about a year, they’ll be cheap on eBay.

Form factors. iTunes. In the old days, we want out of our way to make eLearning like class. “Hello, student Elliott…” When was the last time you finished reading a web page? Remember Wayne’s talk yesterday: EVERY ONE LEARN. People get what they want and leave. We should celebrate this: they go tit and left. Bravo!

Elliott thinks that courses will go away. The average person in America does not work at a desk. He or she is on a tractor, in a truck, on the ranch… On mLearning, America is behind. For seven cents a day, a person in China can receive a chapter of a novel daily via phone, The conversation about the connected workplace is hot.

Many LMS’s are used as CMS’s (compliance measurement systems). They are cover-your-ass systems to track your honest effort.

Missionstatements.org: you can buy a mission statement for $10. They look good on the wall.

Credo-based management. It gets to be about our neighborhood’s values, not compliance. eLearnig can dirve the mission and credo of the organization become part of the conversation.

Elliott hates the term Subject Matter Expert. He will never say “SME” again. We are draining them. They are the largest drag on developing content. He will pay a dollar for each time he says SME. Photo: Elliott paying Lance Dublin for not one, but two, mentions of SME.

“I love content,” he says. “But context is easier to digest. You’ll remember what you learned in table groups, not the speech. I went around the expo yesterday and I did not see a single context manager.”

The metrics of learning are business metrics. (Glad to hear that Elliott’s reading my stuff.)

eLearning. The experiment is over and it was mildly successful. Experimentation is over. Implementation is here. Rapid development is the order of the day. We no longer have 18 weeks to develop new courses. These days 18 hours is more like it. One financial institution is shooting for 18 minutes. Learning at the speed of business. How can we operate at the same pace? Let’s stop re-inventing things like navigation; it’s as if USA Today started each morning asking, “How do we want the front page to look today?”

The most critical decision you will make is what’s your scorecard? “We are looking at building the balanced scorecard for learning.” (I have talked with the inventor of the Balanced Scorecard about this very topic and am working on it at this very moment.) “I would love to have a dashboard that reports on employee confusion.”

“This will be my final year with TechLearn. I’m energized by what’s next. Your future is not in eLearning. eLearning is a delivery system. Your future is in making your organization strong, profitable, resilient, successful….”

Jason Fish tried to fill the big shoes. He tells us to visit the 65 vendors in the Expo. The crowd mumbles.

Lee Kraus of Advanstar just took the stage and announced that TechLearn 2005 will convene at the Bellagio in Vegas.

Tom Peters!

Walmart has 460 terabytes of data! (Twice as many bits as the internet.)

These are crazy times, and crazy times call for crazy people. Tom’s slides are at tompeters.com

Tom hates the word “best.” It implies there’s someone at the top. Later, he twice uses the word best.

Only the constant pursuit of innovation can ensure long-term success.

Not “out sourcing.” Do Best Sourcing.

Papa, what do you do? “Son, I’m overhead. I manage a cost center.”

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m finding Tom boring. I don’t think he prepared for this talk. The slides are mainly pages from his latest book. He doesn't seem to know what slides are coming next. He's running overtime. I've heard almost all of this stuff before. Tom is, I fear, over the hill. All histrionics and no content.

“Every time I pass a jailhouse or school, I feel sorry for the people inside.” Jimmy Breslin

“My kid’s on the Honor Roll.” All that means is he colored inside the lines.

The Bottleneck is at the Top of the Bottle.

Where are you likely to find people with the least diversity of experience, the largest investment in the past, and the greatest reverence for industry dogma?

Tom tried to return his MBA to Stanford after he saw his accounting prof on t.v., testifying as head of the audit committee of Enron and figured his five credits in accounting should be taken away.


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