Forty years ago, in January 1972, David Bowie released the iconic song Changes. Later that year, Atari launched their first video game, Pong, which interestingly enough was developed as a training exercise. However in 1972, if you wanted to play Pong, you would have to go to a games arcade as it was another three years before the home version became available. Ten years later, in 1982, we were introduced to the Sinclair ZX Spectrum.
By the time we reached 1992 the term “Surfing the Internet” had been coined by Jean Armour Polly and by 2002, although mobile phones were becoming a part of our lives, we didn’t have 3G phones in the UK for another two years! So now we find ourselves in 2012 and David Bowie has just turned 65.
As for technology, we take it for granted and when something goes wrong it can affect tens of millions of users and hit the headlines . The impact technology has on our personal and working lives is something we could not have imagined forty years ago. It has also changed the way we can access learning, if we want to find out about something, we simply ‘google’ it or pose a question on one of our social networks.
Technology is also having a huge impact on learning in the workplace, but in an ever changing world where will this take us? The pace of change is increasing exponentially and companies are going to have to keep reinventing themselves to even maintain their position in the marketplace never mind improve it. There is going to be even more pressure for employees to continually improve performance and learn new skills. So what will learning in the workplace look like ten years from now and what does the future hold for the corporate learning organisation?
This was the one of the challenges given to those who attended the Business Educa strand of Online Educa in December 2011. The outcome was the development of four different scenarios. Not all of us could attend Online Educa, but we can now all contribute.
Working on the premise that learning is an integral and important constituent of any organisation’s process, it is important that those of us who seek to apply our expertise in the field are aware of the broad environment in which we operate. We live in a fast changing and uncertain world, so taking a bit of time to look at some possible scenarios for the future will help us understand both the freedoms and constraints that we are likely to encounter in the years ahead. Understanding where our organisations are positioned and therefore the challenges they are likely to face in continuing their success in that changed world is critical to “learning people” understanding how to position and apply the new technology and understanding of the learning process to help ensure that success. BusinessEduca produced some possible scenarios to be used in wider debate about where and how learning will change.
As you read these scenarios ask yourself “What is my view of the world as it will be in 2022?” Laura Overton , Managing Director of Towards Maturity has written an article summarising them. We will share those ideas and what leads from them when we tweet together in #chat2lrn on Thursday 19 January at 16.00 GMT/11.00 EST
Questions from today’s chat
Q1) On the scenario model, where do you see your organisation now?
Q2) What will the world be like in 2020, economically, socially, technologically?
Q3) What major changes does that vision suggest for organisations?
Q4) What changes will be required for learning in supporting organisations?
Q5) What opportunities open up for learning to add value to organisations?
and as promised, lets carry on the conversation:
Q6) What risks exist and how can they be overcome?
You can find a transcript of the tweetchat that took place here