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It is better
to not be on
the web than
to be on and
not know why

John Sumser

is more
it seems.
John Gall


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November 26, 2002) - Ever since the hotel fire that trapped us on the 42nd floor, we've stayed away from really high places. So it was with some trepidation that we got on to the elevator marked "Zoom" and headed to the Banker's Club. Ears popping, we took the 3G ride to the top. The swanky steak-house atmosphere is a quaint and "old San Francisco" backdrop for the view.

From the windows, you look down on the famous pyramid building and out over San Francisco. With a glance, an experienced Sim City player would understand that SF really was the model for the game. The city rolls out to the mountains and gets lost in the fog.

About 60 consultants, vendors and managers were in the room for the eLearning forum, a routine get-together of the local branch of that blossoming industry. eLearning, if you don't know, is the broad category of tools, people and institution involved in the use of the computer as a teaching tool. Relatively speaking, eLearning is the next silo over from eRecruiting is the HCM pantheon.

We use the term advisedly. It was eye-opening to hear people from a different discipline discussing their work in the same terms bandied about in ours. There's a new Chief Learning Officer Magazine. There's more traction getting CLOs jobs than we seem to have with our Chief Talent Officers. 

Sadly, as it is in recruiting, it's the same old bunch with the same old gripes. "We're not taken seriously enough." "Finally, we're getting free from that silly ROI idea." "If they'd only listen." But, the elearning forum seems to be making a difference. Run by a sturdy fellow whose interests are clear and in possession of an interesting Board of Directors, the loose organization runs routine get-togethers and has an impressive track record.

Members get to see new technologies and new ideas first. There is solid networking and an effective job board. The elearning forum seems to be gaining traction in its quest to build useful infrastructure within the professional community. We were reminded of Craig's List and Media Bistro.

As for the meat, this forecast should help understand the basic industry. Unlike our arena, most training is still done manually. That means that the elearning world grows by simply automating routine tasks. In other words, the challenge in elearning is to bring the enterprise into the late 1980s. From that perspective, we are doing remarkably well.

Little appears to be understood about the fact that recruiters essentially set the Training workload. The quality of today's hires defines the degree to which additional training is required. From what we can see, with the exception of a very few folks, there is no connection between our world and theirs. 

The two separate silos must look pretty funny to the C-level staff. After listening to the arguments for a CLO and a CTO, you can imagine the muttering. "Hey, how 'bout a CPO (Chief Pencil Officer)".

The next time you have a chance, go talk to the folks in training. Tell them about what you do. Ask if there are things to look for that hiring managers neglect. We ought to be figuring out how to work with them.


-John Sumser

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Materials written by John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.
Mill Valley, CA 94941

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         © TwoColorHat.
         All Rights Reserved.