I heard recently a training manager saying he had the feeling that he was doing a "very digital training" for "very analog people". In other words, despite using online strategies, interactive video, gamification, ... he saw a "glass ceiling" that did not know how to surpass. The growth rates were modest, and the results did not leave him totally satisfied. The glass ceiling, he attributed to age. "For people over 40 years old it is complicated to offer attractive options of online training". Later we had the opportunity to talk about the use of simulators as a way to improve the commitment and application of learned topics. Although what caught my attention was when he asked if I should apply these tools "from now", or if it would be better to make a "stop along the way" and wait. I noticed some discouragement and that is why I decided to share these ideas.
First, that we are analog is obvious. We are not born knowing how to develop an Instagram account with thousands of followers. But everything can be taught and learned. Our employees live a digital environment in their personal lives whether they are active in Whatsapp or any of the many social networks that exist. In any of the options that we make using technology, we must manage this "digital gap", especially for groups that are not used to the digital environment. There is, therefore, a "glass ceiling" that we should try to raise as much as possible so that the benefits of personalization and flexibility reach the maximum of our students by making the complex, simple.
Second, technology, not simply for being technology, is necessarily good. Do not confuse technological advances with progress. There is the term "neophilia" or love for novelty, which has been embedded as dogma without even questioning if any new thing that emerges is good. It is assumed that it is.
Third, the logic of the market leads suppliers to offer new functionalities. It is "law of life". We will never have the last and there will always be someone who has more and better tools. This should not worry and paralyze us.
Fourth and last, we must develop a new competence: “experimentation”. Micro-learning, gamification or simulators are options that we often do not have prior experience on and therefore we fear to make mistakes. I firmly believe that it is part of our role, as training managers in companies, to be able to experiment. Knowing how to select proven solutions and know how to test them in controlled environments. Our biggest contribution is to scale these opportunities in results for our companies.
I understand the discouragement of many directors. Is not easy. Betting on the traditional is a temptation that takes away many headaches and that anchor in the certainty, in what has worked in the past. Kant said that a pigeon may think that the air is a great hindrance to its flight, without knowing that it is precisely the opposite of the air, which sustains its fly. It is just the uncertainty that keeps us in a constant state of improvement.