Category Archives: Uncategorized

An open letter to spammers


Image: AJ Cann, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0

I receive a lot of friendly requests via Twitter and LinkedIn. Actually, they are simple spam dressed up as something friendlier. Instead of replying to them individually, I have written this post so that I can simply reply with this URL:

Dear Spammer

You don’t think you’re spamming, because we follow each other on Twitter, or LinkedIn, or somewhere. You think this give us some sort of relationship.

It does.

A tenuous, arms-length relationship. We’re not close enough to swap favours yet. So when you mail or tweet me promoting yourself and your services, here are four things that are wrong:

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Three principles for great meetings

"Meeting" by John Benson

Image: Maria Giannopoulos, Mifflin Street Meeting, John Benson

I bet you can’t wait for your next meeting, can you?

No, I didn’t think so.

Almost everyone will be familiar with the energy-sapping reality of most meetings: waiting for the last, late person to arrive before you start, listening to the domineering attendee who loves the sound of their own voice and that sinking feeling as the minutes tick by and you think of all the real work accumulating on your desk, awaiting your late return.

It needn’t be like that.

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LearningLive 2014 – thank you

Thanks to everyone who made the Learning and Performance Institute’s LearningLive Conference last week such a success. Taking place at the fabulous new Etc Venue at 155 Bishopsgate, it was probably our most successful event yet.

Special plaudits must go to our keynote speaker Dr Steve Peters (of Chimp Management fame) who delivered one of the best keynotes for our field that I have ever heard.

And thanks, too, to someone who sadly wasn’t present this year. David Kelly has one again done a spectacular job with curating activity and resources around the event.




The Learning Journey 2014

Elliott with keynote Hillary Clinton at Learning 2013

One of the many positive things about being the chair of the Learning and Performance Institute is the chance to support great work in our field.

I can’t respond positively to every invitation and opportunity,  but do enjoy, where possible, supporting some great initiatives for the L&D profession.

One initiative I’m pleased to support this year is Alfred RemmitsLearning Journey 2014. Alfred is arranging for a group from Europe to attend Elliott Masie’s Learning 2014 conference and is surrounding the event with talks and site visits (including Sears and McDonald’s Universities) to make it a great opportunity to learn from fellow chief learning officers. Elliott’s events are certainly worth attending: the keynote in 2013 was Hillary Clinton. This year it’s Sir Ken Robinson.

Although I am delivering one of the talks -  21st Century Skills for L&D - I have no financial interest in this, just a strong belief that this sort of collaborative activity, where we properly get to know colleagues over a series of days, is a great way of building networks and developing both ourselves and the profession.

If you’d like to know more about taking advantage of Learning 2014, please contact Alfred directly. You can find his email and phone number on the last page of this PDF which explains the Learning Journey 2014 in more detail:

Learning Journey 2014

The Learning Journey 2014



Does elearning have a future?

What’s the future of elearning?

I’m not sure it has a future. In fact I argued against the use of the term “elearning” seven years ago and I still hold to that argument now.

But is there a future for technology supported learning? Of course there is.

This difference between traditional “elearning” and the future of the Learning Organisation (supported by technology) is something I’ll be talking about at 11am (UK) on Wednesday 27th August in a Google Hangout run by DreamTek, the experts behind the Learning and Skills Group’s webinar series.

The idea that “elearning” is a dead term is more than just semantic. I firmly believe that most learning at work is supported by technology in some form, but then so is most of finance, operations and sales and we don’t stick an e- in front of the names of those departments or what they do.

By calling what we do “elearning” we unnecessarily differentiate draw attention towards the technology element. We focus on the process, and we also somehow dress it up as something different, apart from the organisation, which is the very opposite of the truth of modern workplace learning.

As I’ll describe in the hangout (register here), almost all learning is now touched by technology at some point; and just as technology is now thoroughly integrated into learning, so the learning function should be totally integrated into workplace operations. Slapping the “elearning” label on it makes it appear as if it’s the complete opposite.

I’ll take a look at what Organisational Learning will look like over the next 12 months and in 5 years’ time. Previously,  I’ve really believed in massive change in learning because my entire working life the pace of change has been glacial.

Not any more.

I reckon that in 5 years the face of organisational learning will be very different, and never mind not being called “elearning”, it may not even be called “learning”.

The more I think about it, the more I’m looking forward to the event. I hope you can join me there. It’s the DreamTek Google Hangout on The Future of Elearning. It takes place at 11am (UK) on Wednesday 27th August and you can register here.

UPDATE —————————-

The Hangout went well – click to see the recording.

I look forward to continuing this conversation in the future.