So this Geek has had the chance, at the Learning2011 conference in Orlando this week, to attend some sessions and have some conversations about Performance Support.
Without getting all hyperbolic on you, I want to say that traditional training (ILT, WBT, Blended learning, yadda yadda yadda) is the equivalent of Neanderthal Persons while Performance Support is the equivalent of Homo Sapiens Persons. Which is to say, the speed and complexity of most business processes can no longer be served by taking employees out of the productive workforce for training (even for a few hours) then plopping them back in their jobs. The distance between knowledge and action is just too great.
Here’s the immediate example. I’m sure I learned the difference between Neanderthal and Homo Sapiens at many points in my education, but just a moment ago when I wanted to use that example because I was pretty sure it fit, I paused mid-sentence, went to Google, and looked it up. Two things happened:
1. I look like less of an idiot than I would have if I had gone with my first thought which was to compare Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon. I would have just been wrong (and nobody wants that).
2. I would not have seen the NEW research that indicates that Neanderthal and Homo Sapiens weren’t actually separate species but that they inter-bred for some time before Neanderthal died out. This, of course, is a MUCH better metaphor for the relationship between traditional formal learning and performance support.
See what I did there? I used performance support to get the job done. Really folks…why are we still talking about this?