Dean Pichee, Founder and President of BizLibrary
What’s happening with learning content delivery and the technology supporting it? We continue to hear a lot about mobile, gamification and responsive design. Where is the leading edge today?
I’ve been in the training industry for quite a while, and I’ve really never seen things as unsettled as they are today. We went through a massive amount of consolidation a few years ago, and that created an open market for companies like BizLibrary to step forward with modern and innovative learning solutions. What’s happened as a result is that today small and mid-sized companies have access to far more interesting and innovative training solutions than do enterprise organizations. Enterprise training vendors and their clients appear stuck, having made massive investments in legacy technologies and content that simply aren’t very effective at meeting the needs of a modern workforce and today’s learner. Smaller, more agile vendors are delivering far more interesting solutions — solutions that typically include short-form video content and mobile delivery.
Where do you see the market going in terms of the consumption of training content?
It’s already at the place some predicted a few years ago, with short video or micro-learning dominating the market. Since some vendors offer clients a diverse set of content options in a wide variety of formats, they are perfect “test tubes” for employee preferences. Those employees consume on average about five video training lessons per month, each averaging less than 10 minutes in length. Those that access older, legacy e-learning courses — the “click-and-advance” PowerPoint style — see their employees take about four courses per year. The message is clear. Employees are telling the entire market something very important. It’s all about video, and it’s all about short, bite-sized content, too.
What do you see as the future of employee training and learning?
The future is so exciting. As I mentioned, there are many well-established “brand” names in the industry. They have lots of clients who’ve made big investments with them, so how do you go to those same clients and tell them it’s all got to change? That’s a hard conversation. It’s also a difficult logistics problem — one that requires them to engineer a new type of learning solution, migrate users and platforms, et cetera. So I see organizations that are smaller, more agile and don’t have a massive legacy system to re-engineer at the forefront of the future. Organizations today need a new type of LMS and a new content solution as they migrate away from day-long instructor-led training programs to the short, on-demand learning that employees prefer. I think the next big thing in learning is going to be in the area of learning retention. If employees can learn what they need, when they need, and also be able to retain it, they will be able to apply their new skills to improve their performance. Which is the only objective of employee training. Tools are beginning to emerge today that allow vendors and learning professionals to deliver an end-to-end learning experience.