Butterfly effect

In Jon Ronson’s recent podcast series the Butterfly Effect, he investigated how the porn industry was turned upside down following the decision by one man to get rich through giving the world all porn online for free. It’s honest but non-judgmental or salacious, treating the people interviewed with respect and care.

The parallels with learning and development are stark. In the past, learning content was locked down behind paysites and made bespoke for different audiences. However, in many cases, the expected outcomes from the content were similar.

We are now in a world where learning content is massively devalued as hundreds of hours of YouTube content is made available every minute, where people can connect with almost anyone virtually around the world, and where access to learning has been removed and made available for all.

In the Butterfly Effect, the impact of a single decision has had an extensive and significant impact in lives which are many steps away from the source action. The learning industry is beginning to feel the effect of the flap of the butterfly’s wings of free content and when that happens, relevant L&D teams will be in a place to seize the opportunity. Everyone else? You might need to re-consider your plans.

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