Learning innovation is trapped in an echo chamber

Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay

People who know about innovation in learning know what needs to be said.

People who don’t know about innovation in learning are lost in a sea of competing views.

There are silos between providers and practitioners. It feels like the inability of the industry to paint a compelling portrait of what innovation looks like has real costs for businesses.

Here are a few things which I’ve been thinking of:

  • Case studies point to bright spots but they’re often the same bright spots and innovation is limited because the businesses where they’re effective ‘aren’t like mine’.
  • Case studies using the hero’s journey narrative set an expectation of abyss which limits commitment.
  • Broader trends are lost in a sea of sales stratification. Common ideas are differentiated by marketeers and we lose the ability to measure trends over time because the products sold are ‘different’.
  • Existing datasets focus on the limited set of approaches we have and use regularly. This means we end up with lots and lots of data which details different ways to describe the same things.
  • These datasets are industry-based, industry-focused, industry biased. Innovation in learning doesn’t happen in isolation and data from wider business is siloed away from providers.
  • Deep knowledge is stored in too many places and each knowledge owner thinks what they have is the most valuable insight. There is nowhere to build a collective deep knowledge structure.

Is the learning profession doing itself a disservice because of the disconnect between practitioners and providers? Or am I overthinking this?

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