Hello 2013

For me, 2012 will go down as a year I basically went dark publicly. While I wrote a lot for my work, I think I posted here just 5 times.  Good grief, three or four years ago I probably was posting 5 times in a week! As 2013  begins, it seems an ideal time to reflect back on 2012, share some observations and predictions, and get blogging again.

  • LCMSs are alive and well and the market will grow. In December, I wrote about Bankia’s learning content management architecture and how its use of a single source, asset-based approach to content led to huge cost savings and greater efficiency. I predict large organizations will increasingly utilize LCMSs  for mobile content development and deployment and to provide on-demand performance support for employees.
  • LMSs are also alive and well and the market will continue to grow. Over the course of four months in late summer and early fall, I gathered data from nearly 100 systems and had demo’s with over 40 vendors for Bersin’s 2013 LMS Industry Study. I learned that there are more than 400 LMS solutions (probably more) in this growing $1.8 billion dollar market with the growth coming from outside North America and from SMBs. The market is very fragmented and can be broken down into integrated talent management suites and specialized LMS (extended enterprise, healthcare, etc.). The market is also being reinvented by social learning tools. Of course, 2012 brought consolidation among vendors driven by integrated talent management  (i.e., Oracle, SAP). Functionality is increasing commoditized with SaaS delivery models becoming the norm. I was stunned by the stark differences in the user interface. There are some really elegant systems out there and some real ugly ones.  I also saw deeper capabilities in analytics. Put the harps away, this is a growing, but changing market.
  • A social talent management strategy will positively effect business results. At first this struck me as a fluffy marketing term but…as I went a little deeper I found in our research that organizations that were not excelling at social learning and integrated talent management, are less likely to be have a big impact on business outcomes. Fundamental to that success is the ability to drive value from a well-designed, well-adopted and sustainable use of profile and competency frameworks.
  • In the fall, I wrote about Booz Allen Hamilton’s use of Diversity Mentoring Circles to develop a diverse talent pipeline. Diversity and inclusion will become more important as we become a more diverse society. L&D will be expected to support strategies related to diversity and increasingly measure their effectiveness against different types of metrics.
  • I wrote  about video and mobile video usage this year and definitely see growth here. There has been an increase in professional-looking  videos and the use of experts as green screens and tools become more attainable. Content vendors are springing up as organizations demand better quality e-learning. I think commercial off-the-shelf self-paced elearning content is dying albeit slowly.
  • On-demand learning and performance support, especially in the context of mobile learning, will be more front and center for organizations as they struggle to keep up with the needs of employees for reliable, easily accessible information.
  • Global learning will remain a big challenge for organizations. I spoke about that at our IMPACT conference in the Spring. We came up with a Global Learning Capability Index that differentiates high and low functioning organizations. Key to success include language expertise, localizing content and empowering local customization of content, assessing regional and cultural effects on learning success differences, core/regional alignment, and collaboration among others. Please join us this spring for another great conference.
  • We continued our high-impact learning organization research building on a decade of research in this area. This is basically a how-to on doing L&D right with lots of examples. Efficiency, effectiveness, and alignment are still our key roles.
  • Finally, I went to a few conferences this year and was struck by the number of women that are blazing new trails in our industry and will continue to do so. Clearly, goddesses will run the world shortly :)

So that’s a ridiculously long post that I hope will serve as a catalyst for your own reflections on 2012. I hope you’ll share your own additions to this list. I’m currently finishing up our Mobile Learning Cookbook, the first in a series. Mobile, mobile, mobile. Huge. I’ll share some highlights from that after its release.

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