Monthly Archives: November 2013

Some thoughts on Don Taylor’s 2014 Learning Trends Poll

If you haven’t already seen Don’s blog on 2014 Learning Trends, then check it out here:

At this time of year, we are often asked what we think the next “big thing” will be and this year is no exception! A great thing about any poll that Don Taylor puts out there is that it will be seen and responded to by a lot of people across the broad spectrum of learning – not just a subsection of those specifically interested from a technology angle.Make sure you check out the results too!

However, the reason I felt the need to blog on this topic was the reference to Open Badges. I have to say that I like the concept and my present employers have a good use case for them. Indeed, we are already using badges in both our Internal and Customer communities, both of which are on the Jive platform. And this is where it gets interesting! I recently attended the Jiveworld conference in Las Vegas which by coincidence, was across the street from DevLearn. Thanks to the backchannel, I was able to pick up that there was keen interest over the road in open badges which wasn’t matched at Jiveworld. Even spending time in a session with one of the gamification partners in my conference didn’t seem to be able to drum up any interest at all in linking the community tool to Open Badges.

One could draw the conclusion from this that the elearning development people get this but the community folks don’t. And that worries me! I am very fortunate to work in an enlightened organisation where our customer & staff community efforts are run out of our Academy and collaborative learning is already here.

I have believed for many years that the worlds of Learning and Knowledge Management are a little like twins that were separated at birth but are now coming back together. (see this earlier post: For this to be a reality, Community & Learning professionals could do with being more closely aligned – it would be a tragedy to be once again sat in a Collaboration conference feeling that maybe, the guys across the road get some of this better than we do!

As a final comment on the poll, Mobile Learning has been the next big thing for so long now one has to ask why it hasn’t actually taken off yet for many of us!

Innovation Lessons from the world of music – part 3

I never in a million years thought that I would find myself writing about a DJ as a musician! But my mind has been changed to a degree by coming across DJ Ravi, a Las Vegas based performer – and I mean, performer!

If we take the base idea from my previous post ( that innovation is about taking something that already exists and adding other ideas & influences to make something new, then this guy does just that with dance music.

The starting point is take 2 tunes and mix them – but all DJ’s do that, right? Right! But not all DJ’s have a drum kit and play along with their mix! And that is what made this guy different. Here’s his promotional video:

Soundcloud doesn’t really do this guy justice as you need to imagine you are on a packed dance floor and the volume is up!

[iframe src=”″ frameborder=”no” scrolling=”no” width=”100%” height=”166″]

I remember the discussions in the UK’s Musician’s Union magazine on the topic of allowing DJ’s to become members – I didn’t agree back then but DJ Ravi may have just changed my mind on that!

Bringing us back to the real world of business, we see this mix of ideas from different places around us all the time – a great example is the “Swatch” watch company. The Swiss watch market was in serious decline in the early 80’s until a consultant, Nicholas G Hayek, decided to add Italian Fashion thinking to the mix along with a touch of Lego plastic engineering skills. The result was the iconic Swatch range you have today. Or how about Phillips, the electronics giant, working with Italian furniture maker Giulio Cappellini to put televisions and DVD’s into furniture items? (from

And if you don’t innovate, you may just find your business sliding towards closure. Only today, we read about the closure in the US of Blockbuster – could they have innovated their way out of trouble? We shall never know now.There is of course, the other Blockbuster which will remain with us forever!