Encyclopaedias have disappeared; the internet now presents that old written content on a platform that is for free to anyone. In the next decade training will follow the same path and content will be free; that’s my prediction and that’s why we need to change, not tomorrow but today.
The bad news for educators is their income models will be different as well, way different than they are today. Unfortunately many will drop by the wayside as they struggle to change their approach and their beliefs about the right way to deliver education.
What this means is simply this.
How you and I, as consumers, go about accessing training will continue to evolve and ultimately be quite different. Access will be much easier in some regards and you will be able to access course content for $0 outlay. The downside is that lots of poor quality material will get mixed in with the good stuff. That’s what’s always happened on the internet. Users will get caught out, then begin to be more selective in their approach.
My points of advice to organisations are five-fold.
NUMBER 1 – Stop buying course content now, and recognise that information technology gives us the ability to access training content in a different way.
NUMBER 2 – Seek out new ways to access content that serve the organisation from a cost perspective as well as skills development needs. The single most cost effective method available today for an individual is through memberships where ALL content comes with the package. These membership platforms offer a number of significant benefits:
- Potentially huge savings in training costs, without any loss of quality
- 100 percent predictability on costs
- Potential for employees to share the responsibility for self development, instead of the company holding all of the responsibility
- Consistent training across the entire workforce and long term content referencing post-training
The second most cost effective way, or perhaps the best from a corporate skills perspective, is to get your content for free and only incur a fee when you need someone to mark assignments or print some materials. This is our preferred approach.
NUMBER 3 – Cheap isn’t always bad, study the strategy of the offering before you assume that low cost means low quality
NUMBER 4 – Never lose sight of the goal of skills development and that is to develop staff skills that contribute in some way to the achievement of the business plan, the ‘nice-to-do’ training is mostly a waste of money
NUMBER 5 – Buying individual courses for individual staff is an antiquated way to approach education, and it’s no longer cost effective