Lenses are contexts to look at existing processes and become aware of “blind spots.” Many a training pundit have come to high regard based on their surfacing of new lenses. “What if we look at social media?” Or, “what if we consider baby boomers differently than Millennials?” Or "what are the implications if there are different learning styles?" Or, “what if we train customers using eLearning as well as employees?”
Given that, we are currently at a time in the Learning Industries when there are perhaps 10 useful lenses. We have to move back and forth between them to properly prioritize opportunities.
The ten lenses are:
1. Ages of End Users
Such as: Millennials; Gen Xers; and Baby Boomers.
Are you teaching the youngest employees and the oldest employees in the same way? Really?
2. The Flow of Skills
This occurs between: practitioners; experts; and occasionally instructors and students.
Are you focusing too much on enabling instructor-to-student, and missing the huge opportunity of peer-to-peer or expert-to-practitioner?
3. Types of Learning
The three primarily types are Learning to Know (new facts); Learning to Do (new abilities); and Learning to Be (new views of themselves and their relationships with others).
Are you using "learning to know" approaches when you want "learning to do" results?
See entry here.
4. Moments of Learning
When does the need for and fulfillment of learning occur: Learning before use; Learning while using for the first time; Learning to use new features; Learning when things go wrong; and Leaning new versions based on old?
Are you supporting learners at the point of application of learning?
5. Time in an Employee's Lifecycle
These can include New Employee; New job; New Manager; High Potential; and Senior Executive.
Are you missing entire segments of employees?
6. By Function
Such as: Training; Help Desk; Documentation; and Marketing (and then by country and product line).
Are stovepipes adding costs and hindering messaging?
7. By Audience Role
Such as: Employees; Channels; and Customers
Are best practices and content going where they are needed? Is the organization set up to best meet the needs of each?
8. By Organizational Priority
Such as: Short Term Critical; Medium Term Strategic; Legal Necessity; and Legacy
What does you organization need right now? What will it need in one year, and can you start now to meet that need?
9. By Message to User
Such as: Low cost/don't worry about it; High cost/this is critical.
What does it say to your employees when ethics training is bought off-the-shelf and deployed as cheaply as possible?
See entry here.
10. By Approach, including New and Traditional
New approaches includes: Social Media I (including blogging, Twittering, and podcasts), Social Media II (including Facebook style interactions); Mobile; and Sims and Games.
Traditional approaches include: Classroom; Online Workbooks; and Live Synchronous Virtual Class.
Do you even have the skills to use the right approaches, if they make perfect sense?
We can risk both lens fatigue and spending too much time appreciating each new model. Having said that, both understanding the models that people bring to the table and the opportunities available are essential to meet the organization's needs.