Learning 2009: Content is King but Content is the Kingdom

masie 2009

Fresh off the plane from TED India at Mysore, Elliott Masie was kind enough to connect me virtually to discuss Disruptive Technologies at Learning 2009.

We had fun riffing on the things right around the corner for learning…..Location based learning that takes advantage of GPS devices, Identity based learning where you can be someone other than who you are and experience how it feels via immersive media, the proliferation of game based learning on platforms such as i-phone, and envisioning a world 10 years from now where learning and doing become inseparable and instructions in context trump instruction outside of it.

The next wave of technologies is ushering in the possibility of performance support on steroids where knowledge is instantaneously injected into the workflow at the moment of need. The network will know what you know, know where you are, know what you need and be able to deliver it in context in real time.

Sounds like the “Just in Time, Just Enough, Just for Me” mantra of Knowledge Management a decade ago. The difference here is that both the social and technological architectures are different this time around: It is about flows of dynamic interactions between people not stocks of static information accessed by an individual.

In the new netWORK learning era Information is the Currency, Individuals are the Transport Mechanism, Interaction is the Transfer Mechanism and Insight and Wisdom are the Outcome. The quicker you can tune your network to the issue or task at hand the more productive you are at accomplishing the task and, oh yeah, you learn a whole bunch while you are not looking to boot!

In Good Company

ASTD just put out an article on the applicability of games to innovation and learning by Pat Galagan.


I was fortunate enough to be interviewed for the piece….even more so when the only others interviewed were John Seely Brown and Clark Aldrich….two gents who I really respect and admire.

A few excerpts follow:

    Good performers have what Tony O’Driscoll, a professor at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, calls “reputational capital.” “What you have accomplished and how your performance has been assessed by other players is open for all to see.” Capability is so transparent that players cannot fake their skills.

    Preparing for and executing raids is a popular activity in WoW. After each raid, the spoils—such as captured weapons and clothing and other virtual trophies—are divvied up immediately. “There’s a tight link between accomplishment of activity and remuneration for it,” says O’Driscoll, referring to part of the game environment that drives engagement and performance.

    Tony O’Driscoll believes that multiplayer role-playing games are a rough proxy for the work environment that lies ahead and that they offer clues to leadership in the future. Certain of their characteristics, such as nonmonetary performance incentives, data that can be seen by all, and temporary leadership roles that allow practice leading to mastery, could be important in organizations of the future.

    “The enterprise of the future will be small, global, knowledge-driven, and dependent on web-enabled partnerships. Such organizations require a different kind of leadership,” O’Driscoll says. In the MMORPG world, leadership is a task, not an identity.

You can check out the full article here.

Or print the PDF from here.

Interview in New Online Journal

A colleague from IBM interviewed me for a new online journal called Transformative Works and Cultures.

A few quotes from the interview to whet your appetite:

    Whether you come at it from the gaming industry perspective or from the perspective of gaming sensibilities making their way into industry in general, at core is the fact that as we move from a world where we connect to the Web to one where we connect through and within it, the enriched communication and social interaction is changing how we live, work, and play.

    In the services-driven, information-age economy, the need for collaborative cocreation of new offerings at the edge of the enterprise is becoming increasingly important. This in turn raises the question whether the bureaucracy that was created to optimize efficiency in the industrial age is the best enterprise governance system to drive innovation and creativity in the information age

    I believe that as we become further immersed in the information age, it will become increasingly important to invoke play into daily work to cut through the routine and mundaneness associated with many analyst-type roles. We are already seeing this pop up in different industries where gaming techniques and incentive schema are being applied for everything from recognizing and naming craters on a newly identified planet to coming up with a commercial spacecraft.

To read the whole interview you can read it here.