Here are some trends I’ve heard, from a couple of speeches at the conference this morning, including a keynote from Elliott Masie.

  • Self Service – A quick poll of the audience, about 1500 people, revealed that most of us used a check-in kiosk at the airline of our choice to get to NYC. A year ago this was unthinkable. This is a great example of why the ‘self-service’ trend is so hot and will continue to be the preferred way of people to interact with systems. At first you’d think the airline personnel who used to staff the check in desks would be highly threatened by this, but they have now realized that they are freed up to really add value to situations where people really need help, not just the transactional. And now kiosks are moving up the value chain, mooving from the transactional to the ‘revenue generating’ as they have new functions to buy drink coupons and ‘auction’ first class seats depending on demand. Imagine this kind of self-service environment in a much broader way inside organizations, its a great way to help them learn and develop, as well as freeing up ‘real’ people to focus on the most important things.
  • Credo Based Leadership – Mission statements are not just for decorating the walls of your office anymore. Having a credo and living about it, is the new way to facilitate management and disperse responsibility throughout the organization. Masie gave an example (rather hokey, but true) about a company that has narrowed that credo down to 5 elements. And they chant the 5 elements before every meeting. Sounds a bit stupid, but hey if its works… One element of their credo is ‘being open to innovation and to tolerate new ideas – even when they make us uncomfortable’ – how cool is that to open a meeting…
  • Learning has to Operate at the Speed of Business – ManyWorlds has been saying for a long time that to enable business learning, context is critical (see our adaptive knowledge network technology at (now Synxi tech)). But it really is critical. If we are to pursue the vision of what ManyWorlds terms ‘real-time learning’ (see the Future of Learning whitepaper), we must deliver content, in context, with a forma factor suited to the context. How else can we expect employees to operate, learn and adapt as fast as changing business conditions?
  • Don’t Perfect the Irrelevant – The time: 1997. The place: Smith Corona’s last leadership meeting. The century-old typewriter firm’s CEO got up on stage, and put on the podium their last most advanced model. Even analysts declared that this was the greatest machine ever. The CEO explained how he wanted his people to feel very proud of their accomplishments in putting this amazing machine together. But poignantly he explained ‘ what we have done here is to perfect the irrelevant’. Smith Corona lost sight of what their real value proposition was, especially in the age of the PC.

More later, and apologies for the quick writing here, that’s the nature of real-time writing.