Thriving in the Global Lifelong Learning Market

I had the pleasure recently of discussing lifelong learning and the market for lifelong learning with Seth Kahan as part of his Visionary Talk video series.  We talked about how and why the market for lifelong learning has changed and what organizations need to be doing to ensure they thrive in the new learning landscape. You can access the conversation by going to Visionary Talk or by clicking on the video below.

Seth, as you may know, is a best-selling author and founder of Association Transformation. He is also part of the faculty at the upcoming Leading Learning Symposium. We encourage you to join us at the symposium to interact and learn with Seth in real time.


Associations and the Market for Lifelong Learning

I posted this a few places back in the spring – it’s from the Tagoras Leading Learning Spring Summit –  but it occurred to me recently that it really should be posted here as as well. A brief overview of why trade and professional associations can and should dominate the market for lifelong learning. (Many, I find, take it for granted that they do, but that is not the foregone conclusion that it used to be.)

The Power of Why: A Simple Business Success Predictor


Why do you do what you do?

Why would anyone believe you can do a great job at it?

Why should anyone care?

Why would anyone pay you for it?


1. Can you answer all of the above in a brief but memorable way? If you can use a story and/or images all the better.

____ Yes
____ No
____ Not Sure

Next:Continue Reading »

The Work of Learning

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An example from the commodity learning market

As educational content becomes a more and more of a commodity, it’s more important than ever to remember that access does not equal learning.

Hordes of people have accessed MOOCs. Few of them finish. And even fewer of them engage with the courses in a way that results in lasting learning.

As enticing as it is to think a Netflix-type model can apply to learning, a huge amount of research tells us there simply is no such thing as “binge” learning. Organizations that latch onto this concept and promote it are irresponsible.

Yes, you can accelerate some types of learning – somewhat – but the bottom line is that most real, lasting learning takes time and it takes work.

And therein lies an advantage.

Individuals who are willing to put in the time and do the work will thrive.

Organizations that are willing to do the hard work of truly being learning organizations will have a significant – often decisive – competitive edge.

Leaders who think in terms of leading learning – in their sectors, in their societies – will transform the world. Those who don’t will simply contribute to the type of dysfunctional mess we currently see in much of the U.S. political system.

So it goes in the learning economy.

A simple rule to thrive by: apply learning immediately

Hand circling "now" instead of "later" on a white boardEver read a book and found as little as a few weeks later that you can barely remember a single key idea from the book?

Or attended a conference and struggled to remember the following year whether you attended it or not – much less whether you actually learned anything?

Or led your organization through significant market research and strategizing only to find a year later that things remain pretty much the same?

Common sense and lot of research back up the idea that we don’t retain very well what we don’t use. The simple (which is not to say easy) solution, of course, is to apply new knowledge or skills soon and frequently after they are acquired. This goes both for individuals and organizations.

Continue Reading »

The Strategy-Learning Loop

Infinite Loop Learning (TM)

In simplest terms, strategy is the means by which we travel from a current state to a future desired state. The realization of strategy is, by necessity, a learning journey.

Strategy presupposes that there are things we know, but also that there is a great deal we do not know. It gives us a framework for making decisions as we encounter new information, as we learn.

As a result of learning we should, of course, adjust strategy.

And so the process continues.

The Dangerous Middle

The Dangerous Middle

I've been thinking about "the middle" lately. Not the TV show - though I do enjoy that on the occasions I am able to watch it - but rather that average space in which too many organizations tend to find themselves. A place where it is very difficult Continue Reading »

What is the Learning Economy?

Interconnected System - Learning Economy

Start with the individual terms: Learning Here's how I define it: the lifelong process of transforming information and experience into knowledge, skills, behaviors, and attitudes. (from A Definition of Learning) Economy I had to piece together Continue Reading »

Educational Content Marketing with the Learning Revolutionary’s Toolbox

Free Download - Learning Revolutionary's Toolbox

I've suggested before that succeeding with content marketing is not necessarily easy - especially as more and more people jump on the bandwagon.  One key to making it work is to create truly useful content, and for my money, that usually means Continue Reading »

Purpose, Strategy, Learning

Purpose Strategy Learning

In my day-to-day work I focus a great deal on concepts like strategy and learning at the organizational and market levels. Over time, I have also become increasingly interested in how these concepts, in combination with an overall sense of purpose, Continue Reading »