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Dear LMS:  Your time has come

What can I say?  In my opinion, traditional LMS (learning management software) is so absurdly lame, outdated and obsolete both in terms of functionality and perspective that no moderately intelligent person would ever elect to learn that way.    It’s so bad LMS should just stand for “Losing Market Share”.

But there they are – hundreds of these LMS platforms out there doing the same lame things in the same lame ways.  They remind me of some obsolete, Darwinian carry-over species miserably caught between one era and another.  My suggestion: We evolve beyond these dinosaurs to meet the challenges that today’s businesses face.

It’s so bad “LMS” should just stand for “Losing Market Share”

With the ever-increasing speed of change, a distributed workforce, a competitive landscape for talent, and the exiting of senior leadership due simply to demographics; companies now more than ever before need to build powerful training, capture the wisdom of their people, and leverage it…YET they still take a hard pass more often than not on online training software…and who can blame them when the pickens’ are so slim.

Here are five BIG things traditional LMS DOESN’T do but your cloud-based learning software MUST do to solve real life grown-up business problems.

1.      FLIP the Classroom:  Instead of the top-down classroom approach that turns everyone into passive learning zombies while they listen to a “trainer” drone on inflectionless; your company’s learning software needs to showcase subject matter experts (SMEs) from inside your OWN company sharing their excellence and passion with others.  Who cares if they’re not “trainers” – REAL is always more legit and compelling.

2.     Ditch SCORM and embrace VIDEO: Yes, a talking PPT is cost effective and convenient to produce but the competitive landscape for fun, engaging and lively video is raging on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.  Your content must compete for attention with your users using animation, clever use of camera, and more than talking heads in a classroom setting.

3.     Give users the POWER:  Most traditional LMS software is based on the notion that lazy, bored and disinterested users have to be FORCED to consume content in a certain way.  The software directs users and controls how much and how fast they learn.  Traditional LMS isn’t “learner focused”, it’s “teacher focused” – teachers who don’t trust their class.  Give users the power to move where they need to as fast as they want to.  Need confirmation?  Test them.

4.     Pair with a SERVICES TEAM to help capture content and build engaging training: Let’s face it – we can all agree that HAVING an online training would be amazing but who has time to create one?  You don’t.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t get the result – you just need to pair with a software provider that also helps do the work of pulling the content together.

5.     INTERACT with the physical world.  Your learning software must blur the lines between the online experience and the physical world where your people exist.  Consider a software like PlaybookBuilder that includes a QR code generator to allow for on demand training in the field.  Where is this opportunity headed?  VR (virtual reality), AR (augmented reality), and Voice-First technology.

LMS is a dying species and we’re glad to attend the funeral.  But long live team learning, culture engagement, and the rise of personal-cloud learning solutions.  Your online software should and can embrace an inclusive, engaging, and personalized approach to solving the culture and training questions that your growth-mindset company is facing – you just need to look beyond the traditional leaders to see the new ones.