Remember that kid that always watched the other kids playing ball and never really got invited to play? That kid is training to the rest of the organization. Sure there are times when training gets called in to “play” but always as an afterthought as though, you need that kid to make the teams even but really, thats just because the game calls for even teams. This is not to say that training doesn’t add value, much the same way that the kid isn’t necessarily without skills. Its just that the organization keeps ticking without training or with training. The problem as far as I can tell, is that training positions itself that way through the means in which it is distributed. Training is always an “event” external to the day to day operations of the company. This is true for online, offline, formal, informal, etc. Training organizations can keep trying the ROI route and getting “stakeholder buy-in” but at the end of the day it will always remain on the outside as long as they keep selling their services as outside of operations.
A more effective approach, and one that semantic web technology can facilitate, is for training to be buried in the everyday operations of a business. Embed knowledge, embed, information, embed training content into the natural workflow and business processes of an organization. Allow it to be pulled on demand, in a context sensitive way and all of the sudden training is relevent, its impactful and it gets the job done. There are lots of nay sayers out there that this approach can never work. It does work! As instructional designers we should be concerned with structuring content so that it can be accessed on demand versus figuring out ways to push it on people in more entertaining digetsible ways.