The caveat of content curation
At last week’s Learning @ Work conference in Sydney, Clark Quinn declared:
Curation trumps creation
And this resonated with me. Why spend time, effort and money reinventing the wheel?
However I’d like to explicate his implied caveat:
…if good content is available.
There is a belief prevailing among L&D folks that all the information we need is at our fingertips. We can learn anything online. Everything is googleable.
But this is a myth.
Anyone who’s spent 5 minutes in an organisational setting appreciates how difficult it can be to source relevant, actionable content. If it’s not hiding in a walled garden, it’s of terrible quality or doesn’t even exist.
We’ve all scoured user manuals and discussion forums and video libraries, seeking assistance for that one specific thing we need to do, only to give up dispirited and empty handed.
Under these circumstances – when the right content can not be found – there is nothing to curate, so we have no choice but to create it.
Having said that, I recognise a halfway point.
Clark observes that finding good answers is more problematic than just finding an answer. In an agile environment, it is also important to realise that an answer will be useful if it is good enough.
By way of illustration, I am currently piloting what I call a “MOOC-like” training program at my workplace. Uncertain of whether this kind of L&D will fly with my colleagues – and mindful of failing fast and cheap – I have purposefully avoided investing big in scenario production. Instead, I have found a couple of videos on YouTube that are good enough to support my minimum viable product.
If the MVP proves to be a success, I’ll scale it up and invest in producing scenarios that press all the right buttons.
In other words, I’m taking Clark’s advice to create when I have to, but only then.