The news of Jay Cross's passing away on 6th November came as a bolt from the blue to his scores of admirers. Jay has been an icon and a huge source of inspiration to most of us in the learning community.
We, at Learnnovators, were fortunate to interview him a couple of months ago for our "Crytsal Balling With Learnnovators" series. True to form, Jay was brutally honest with his answers and didn't mince words while expressing his views on the state of L&D and its practitioners. No wonder then that his interview turned out to be one of the very best of the series!
I am giving below 20 awesome quotes from Jay's interview:
“It’s not so much that the future is informal learning. That’s always been the primary way people learn to do their jobs.”
“If an organization is not addressing informal learning, it’s leaving a tremendous amount of learning to chance. Is that okay? Not any longer. This is a knowledge economy.”
“My role was to point out to organizations that they were investing in the wrong place: formal learning.”
“Schooling, the model that most people support because they were brainwashed into it, is not the most effective way to learn.”
“Learning & development professionals often push what they can control.”
“The informal realm is scary because it empowers the learner. That’s a loss of control for training departments and it makes them uncomfortable.”
“…formal and informal learning are not separate things: they are points along a continuum. All learning is part formal and part informal. The issue is how much of each.”
“Lots of L&D people have been beguiled by the notion of ROI. Most of what’s written about the concept is nonsense.”
“I’ve given up hope that L&D can pull this off on its own. They don’t have and will never have the resources to touch everyone in the organization.”
“I’ve said for years that in our fast paced world, learning is the work.”
“Senior management needs to recognize that learning is the vital variable. It’s not L&D’s job, it’s the whole organization’s.”
“Learning is viewed as a cost that creates no value. Well, we’ve advanced since the Venetians invented bookkeeping but narrow-minded managers are still slaves to that way of looking at the world.”
“I have to admit that I like pushing people’s buttons to get them to think about what’s really going on.”
“I find myself shouting that the “Emperor has no clothes.” Somebody’s got to look at things with innocent eyes and point out what’s really happening.”
“Millions of knowledge workers and their managers have been told they are responsible for their own learning but have no more idea what to do than the dog who got on the bus (Now WTF do I do?).”
“L&D only reaches a small sliver of the workforce and their approach is episodic. It doesn’t do much to improve the organization.”
“People learn most from experience, not courses.”
“Learning is ultimately the responsibility of the learner.”
“The world is changing so fast that staying in one’s comfort zone is not an option.”
“…I’d like to do for learning what Luther did for religion: make the sacred knowledge transparent. Bring things out in the open.”
Thanks for all the inspiration, Jay... you will be sorely missed. RIP.