“Originality is something that is easily exaggerated, especially by authors contemplating their own work.” John Kenneth Galbraith
I have designed and facilitated highly participatory training programs for a very long time. I continue to be interested in learning new information about how people learn and adding new training techniques to my repertoire.
However, I have noticed that, over the years, I have become more jaded about articles purporting to approach learning from a new and different angle. Very often, these articles not only fail to inform, but also seem to simply reiterate something that I have known and practiced for many years.
Yes, of course there are always new breakthroughs in understanding how the brain works, based on research in the field. It is also true that I occasionally do read about excellent innovative learning activities or training methods that I am anxious to adopt and apply.
Unfortunately, although there is an enormous amount of information being published daily on the web in training-related newsletters and training blogs, and on professional training sites, very little of it appears to offer anything fresh or original.
I want to say to the writers: “I know that already! That’s old news! Give me something that is sparkling brand new that makes me rethink my beliefs and assumptions about learning. Offer me fascinating new training tools that will help make my training design and delivery more effective. Don’t keep rehashing the tried and true. Challenge me, intrigue me, stimulate me! Set me on a path that brings me to greater knowledge and deeper understanding!”
Am I just too jaded to recognize the value in what is being trumpeted as something wonderful? Am I too tired and unmotivated to plumb the depths of these articles? Or are my perceptions and conclusions accurate?
Has it always been like this and I am only now noticing that information is continually being rebranded and reworked to be presented as something innovative?
Or is the problem that my expectations are too high- that my quest to expand my learning leads me to open and read articles that are in reality targeted at new trainers for whom the information would be new and exciting?
And if that is the case, is it possible for me to minimize my frustration and disappointment without overlooking information that would be valuable to me? I don’t seem to be able to screen the articles I read by considering who the writer or the publishing organization is. Am I destined to waste my time opening every article?
Or is the real problem that I am too full of myself, too entrenched in the belief that I already know it all and that there is very little left for me to learn? I certainly hope that is not the case, but I may not be the best judge.
Where are you on this continuum- and do you have any advice for me?
May your learning be sweet.