30 Day Brainstorm Challenge – Day 27: Dust Bunnies

It’s Day 27 of our 30 Day Brainstorm Challenge – Dust Bunnies!

My office is driving me crazy. I’m not the most organized person, but now it’s straining even my easy-going nature. I suppose this is good news, I have a variety of projects and proposals that need attention. Therefore, my desk is scattered with notes, sticky notes, and other assorted pieces of paper. Crazy right? All from a person who is having an open affair with Evernote. So, today was the day. Let’s get it together Shannon. My plan was to set aside time in the second part of the day to get it together and shock to be all shocks, I actually held to it (writing this post aside). Here’s what I discovered:

  • Several binders of a Sales Program from years past
  • A binder with a personality assessment program also from many moons ago.
  • 2 binders from a supervisor training program from a position a DECADE ago.
  • A binder from a program called “Leadership for Executives” that is was so horrible..I’m sure discovering it will bring back nightmares.
  • Many different versions of the same training program that I created and presented. 5 versions to be exact.
  • My old Franklin Covey trainers guide for “What Matters Most” remember when we all had Franklin Planners?

The list is long and ugly. So much dust! But I had to clean off these shelves to make room for projects that are more current…you know ones that are from this decade. Anywho, this lead me to think about training shelves and files everywhere. In organizations everywhere. Are your programs sitting around collecting literal and digital dust? In some cases it may be metaphorical dust, because you are still using these programs. Your organization still using a program developed in 1990? It worked well then, why not now?

I find this to be particularly true for sales training. Sales people seem to be worst at letting something go. So, if your sales training was developed in 1995, it’s time to look for new stuff. Times have changed regarding a buyers mindset. This is not only true for sales, but for all sorts of programs. Leadership training circa 2005 needs to be discarded and a new strategy developed. Your people deserve better than outdated topics and leadership models and if your courses are older than 5 years old, they are outdated.

Dust! We have dust bunnies in our training programs!

It’s not good enough to say, “Let’s blend it! That’ll will add life.” Not necessarily, what adds life is getting away from standard topics with a standard approach. One example comes from a recent participant who came to me because her organization was insisting on a course for their Mission, Vision and Values (MVV). Why was this important to put in a course? “Because leadership feels everyone should know it. They’ve always taught it and I’m struggling to figure out a new way.” But why a course? Let’s shake the dust off of this standard new hire agenda item. First, let’s get one thing straight – MVV is not a course. No one learns the MVV from a PowerPoint deck and some talking head. SUPER DUSTY! How about sending newbies a video of how the MVV is demonstrated in the workplace, then send them out to the floor with their phones on the first day to capture examples or record interviews? Now it is an old topic that is dust bunny free.

Do you have elearning compliance courses purchased in 1988? Ya know you do. Time to clear out the digital dust. This takes time. First review them, and see if the courses are still relevant. It always surprised me when reviewing old courses to see how quickly they became obsolete. I can’t imagine the frustration of the end-user. After you find the worst offenders, put one old project on your list for revision. Just one. I know this will take time, but soon enough you’ll have fresh content. You’ll probably discover that much of your content can be totally discarded in favor of a quick video, or another type of learning object. Your organization will love you!

So let’s just say no to dusty, obsolete programs. Say no to out-of-date video’s within ancient elearning courses. Get rid of the dust, both digital and real. Death to dust bunnies!

Do you have old programs? How are you tackling the dust? 


NO! It’s not too late to join! See the original 30 Day Brainstorm Challenge post here

See previous post: Day 26: My Dying Plants

Check out the variety of participants and their challenge entries on the Learning Rebels Facebook page here

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Shannon Tipton

Shannon Tipton

As Owner of Learning Rebels, Shannon Tipton is a skilled learning strategist, content developer and International speaker. Shannon has over 20 years of leadership experience developing successful learning strategies and infrastructures for training departments within organizations in North America, Europe and Korea.

Shannon works with people and organizations to develop learning solutions that brings actual business results. Recognized as bringing real-world expertise into the learning field, Shannon integrates technologies and social learning tools to strengthen workplace alignment, enhance collaboration and increase learning connectivity.

As author of “Disruptive Learning” Shannon frequently speaking at conferences across North America and Europe and ranks as one of the top 100 L&D influencers on Twitter (@stipton).

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