Lord Nelson, L&D, and willful blindness

Lord Nelson, L&D, and willful blindness

Photo of Nelson's Column, London, UK.
Photo Credit: robmcm via Compfight cc and Andrew Jacobs

Andrew Jacobs shared a really great inspiration on how many in our profession declare that they see “no need” for things like 70:20:10 or MOOCs or badges…

Much like Nelson’s telescope trick at the Battle of Copenhagen, history is rife with examples of this sort of thing (e.g. Bill Gates’ infamous declaration that “640k should be good enough for everyone).

See no ships | Lost and Desperate – Andrew Jacobs’ Blog

So, have a read through Andrew’s post and let’s talk about the need to have more conversations about what’s happening in L&D and why it’s important to keep talking.

Maybe consider the questions: what do we do about this supposed willful blindness, and how could we change the conversation if some folks seem weary of it?


  1. I loved this post of Andrew’s. Here was my response to his post, which I believe is applicable here. (in some parts edited for clarity)

    “Andrew – Couldn’t agree more. The L&D conversation is getting tiresome and redundant. In part I think as @barry stated [in the comment section of Andrew’s post], in social media we follow and discuss issues with like-minded people and as the conversation has matured over the years, the conversation as a whole has gotten a tad stale. But that’s our fault too. Shame on us for not reaching out to different groups. I recently started following a twitter chat #NT2T “New Teachers to Twitter”. I found the conversation to be stimulating as they were asking really good questions about education that came from a good place, not from a “I have my head buried in the sand” place.

    The issue deepens when all we want to do is hear ourselves talk. Dare I say, a new form of ” Sage on the Stage”? Our role now, is to move from preaching to teaching to coaching. I fully support the beg forgiveness mode of creation. As the Queen of the small secret pilot – you try, test, review – wash rinse repeat. When results are where you need them to be, then start your campaign. It is here where we can be coach’s for a new generation of L&D people (and even some more tenured ones), coaching the fear. Don’t let fear (of failure, of retribution, of dismissal) hold you back. Fear can be a powerful emotion when properly channeled. Show new people what is possible, not just talk about it. Let’s put the fancy terms back in our pockets, and focus on actually moving forward and taking people with us. I say we start a “Back to the New Basics” movement only the basics being focused on agility, collaboration, communication with end-users as the core. It starts with us, finding new people to bring into the fold…How do you eat an elephant…

  2. I agree Shannon. My comment (yet to be moderated by Andrew) was: “Last week I was at a conference at which an L&D Manager recounted the story of the professional development pathway she put her team members through. I was shocked to hear that it was only after this training that they started trying virtual classrooms. People fear what they don’t understand.”

    This is my pointed way of concurring with your support for the beg-forgiveness mode of creation. When we let fear hold us back, we do nothing. Yet if those L&D folks were up front and pitched a virtual classroom as “trying something different”, I think they would have found their audience to be forgiving and even helpful.

    • Jølle har fÃ¥tt klem og nammenam. Jeg mÃ¥tte tape marshmallowen fast pÃ¥ snuten fordi nÃ¥r han sitter lenge med godbit pÃ¥ den, sÃ¥ glir snuten automatisk nedover litt om litt. Men han finner seg i det meste bare han fÃ¥r oppmerksomhet.

    • Your work on this subject is of great quality. I was entertained and interested by every last word in each sentence. You have piqued my interest as well as the interest of many other readers.

    • Hi Layla,I have used your recipe to make empanadas for my office lucheon and it was a huge HIT! Thank you so very much for sharing your recipe with the rest of the world. I made meat and then cheese and spinach empanadas for them. This week end I am going to make apple and also sweet potatoe empanadas for them.Thank you again,Karen in Colorado