There seems to be an interest in the Krypton Community College concept if our Google Analytics are to be believed. (I do believe them. I trust Google more than I do the U.S. Congress, but so do most others.) We got quite a lot of traffic on my article about applying the concept to a sales education, so I thought I would take it a bit further, see if I can milk the search terms for a few more hits.
In my previous articles on the value of education to a professional salesperson, I noted several intriguing issues, foremost amongst them was that many sales pros and employers thing higher education for sales people is a waste of time. While I don’t think it is a prerequisite for success, it is certainly an advantage. That is not a bold statement – I think an education is a advantage in any walk of life, even retirement.
The driving force behind Godin’s concept is accessibility. He feels that the cost of a higher education has overwhelmed the benefit, and that the focus of education on college entry requirements has warped and limited education to what colleges want, and much of what they want and how it is acquired by individuals is outmoded in this age of information abundance. KCC is about ease of accessibility without sacrificing human interaction. Go here to learn more because this is my article, and I want to talk some about the logistics of applying it to sales education.
Godin says “It’s all free, it’s all open, and I’m hoping that this format will copied and morphed and used by others going forward.” Good. To differentiate my approach, I’m calling it Loman Community College after Willy, who many of you won’t know anything about.
My first consideration is providing the convenient physical location for the these small, self-directed groups. I proposed the office/ factory/ business facility as the best approach. For one, it guarantees that the course will be populated with like-minded individuals from some common framework and promote community without having to distract from the goal of learning to build it.
Next, it is very convenient. You’re already there.
Finally, it isn’t someone’s home where social situations and influences would distract from the goal – learning.
The next issue, I think, is why limit it to sales? This is an opportunity to expand learning, and most everyone can benefit from that. I started down the sales road because education is almost disparaged by a large segment of our business, and my previous articles dwelt on that theme. There is no reason why others can’t be included. Courses in business accounting will benefit all ambitious employees.
This segues into another question – is the business the best sponsor and vehicle for learning? Won’t the materials be biased towards the business’s goals and concerns, not the individual’s? Absolutely, if you let it. Remember, this is about learning, and the material will be third-party courses from “scholars” (Godin’s word) who create it and make it available. If the business tries to censor the content, students will have to resist, or go elsewhere.
Here’s a relevant question – in the business really the best vehicle to deliver health care? Of course not, but that is what we’ve evolved in the U.S. It’s not perfect by a long shot, but it works. At least it used to. The point is that business is not delivering the education, they are facilitating it.
Why should business do this? It will cost something (not a lot as the facilities generally already exist and you’re just extending their use), and what will the benefit be? A smarter, more knowledgeable and confident workforce, better equipped to succeed in the intense global marketplace. The abundance of information that argues for this kind of learning also argues that companies need to raise the bar for their employee’s capabilities or they will be left behind.
There are still a lot of questions about this concept, and I intend to try to ask and answer some of them in future articles. For example, who will drive the creation of learning materials, and how will standards be maintained if some groups choose to manipulate the goal from learning to influencing? How will groups be formed, classes selected, learning assured, and results be measured? Because even though Godin says nothing (so far) about this measuring results, giving grades, etc., if records can’t be maintained and results measured, then it becomes a baseball game where no score is kept.
When there are no losers, there is little incentive to be a winner.