People have become so comfortable and familiar with the term LMS, they've stopped thinking about what they need or want. Read this post and avoid that mistake.

December 2, 2020
June 26, 2023
Learning And Development

Imagine you’re living somewhere that’s completely oblivious to the fact that any phones had been produced beyond the iconic Nokia 3310.

It becomes so synonymous with how you communicate that you start referring to the phone as the Nokia 3310, and then everybody who needs a phone for the first time types Nokia 3310 into Google instead.Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it!?

It’s not that farfetched, because if you swap the words Nokia 3310 for LMS then that’s pretty much where we are with learning and development. People have become so comfortable with the term LMS they’ve stopped questioning what they actually need and if there’s something more out there.

Just how many people are searching for an LMS?

As you can see below, it’s just become a habit to talk about learning solutions as an LMS, even if the LMS isn’t what you need!

Google Search Trends show people don't need an LMS

Back to our odd phone-based analogy, those same people blindly looking for the 3310 would probably be searching for music devices and digital cameras, without realising smartphones were out there doing it all. Everything except Snake, of course, the 3310’s still unrivalled there.

People value the things an LMS doesn't do well

Now, if the LMS could talk (on the phone or real-life) we’d hope it would be pretty honest about its limitations. It’s great for tick-box training and tracking compliance, but it’s not adept at measuring skills. And, while it’s great for structured and top-down learning, it’s not exactly set up to create personal or social learning experiences.

As you can see from the search trend data below, these are all things that reached peak importance in people’s eyes at the close of 2020. We’re living in the moments where people are searching for skill measurement, personalised learning and social development more than they have at any point in the past few years.

Global searches for measuring skills peaked in late 2020
Global searches for personalised and social learning peaked in late 2020

So, why are people searching for an LMS if all of the things it can’t do are important to them!? Habit! Here’s where that disconnect lives between people searching for an LMS and indicating they need something more.

The good news is that we’re at an interesting point in time, where several learning platforms are helping to reinvent L&D for the 21st century. People have realised they need to build a continuous learning culture, where people can learn in the flow of work and share knowledge with their peers. And no matter how many of these features an LMS bolts on, it’s just not built for that!

How to be less Nokia 3310 in your L&D strategy

If you were a fan of our 3310 analogy, we’ve spoke about this in more detail as we discuss how the LMS hasn’t evolved - one where we compare this to tacking on rooms to a bungalow as your family grows and ending up with something that doesn’t meet planning regulations.So, if you’re not searching for an LMS anymore, how can you fill this void? How does ‘intelligent learning platform’ sound?

We think it’s got a pretty nice ring to it and that’s how we like to refer to HowNow. Why? Because we connect you to the knowledge you need, in the moments you need it, everywhere you already work.Stop searching and start reading! Here’s 5 ways HowNow helps you learn in the flow of work.

Check out our other learning management system (LMS) resources