Resistance to Instructional Design?

I've encountered significant resistance in my career with arguments ranging from "we don't have the time," "institutional research isn't real-world," to "you are a purist and that will never work."

In most cases I lost all the "fights" to put in place proven processes that are founded in real-world research because the experience of the superiors was limited and their leadership style was not conducive to servant leadership.

Eventually I elected to implement best practices in a grassroots method, whereas the details were hidden from the view of the superiors. Rather the superiors only saw that the work was getting accomplished.

Instructional design is very much a victim of this resistance, IMHO because those outside of the craft do not understand the skillset and the eLearning craze confused the craft of instructional design with computer programming. Even internal to the Learning & Development field, there is significant misunderstanding of the skillset of a well-bred instructional designer. Additionally, many in the Learning & Development field have not partnered with the operations and sales departments in a strategic manner. I have seen department after department settle into the back seat and allow the other departments to solely drive the car. It is rare to get the business objective information, such as, sales goals, service standards, and financial goals for use in the proper design of an instructional intervention or behavior change program. I have been told "we just don't need to know that because it is above and beyond our department." I couldn't disagree more.

However, I have not given up. Instead I have made my career path about diversifying my business experience and blending it with my advanced education and research of behavioral psychology to eventually find myself in the position to confidently link business performance to the true role of learning & development and the many skillsets found within.


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