Learning Management SOLUTIONS vs. Systems

“We need to compare and determine the best learning management system for our organization… let’s start with price”

SolutionsIf that doesn’t make you cringe, it should.

I have heard this kind of jargon for quite some time now (still do) and every time I do it makes me want to get onto my soapbox. You know, despite all the advances that have been made in the learning space, the un-initiated still attempt to “systemize” our industry, much like everything else.

But let’s face it: people like systems. People like being told what to do and how to do it. Isn’t that essentially what a system is? I am reminded of those P90X infomercials that replay over and over again at 2am. What’s the one thing they reiterate throughout the entire hour and a half? Their system. They make it brain-dead easy to lose weight and get ripped. Just follow the plan… follow the system – and by all means do not deviate (aka: don’t have a brain).

Solutions on the other hand are nimble and dynamic. Solutions recognize multiple avenues towards success, and solutions define (and measure) success in multiple ways. Where systems are linear, solutions are all encompassing.

Learning management shouldn’t be limited by systems but instead empowered by solutions. Sure we still use “system” in our vernacular, but the definition of the end-goal needs to change. What organizations need today is not a cold, underachieving system but a robust learning management solution that enables employee (and ultimately total organization) growth.

If you’re looking for a learning management system, then that’s fine. The important thing to determine is if that system is supported by solutions – the people. A chunk of software won’t help you reach your goals, but a well thought-out solution coupled with a solid system will ultimately yield the best results.

At LearnDash we focus on the solution, not the system.


Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Twitter | LinkedIn

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