L&D: Badges Should Represent Accomplishments – Not Activities


I once worried a lot about all the noise (promotions) and the rush to Badges – as I worried about whether they would represent Activities versus Accomplishments.

The former is not good – the latter is very good – most of the time.

As always – it depends.

“Badges? We don’t need no stinkin’ badges!”

… is a widely quoted paraphrase of a line of dialogue from the 1948 film “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.”

Alfonso Bedoya as Gold Hat-8x6

Badges for Activities

Might mean as little as “your check cleared” as we said back in the day (or updated today to: “your electronic transfer has been received“).

And/or… you attended a session. But… you could have been out in the physical or virtual hallway while the session ran. Who knows? How would we know?

Badges for Accomplishments

Are more difficult to do as it would require a Performance Test for Task Capability learned – or maybe a Knowledge Test if the intent was only awareness or knowledge.

The former is tougher. The latter easier.

Caveat Emptor Baby

Who is the audience for Badge Mania?

Who is asking you for them – besides the suppliers?

In any event:

Beware the Cult of Behaviors!

Embrace the Cult of Accomplishments!

As a Customer or a Supplier.

Or as a Customer’s Customer.

They’re not all the same. Beware!


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