Posted in Collaborative Partnerships, Communities of Practice, Connectivism, editorial rant, Innovation&Creativity, Intrinsic Rewards, leadership, Personal Development, strengths, training, Uncategorized, workplace

Arts & Crafts Revival

I’m having fights with my own paradigms of work, employment, life worth the living.

Since I left highschool, I’ve been setting up templates, automating systems, creating standardised workflows, documenting work practices, etc. [I’ll blame my dad for this – he’s been an electronics engineer all my life, and gave me a fetish for automating tasks]. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realised whatever is systemised should be automated, mechanised, turned over to computer systems, to bypass those pesky, irrational, inconsistent creatures known as humans.

Harold Jarchè can also see this…




Where does this idea leave the Instructional Designers – considering that IDs often use IDLS to impress explicit knowledge (ref. Jarchè’s above chart: good practice and best practice) onto participants?

I had a little Twitter discussion with a few of my most esteemed Learning peers (click ‘Twitter Convo’ below to read how that went).

[su_spoiler title=”Twitter Convo” icon=”plus-circle” anchor=”convo”]






WHAT IS THERE to do if the implicit instruction is greatly reduced or automated?

How does skill and knowledge get passed on when it isn’t codefied, printed, explained in YouTube clips and prebuilt?

Let’s look at one of those charts from Jarchè again…




  • ROUTINE work is Automated
  • TECHNICIAN work is Outsourced
  • CRAFT & KNOWLEDGE work is still required – and its tacit and informal

One system of work I can think of that is proven throughout the ages to pass on Craft and Knowledge type work… is the Artisan System:

  • not just ‘skilled workers and non-skilled workers’
  • but ‘masters of a craft or service who owned a business and took on apprentices’

Not everyone wanted to be a Master, and they could work along side different Masters, or just stay in the one place with the one Master and be happy with their lot, maybe being the one who did the best cornerstones, or someone local great at repairing woodwork. There was room for everyone within this sort of system.

This distinction came into high relief when the factory system took over the basic skills during the Industrial Revolution. Up sprung The Arts & Crafts Movement.


Arts and Crafts and Artisans, oh my!

If the routine work is automated… then it is a high-end, creative, innovate, bespoke, customised work that is left for many (if not most) people to do.

In that, I want you to focus on the role of the ‘Master’, as a current-day or future ‘Leader’:

  • who owned the studio, business, tradeshop, etc
  • had a high reputation as a practitioner
  • each having a different speciality they are best in
  • training those learning the basic skills of the industry
  • watching for specialisations within the team, and encouraging diversity of skill
  • mentoring those who were developing further – expanding basic skills – to become a future master themselves

I think I’m just scratching the surface of this idea… so I think there is more to come!






-~Authenticity, Creativity, Community~- - eLearning Consultant & Trainer & Superhero - User Interface & Course specialist for Moodle & Totara LMS - I also enjoy researching into the Humanities - esp Cultural Studies, the Arts&Crafts Movement, and Medieval Guilds - warning: my hair colour changes a lot -

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