Why learners quit - a lesson from Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones season 7 had everything you’d expect - battles, back stabbing, revenge and of course, dragons.
But while fire and ice rained from the skies, one character was holed up in a library, learning. Or not as the case may be. Swivel your gaze from the swords and sorcery, and there’s wisdom we can glean and apply in our own world... He might not be a hero, but you can count on Sam Tarly.
Loyal, dependable and with a huge thirst for knowledge - he’d be an asset to any training department. And all he’s ever wanted to be is amaester- a ‘knight of the mind’. So, when his chance finally comes, why does he turn his back on his life’s ambition, walking away from the citadel - a place literally stuffed with learning? Well, first up, frustration. Sam is given endless menial tasks before learning anything useful - emptying chamber pots and collecting library books.
Pay your dues and then we’ll see… I mean c’mon, a man of his talents. OK what next? Knowledge is placed off limits - *hushed tone* the restricted area.
But why check his aspirations? It’s not the 90s. Information isn’t a commodity to be doled out as a reward. Then there’s the teaching. The citadel might house the greatest minds in Westeros, but Sam is patronised by his elders. Belittled and ignored, no wonder he tires of the place.
Besides, he’s able to find information critical to the defence of the realm proactively - carrying out studies that are both independent and unauthorised - but his learning gets results.
Which is just as well given Ser Jorah’s predicament AND what’s massing beyond the wall. Ingesting dragonglass might cure greyscale? Whoa! There’s a mine of dragonglass at Dragonstone? Result! And eventually Sam leaves because he doesn’t want to be stuck in some ivory tower learning for the sake of learning.
He wants to make a difference in the real world and apply his new found knowledge in the battle to come - the war between living and dead.
Now I’m not saying your L&D department is the citadel per se… Shelves of dusty books patrolled by patronising sentinels ready to shut down learning they don’t like the look of. But, chances are you have your own Sam Tarlys. Eager to learn, but hitting the same sort of barriers.
Denied the information they need to work around the challenges they face. Pedagogy and dull content conspiring to make people quit. So, how about we shake things up? Skill Pill microlearning videos free knowledge from it shackles. Short top ups of learning, accessible via any device means no gatekeeper, no rules, no limits. Just the information you need, right when you need it. No matter what Archmaester Marwyn says.
Why not take a look for yourself with a free trial? Hurry though. Winter is coming. Gerry Griffin Founder, Skill Pill