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The Future of Learning and Development.

Posted on September 23, 2017

Many organisations struggle to implement new hypes in learning development. What to choose? Where to start? What is the cost of change? Is your organisation’s culture ready?

Many organisations struggle to implement new hypes in learning development such as Social, Lean, 70-20-10, Blended Learning or Flip learning. What to choose? Where to start? What is the cost of change? Is your organisation’s culture ready?

I have written blogs on ideas involving learner empowerment, social tools and their impact on culture. This time, I’d like to return to one of my blogs on communication and collaboration tools used in organisations also to answer those questions.

“Due to globalisation and corporate conversations evolving from top-down broadcasting to collaborative multi-way inclusion, the need for platforms has grown. Employees become engaged in a new social thinking strategy to create a sustainable climate for personal and corporate growth.”

Guy Van Neck, CEO and Founder MobieTrain

So, how does this affect your organisation’s structure? What is the role of Human Resource, Learning and Development, Communication and IT? Can they still survive in their bunkered silos?

learning and development

Social HR and Business Integration

The role of Learning and Development is changing rapidly. But how can you change a department that is seen as a cost without a clear view of the positive effect this will have on balance sheets, competitive edge or attractive company culture?

In his book ‘Socialized’, Mark Fidelman elaborates on the importance of culture and a “Digital Village”:

“The purpose of creating an internal social business is to help employees, customers, and suppliers collaborate, share and organize information“.

Mark Fidelman

Many successful businesses understand that the power of an organisation is in its human capital, creating an innovative culture powered by systems to support it. According to a study from McKinsey, these are the values of creating an internal Social Office

  • 20% increase in customer satisfaction
  • 20% of the time it takes to bring products to market
  • 30% cost reduction in talent management
  • 30% reduction in the time it takes to find knowledge experts

Instead of trying to solve the puzzle of reorganising the L&D department, we should break down the walls between corporate departments and integrate Communication, L&D and HR into one social department powered by a robust ICT infrastructure.

employee scarcity restaurant

Technology as a strategic driver of lean learning development

Let’s assume that an organisation wants to become a social enterprise, is ready for level 5 collaboration and is ready to bridge its internal knowledge gaps. They take advantage of the collective expertise from their human capital and the extended community with partners, customers, and competitors. Those organisations understand that information needs to FLOW in the ecosystem as a critical factor for organisational processes and performance outcomes.

So why would we merge departments, and how does that lead to Lean Learning Development- that is,” Eliminating all waste that is not adding value to the learner?”.

Take the test in your organisation. Who is responsible for transferring news? The communication/marketing department is probably sending and receiving relevant news to keep the business going. Maybe you even have a conversation manager or listening manager sharing the news over your Enterprise Social Network (ESN).

So, who is responsible for communicating learning to you, and how do they do that? Perhaps it is your Learning Manager sending relevant learning material to you or pointing it out in the LMS? Or maybe you already have a social LMS with some social features for communication and social learning.

What is continuous learning, and what if you don’t get all the relevant updates from your peers, partners and customers? Would you be able to perform your job in 5 years from now?

Let’s talk about data.

It is estimated that in Western Countries, 75% of employees are knowledge workers relying on accurate information for successful performance. Therefore, we can’t risk that relevant information is lost in the noise or that learning content is irrelevant to the receiver. News and learner content depend on personalised and accurate information, fast transfer, easy search options and a safe environment.

Using social networks implemented company-wide, without the barriers of old departmental authorities, is not only lean but also empowers employees to take their personal development in hand, thereby lifting the organisation and its ecosystem to higher performance levels.

The social office and the role of Learning and Development

Coming back to the title of this blog. What can we do to secure our organisation for a sharing and learning culture ready to take the competitive advantage?

Learning and Development professionals should be more socially focused and understand learners’ requirements and moments of need. They should know the danger of information overload and take advantage of people-centred performance management systems and learning ecosystems.

Reach out to colleagues from Communication, break down the departmental silo and build together a vital internal Social Office with ICT support.

“Capital is only one key resource of an organisation and is by no means the scarcest. The scarcest resource in any organisation is performing people”.

Peter Drucker