At Learning Live 2017 in London, hundreds of learning professionals came together to explore today’s learning challenges in the modern workplace. The main topic of lively debate was the challenge of moving from a traditional face-to-face delivery model to digitally-enabled learning. A second key theme was how to develop and support a learning culture across an organisation.
The opening panel session touched on these and other themes – surprisingly, given that learning technology is now relatively mature, the biggest barrier seems to be that many organisations are unclear as to what practical steps they need to take to address the challenge of supporting learning in the modern workplace.
Customer experience and branding
The best session of the first day of the event was from Joseph Richardson from LEGO, and not just because one of the main activities they put on involved building with LEGO blocks.
The session looked at how you can improve customer experience and make your brand central to your learning strategy, as well as learning through gamification – which, as many of the companies LEO Learning works with have found, can be a powerful tool – and converting a passion for a brand into a passion for learning. The big challenge for LEGO is how you convert very experiential, hands-on learning to a digital format.
The future workplace experience
The highlight of the event was definitely the keynote on day two by bestselling author and well respected HR consultant, Jeanne Meister. Her session focused on a few of the main themes of her latest work, ‘The Future Workplace Experience’. Some of the topics covered included:
- Artificial Intelligence – providing learning based on a person’s profile and preferences
- Content curation – assessing whether certain types of content are appropriate to help develop a particular employee’s competence
- Virtual Assistants – an ever-expanding range of Virtual Assistants will support learning in the future
- The skills future learning professionals will need – expect to see more people in this field with the title “learning experience designers” over the next few years
- Data analytics – the ability to interpret and visualise data, as well as measuring the business impact of learning, will become a key competency across all areas of business
The modern learner and blended learning
Of the other sessions from the second day, the one introduced by Kelly Palmer – from Degreed – was particularly interesting in the way it looked at data around what makes people move to an organisation or take on a role (for example, money, learning, benefits and so on.)
The opportunity to undertake further learning, gain qualifications and overall career development comes out as the primary motivator for many people. So it’s a clear indicator that creating a learning culture in an organisation is essential to ensure staff retention.
Moving from traditional to digital blends can help people to undertake learning and gain qualifications more effectively. Get the blend and the content right, and you’ll drive personal and organisational success through technology.
Creating a culture of learning
Beyond discussing the shift to digital learning, many of the conversations I had at Learning Live 2017 concentrated on the important idea of creating a learning culture.
One of the essential steps we identified as central to helping develop a learning culture is to create learning which supports performance and can be measured against business objectives.
We are constantly developing our powerful xAPI analytics tools to give organisations an effective, technology-based way of gaining a deep understanding of their learning programmes and measuring the business impact of learning.
In addition, as part of LEO Learning’s consultancy services, our learning Health Check process really helps organisations to understand the steps required to create an effective learning culture.
Event themes and practical solutions
It is very easy for these type of events to raise challenges and for everyone to leave without a clear idea of how to go about changing the way their organisation operates – or, as futurist Charles Handy puts it in his book The Age Of Unreason, to “affect what we do on a Monday morning”.
Based on the conversations I had with delegates, I came away from the event feeling that the key themes and challenges aligned perfectly with what LEO Learning is already doing, particularly moving towards a blended learning approach, creating a learning culture and measuring business impact.
Sean Nugent is a Senior Account Director at LEO Learning.
Want to know more? Read LEO Learning’s ebook, ‘Why blended learning works (and can work for you!)