We have the technology, do we know what to do with it?

As always, the Deliotte Global Human Capital Trends challenges  and informs the L&D sector. Careers and Learning is now the number two priority, well ahead of leadership development, digital platforms and analytics. Careers now average 60 years, jobs 4-5 years, and the half-life of a learned skill is now 5 years. Do the maths. We’re up for 12 different jobs on average in our careers, and faced with effectively having to retrain for each one. The same goes for your staff. Deloitte notes that amongst millennials, the ability to learn and progress is now the principal driver of a company’s employment brand. And we’re not walking the talk so well; Deloitte notes 42% of millennials say they’re likely to leave because they’re not learning fast enough.

Clearly, these types of statistics are driving the popularity of microlearning and badging, along with the (reuse) of free content. We’re also seeing plenty of evidence of our clients making significant moves in this space. A few examples include:

  • Repositioning LMSs away from compliance to supported development via strategies such as 70/20/10
  • A ‘whole of sector’ learner-led vision emerging for health
  • Commercial organisations designing programmes around internal need rather than adopting whole qualifications

So where are the opportunities? How can we accelerate our response? A couple of suggestions to consider:

  1. We’re still seeing a concerning resistance to genuinely piloting/adopting new technologies. There’s a fear around ’choosing the wrong one’. Face it, you probably will choose the wrong one. Possibly several times. It’s not the end of the world and shouldn’t involve downstream consequences if managed right. Get on with it; it’s how you find the right ones.
  2. Significant change takes investment, and getting investment requires a compelling business case that speaks directly to the benefit back to the organisation. Measuring the impact of learning is not impossible. Value can be quantified. Working this out up front will also result in more targeted, effective solutions.
  3. For ‘careers and learning’ to hit number two priority, it has to be strategic lever for many different parts of an organisation. It’s no longer about supporting one part of the business around its specific needs. It’s about an aligned, coordinated ‘whole of organisation’ strategy. That won’t happen unless we, as L&D professionals, are engaging across the business and leading a strategic response.

by Phil Garing

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