Category

Learning

The Future is Here – Are You and Your Learners Ready?

By | Learning | No Comments

Predicting the future can be difficult. But one of two things is very likely:

  • your current job will look very different, or
  • your current job will not exist

The Korn-Ferry ‘Future of Work’ report suggests by 2030 there will be a talent deficit of 85.2 million workers. But here’s the challenge: According to another report authored by the Institute For The Future (IFTF) and a panel of 20 tech, business and academic experts from around the world, 85 per cent of the jobs that will exist in 2030 haven’t even been invented yet.

There’s a term for the workforce talent challenge ahead of us – VUCA:

  • Volatile
  • Uncertain
  • Complex
  • Ambiguous

How do you prepare for a future that is VUCA? The human species has faced many disruptive periods before and, so far, we’ve managed to adapt, thanks to the neuroplasticity of our brains. So, a good place to begin is with the human brain and how it learns.

Looking at the future

While still in its infancy today, by 2030 we can expect the science of learning, founded on cognitive neuroscience and many other disciplines, to be more advanced and more targeted, giving us a new set of tools to inspire and inform the workforce of the future. Scientists are already working on new ways to maximize the power of the brain to change behavior, learn new skills, form new connections and envision new ideas. Some of the new tools you may be using in 2030 include:

  • Implants that form a direct brain-to-computer interface, allowing near real-time access to digital information just by thinking about it
  • Ingestible “knowledge pills” that alter brain chemistry to accelerate processing or deliver specific information, such as process steps or languages
  • Optogenetic devices that can turn neurons on or off by shining different frequencies of light onto the brain
  • Widespread practice of meditation and mindfulness that helps people handle stress, make decisions, and work together in harmony much better than today
  • “Coworkers” who are artificial intelligences (AIs) working side-by-side with humans

Learning to perform, again and again and again

Challenges for the future will include faster technology transformation, working with more people from diverse cultures and regular revolutions in ways of working. This means we’re going to have to learn more, faster and to repeat the process more often.

Fortunately, your brain is plastic and is a learning machine, but not everyone knows how to access that ability. Many learning activities are still firmly rooted in the days of medieval monks; forcing people to sit quietly in classrooms, or stare at screens until they eyes glaze over. This passive approach is simply not the most effective. It wastes valuable time and energy – commodities we simply don’t have if we’re going to survive our next period of disruption.

To make learning more aligned with how the brain works, there’s an increased focus on self-directed learning, like the way all of us use social media to find information we need outside of work. But how do you find “the good stuff?” And when you’ve got it what do you do with it? Building a personal playlist of funny cat videos doesn’t seem to translate well to the modern work environment.

Or does it?

The answer to this question is, “It depends.” Learning for the long-term requires a few key behaviors, such as:

  • Activity that involves the body as well as the mind
  • Mental effort to understand and apply the information
  • Repetition spaced out over a period of time (days, weeks, months)
  • Recall information in context
  • Reflection that links information to personal experience
  • Adequate sleep to allow the brain to rest

As Learning and Development leaders, we need to be aware of all the tools available through science, breaking out of our own patterns and moving into new practices that may make us uncomfortable.

If you want to help your learners prepare for the uncertain future ahead, you must first teach them the fundamentals of learning itself.

That is the one skill that will never go out of style.

Want to connect with Margie?
Follow Margie on Twitter: @margiemeacham

The Power of Interactive Videos

By | Learning | No Comments

Are you harnessing the real power of video in the right way?

 

Listen to Jackie Zahn, learning consultant for CARA, discuss how making your videos interactive will make your learning and customer engagement soar.

Transcript

If you were handed the option for more control over a situation, would you take it? Most people would. And that’s the power of interactive videos.

So what is interactive video? It’s about leaning forward and participating versus leaning back and watching. It’s about pausing a video and introducing learner interactions, or requiring learners to make decisions and witness the results of their decisions. Interactive video is about creating personalized learning experiences that keep learners engaged and connected to the content, all the way to the end, because with each choice they make, they are becoming more and more invested.

The forms interactive video can take are limitless. From clickable menus, periodic check-ins, hotspots, and choices and consequences, you’re capturing the learner’s attention, and getting them to care about the decisions they’re making! A common theme is that interactive video helps to create that “buy-in” user experience, where participation is a must or else the video won’t proceed.

Did you know, the marketing world is already using interactive video to tailor content for different audiences and they’re seeing higher engagement, longer dwell times and better returns on investment? It’s true. And, compared to non-interactive video that can suffer high viewing drop-off rates in the first few minutes, marketers are seeing completion rates of 90 percent and above. And they’re seeing multiple views per unique visitor and repeat views for the same video. Why? Because viewers often like to explore all the branches in an interactive video, just to see the results if they made a different choice. Imagine having learners engage with your content at that level! In the training world, a well-structured course can encourage learners to continue their learning experience (through downloads, follow-up activities, and targeted recommendations.)

Still not convinced? Let’s talk data. Imagine having insight into how learners respond to different types of interactions? A well-designed course can ensure every choice is tracked and logged back to an LMS and Training Managers can use this data to identify the areas which need improvement and where learners may be struggling to apply concepts.

In conclusion, passive is out, experiential and participatory are in. By adding choices and interactivity to your videos, you invite your learners to lean forward and participate. The act of participation deepens engagement, enhances learning, and accelerates behavior change. It also generates data. With every click of a button, you gain useful insights about your learners.

Lasting learning happens when people are engaged in experiences which shift mental and behavior models. Interactive video represents an exciting, evolving new format that can connect directly with learners on an emotional level, and engage them in their own growth and development.

If you were handed the option for more control over a situation, would you take it? Most training managers would.

Top 10 Elements of an Organizational Learning Strategy

By | Learning | No Comments

A well-crafted and rigorously executed organizational learning strategy can ensure that your learning and development organization supports the business in achieving the strategic goals set forth by senior leaders. Without a clear strategy, learning and development organizations tend to lose focus and effectiveness.

The top 10 elements of an organizational learning strategy provide a framework for creating and executing a strategy within an organization, a function or a department.

1 – Alignment to Business Strategy

How will the learning strategy support achieving the goals of the business? For example, how will it help grow sales by 10% in x market or reduce time to market for a product or service?

2 – Well-Defined Scope

What parts of the business does the learning strategy cover? How will out-of-scope requests be addressed? For example, if the North American Sales organization is included, but Asia is not, define how Asia will be covered.

3 – Governance Model

What process will be used to set priorities? For example, a governance team that represents major stakeholders will own the overall strategy, set decision criteria and meet on a set schedule to evaluate activities.

4 – KPIs

How will results be measured, reported and monitored? For example, speed to competency or the number of “ready now” managers. Make sure to have executive buy-in on your learning metrics!

5 – Funding Model

How will program development and delivery costs be funded? For example, program development and management are funded centrally, and program delivery is funded by the business through an internal tuition program.

6 – Alignment with other Talent Management Work Streams

What other talent work streams are in place or being planned? For example, how is learning connected with onboarding, performance management and succession planning?

7 – Learning Organization Capabilities

What are the roles required to support the learning strategy? For example, if the current staff has significant subject matter and teaching expertise, but very limited instructional design experience, you may need to change the makeup of the team to execute the strategy.

8 – Learning Systems

What learning system capabilities are needed to support the learning strategy? How will employees access learning, register for events, and track their progress? What reporting will you need? For example, can the current system provide reports that support your KPIs? Can it deliver micro-learning?

9 – Innovation, Methods and Tools

What innovative methods and tools will be used to create deliverables and manage processes? For example, defining when Artificial Intelligence is appropriate, standardizing on agile or design thinking methods, or even selecting a common development software such as Articulate.

10 – Marketing and Branding

How will the business know about programs? What branding standards will be applied? For example, will learning have its own brand that aligns with the business standards? What other methods (such as town hall and department meetings) can be used to “advertise” learning?

Finally, how will you align with business leadership on your strategy? Getting early buy in is so important for the learning leader. Even better is to be a part of the business strategy development so that you closely align your Learning Strategy from the start!