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L&D in the age of continuous change

Continuous change, and particularly change driven by new technology, poses a tremendous challenge to L&D practitioners.

Brandon Carson, Director of Learning at Delta Airlines, keynote speaker at our recent Learning & Development Conference and author of Learning in the Age of Immediacy, suggests that there are 5 major factors that will impact the Learning & Development profession:

1. Workplace automation

2. The cloud

3. Mobile

4. Big data and analytics

5. The internet of everything

Alone or combined, each of these factors will impact the learning organisation of the future by enabling:

  • Cloud-based, multi-platform learning that's available at the tap of a finger;

  • Immersive, authentic experiences with real-time feedback and sharing capabilities;

  • Data and real-time key analytics to improve learning and provide evidence of workplace effectiveness.

So, what are the practical implementations for L&D practitioners? And how do you prepare for this new era of continuous change? Brandon Carson suggests:

  • Become IT-centric. There will be obstacles in establishing a platform driven by both technology and learning effectiveness. Keep a sharp focus on these core principles: Generate and capture, reliable, meaningful data and analytics that connect to business drivers; be creative in how you design and deliver learning; and know how the learners you support do their work.

  • Think of learning as a platform. Delivering effective learning is now a multichannel operation, requiring a broad confluence of technologies and systems. To successfully leverage the five factors, you must first think of your learning service as a platform, one built on standards, connectable to the network, and able to receive input.

  • Build or buy your talent. Your organisation is itself building and sifting through massive amounts of information to construct meaning learning experiences. Be sure to appropriately assess the skills across your team and provide training and development your team needs to lead you forward. Your new learning strategy will not be operationalised overnight. You must develop the talent on your team to move ahead.

  • Break down the walls surrounding the outdated technology pervasive in your organisation. How can you support learners in the workplace if they carry more advanced technology in their pocket than you have in the company? Remember, there was a time when a typewriter on a worker’s desk was the most advanced technology available.

(Source: Extract from Learning in the Age of Immediacy – 5 Factors for How We Connect, Communicate, and Get Work Done by Brandon Carson).

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