Learning environments, learning ecosystems, blended learning, holistic learning, deliberately developmental organisations, 702010… how do all of these concepts come together and work in practice? How can we make these ideas a reality in our workplace? How can we use them to offer a personalised learning experience which may engage and motivate learners more?
We often focus on systems but what cultural practices need to be in place for these to be accepted? We talk about creating blended learning, but how does that get embedded with our learners, who may ultimately expect to be trained?
It’s a question I was asked as part of a secondment in marketing I’ve been doing alongside the day job. After much reading, listening, head scratching and doodles on pieces of paper, I’ve pulled together my own model to try and make sense of all these ideas. In the spirit of working out loud, I’m sharing this here.
Thanks to Lisa Minogue-White for her expert ear as I chatted this through with her.
- Each model is unique and reflects the systems and tools being used within that part of the business. The model here for marketing, might differ to the model for wider leadership development across the business, or the model used within Finance or Property. It’s about leveraging what exists. Marketing have a number of digital resources and portals which can support both ad hoc and structured development.
- All organisational development supports the business deliver against its strategy, improving colleague capability and agility to deal with the changing demands in the workplace.
- There are two inescapable practices to produce success moving towards learning and away from one off training. Without this any function will struggle improving their performance and yet they’re the things we seldom focus on…
- The role of the manager – Charles Jennings and Clive Shepherd have both drawn attention to the Broad and Newstrom research which stated the manager was the biggest influence on the success of a learner’s development. Without regular development conversations or coaching, the colleague doesn’t get the support, challenge and development that can transfer training or a problem into learning.
- Individual reflection – we focus so much on the now that we don’t take stock of what we may have learnt or done before. Encouraging reflection of what has worked, what hasn’t worked, where an individual is and what they need, why if they’ve tried it before it may have failed, helps with motivation and personalisation of the learning experience. Charles Jennings brought this brilliantly to life at the CLC event in April.
- Learning can be adhoc or structured: both can be blended or a mix of 702010, but structured learning is more likely to contain formal classroom//elearning interventions. Structured learning is more likely to support a predesigned curriculum, but the blend is scaffolding for learning the learner can choose from. Ad hoc learning, by comparison, is the Google culture, things that you look up at the point of need, and may not fit an obvious curriculum or a formal intervention. L&D may curate some resources which scaffold this, but it’s not planned, as it can’t be.
The model is being presented to the marketing leadership team, to get their buy in around the key behaviours required – namely manager support, led from the top.
Factoring in these cultural behaviours of coaching and support, and individual reflection, where these may not be done consistently, if at all.
There’s also the “led from the top” behaviours of encouraging and accepting that development doesn’t have to be about a F2F course. Managers can support and encourage colleagues to use web based resources, use social media and learn from one another.
The marketing training team can encourage and curate experiences of colleagues who may have worked with digital agencies, to capture their experiences or tips on video or as a yammer post to share that amongst a wider audience.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens next…
- Learning and performance ecosystems , Marc Rosenberg and Steve Foreman http://www.elearningguild.com/publications/?id=53
- More than Blended Learning, Clive Shepherd, http://morethanblended.com/
- Learning environments by design , Catherine Lombardozzi http://l4lp.com/downloads/learning-environments-by-design-ebook/
- Charles Jennings, 702010 event with the Corporate eLearning Consortium
- Learning Ecosystems, Whitepaper, Willow DNA http://www.willowdna.com/blog/our-christmas-gift-to-you-new-learning-ecosystem-for-2015-white-paper/