#CIPDMAP15 Rethinking the future of Workplace Learning

I’ve joined a seminar session with Andy Lancaster, Head of Learning at the CIPD.  As someone who’s passionate (and a bit excitable!) about what he does I’m looking forward to a lively energetic session!  And the first evidence of that – he’s going for a #periscope experiment to live stream on twitter!

A thank you from Andy for CIPD MAP inviting him and to the audience for being here on a Saturday with commitment to their learning.

He’s going to be talking about the next 5 years of workplace learning.  Andy’s been in learning for 25 years and see the world changing more than ever before.  Good old VUCA!

L&D must evolve to stay relevant as tech evolves.  Flexible working – the standard 9-5 day, 5 day week, is reducing more and more.  Day courses will decline with this.  Digby Jones of the CBI is saying we’ll all have at least 7 jobs in our careers.  Learning can’t stay the same.

And yet we still have classrooms that resemble Victorian school rooms – based in a time when there were few resources and relied on 1 person at the front with the book / knowledge.

Andy’s sharing his experiment with How-Old.net.  He came up at 43 (he’s happy, his age starts with a 5) and his friend came out at 13.  He’s asking the delegates to estimate the average age of the people on their tables.  Who said average age was 40? 50? Further into 50’s?  So this room is around 45 – this is a consistent theme for Andy at conferences when he’d done this before.  He’s working on retiring about 67 which means we have about 20 years left of career.  How much has changed n the last 20 years – so how much will change in the next??

1 in 5 under 5’s access the internet every day.  These people will be in the workplace before we all retire.

Using #MAP15Predict – what will be the learning-based headline on People Management in 10 years’ time? – “Learner Chip Upgrade” > “What’s your robot colleague going to teach you this week?” > “Where’s the human gone?” > “Hollogram Horrors” > “No Offices”

We’re in a changing, disorientating period at work.  Andy has 10 shifts for workplace learning – he sees it as a Carrot issue, not a Stick issue.  We need to think forward about where things are going.  Minimise threat response of change, or removal of the safe and familiar for ourselves and learners.

Learning Shift 1 – BUSINESS not L&D Priorities – the future of learning has to be about a focus on business performance and how the learning we provide is relevant to the org strategy.  Cant just offer a suite of options anymore.  To do this we need to be more like consultants.  This is seen in 70% of the top orgs already – ‘what do we need to fix?’

Learning Shift 2 – we’ll be informed by metrics, not guesses – e.g. retailer’s loyalty cards, fit bits, mobiles with location trackers, Google have developed a contact lens to measure glucose levels for diabetics.  We need to be informed by data to make informed decisions.  Only 1 in 5 are currently doing this currently!

Learning Shift 3 – Science underpinning learning approach – neuroscience is telling us that a lot of what we’ve been doing is good, but now we have scientific evidence for this stuff.  We can now go to those who value research, with research.  Only 1 in 5 using science at the mo.

Learning Shift 4 – Curator-concierge not just creator – 50% of content is developed from scratch.  Plus we’ve got an explosion of info online.  Whatever you’re writing will be available online.  Instead of re-creating the wheel every single time, curate content for people, bring it to others, point people and signpost people to where they can find things that will meet their needs.

Learning Shift 5 – user-choice not prescription – retail knows we need personalisation.  Learners also want this – and organisations like to sheep-dip because it’s simple and easy and controllable.  Learners learn through different methods in their personal lives and we need to bring this into the work world. Links back to curation – getting content from learners and making that available / pointing others to that.  Two-way.

Learning shift 6 – social not just formal – people watching from afar by taking learning online grows the connection and allows physical barriers to not matter anymore.  And think about social settings so learners get the chance to connect as humans.  Of top 10 learning tools, 7 are social, top is Twitter.

Learning Shift 7 – Just in time in the flow not delayer – waiting 3 months for a course isn’t good enough.  Things will have moved, the need will have changed by then.

Learning shift 8 – Bite size, not just feast – we would stuff people full of content in a day to maximise the opportunity of getting people together.  Not good for brains!  We need to make this bite size – lunchtime learnings, breaksfast briefings, short bits here and there. 75% of people now learn on the way to work.

Learning Shift 9 – Digital not just face to face – Face to face is great and human connection is important to us –  and we can’t make this work all the time anymore – time and resources don’t allow, and why should we when digital learning can support us – like #periscope today.  Make learning available to more people more easily.

Learning Shift 10 – Measuiing Value Not Volume – it is NOT about bums on setas – what we help people learn needs to be relevant to the business and we need to be able to show the difference we believe this is making to the business.  It’s can be hard to make a direct correlation but we can measure a number of indicators to give a rounded view.

Andy’s asking everyone to rate themselves 1 to 10 on these to spot their gaps.

He’s hearing that HR and L&D are shifting more and more on this and that sometimes it’s the business / senior leaders who are resistant to change – it feels scary and risky.  This is where the roe of consultant comes in where we provide options, broaden mindsets, bring examples and evidence of where this stuff’s been done before successfully.

Creatures metamorphosise without even realising it!  Think caterpillar.  They just do it.  It happens in the natural word because if the creature stays in that existence there’s more probability of dying.  Tadpoles change into frogs at different paces by sensing their environment and whether it’s right t change.  We’ll all change at different rates

CIPD are providing more online learning – their CIPD Level 5 in L&D got 18 people in 2013/14 and the online one now has a cohort of 220 (first one got 58 people)!  People from round the world can access – fantastic opening of the opportunity to more!

Insights from audience questions – future learning isn’t all about tech – maintain social, give knowledge one way, maintain social/interaction/debate/discussion in another. Keep learning blended – some employees won’t have the skills or access to tech to engage with this in the same way.  Play the role of consultant to help leaders become aware of the different options to an all day course, the stories and benefits seen by other orgs, the benefit for your org – ideally not just about cost/resources saving.  Find new ways to measure the impact of learning – bums on seats definitely won’t work with this.

Final thought – this is moving fast.  CIPD is tracking these 10 key shifts that have been hared today.  We now all need to think about how we shift from the old ways to these future-focussed ways.  Your learners will love you for embracing some of these new things.

This post has been live-blogged from #CIPDMAP15.  I’ve done my best to represent the content accurately and fairly but some errors may exist.  Most of it is the speakers’ content and I aim to show the bits that are my opinion.

One thought on “#CIPDMAP15 Rethinking the future of Workplace Learning

  1. Really informative session by the sounds of things.

    I am seeing first hand the importance of tailoring learning events to delegate needs, in line with learning shift 5. We have received excellent intel from our post event surveys that is helping us evolve and ever improving quality of in-house learning provision, supported by external provision when needed.

    Learning shift 1 is absolutely fundamental and if anybody, in any role anywhere, is not aligning their activity to organisational goals, why are they there?

    Learning shift 2 around data to drive decisions is an area I look forward to immersing myself more going forward, we are one of the 4 in 5 at the moment in honestly, but we are still early in our performance, earning and development journey.

    Looking forward to keeping an eye on future CIPD surveys/outputs.

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