Friday, 26 June 2015

#SSPerspectives the Self Developing Organisation

Yesterday I was at Skillsoft's EMEA Perspectives event where I was chairing a 'think tank' on the skills gap.

The best session for me was John Ambrose on 'the self developing organisation', being firstly what Skillsoft and SumTotal are trying to create through their integration of content and platform (and the demo of this looked compelling) but secondly, a response to the difficulty getting people to engage in learning as much as they're going to need to, and having organisations sponsor this.

Learning needs to be consumerised and collaborative - pervasive, multimodal, provided in the way that learners like to learn.

A key part of this is understanding the audience.  People undertaking learning need us to know, entice, improve and reward them.  The reward part of this attracted a few comments - I think the idea was mainly around making the consumption of learning easy and stimulating ('so good that people want to eat it') but the demo also showed how someone might be promoted to sign up for an additional 2 days vacation, as well as volunteering to be a mentor in their new skill area.

This understanding of the individual helps personalise the learning.  We talked about this in the think tank too.  That we don't have to think in terms of stereotypes like millennial etc, and develop learning pathways we suit particular groups, the technology is starting ot help us recognise individual needs and respond to these.

It's then about pushing content for you to use, recommending additional courses or other learning, a bit like sites like Coursera, Udemy, Lynda etc do if you use these.  Karen Moloney spoke about this in her session too, suggesting the key was to trouble people as little as you can.

One reason I liked the approach is that is seems to respond to one of the other things I've been blogging about which is the need to align not just with the business, but with the individuals engaging in learning.  See my posts on this (1, 2, 3) and Nick Shackleton Jones shared this post too - business alignment is killing you.

That's not the prevailing view, but as James Caan suggested, the future often isn't about doing more of the same and sometimes you have to go in the opposite direction ('observe the masses and do the opposite.')

Caan also provided a great example of doing some opportunistic recruitment and I thought it was a shame, though understandable, that one of the questions suggested attendees would be laughed at if we tried to do this back in the corporate ranch.

Because the same applies to opportunistic development - finding those hooks that can enable someone to move themselves forward and potentially transform their own capabilities.

I think the self developing organisation has the potential of being an important part of this people centric future.

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