“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got” -Henry Ford

“You can’t invent the future if you cling to out-of-date ideas, even if they’ve worked in the past.” -Bill Taylor

To some New Years Resolutions are cliched, but as Learning & Development professionals, growth mindset is in our DNA and starting off the year with goals and ambitions is not only natural but mission critical to learning, growth, and achieving success. Over the last week, I’ve spoken to a few L&D professionals who are on the cutting edge of the profession and here are some of their resolutions:

Rethink What is Possible

“I’m thrilled to kick off 2019 at Visa University. We’re at an incredibly exciting juncture as a team – we have two successful years behind us and a new CLO at the helm with decades of experience in technology, entrepreneurship AND intrapreneurship. She’s empowered and emboldened us to think of what the next phase of Visa University could look like. 2019 will be a pivotal year for VU as we enable the next phase of growth at Visa in the face of industry disruption. We’ll continue to use our agile, user-centered design approach to build bespoke products and experiences that will equip our workforce with the capabilities and knowledge to maintain a leadership position in digital commerce.”

– Deepina (Dee) Kapila, Product Manager at  Visa University

Centralize learning and deliver a uniform experience

As a virtual company, we strive for all of our employees to learn and grow in The Centric Way as part of their DNA. To further accomplish this and keep up with our growing workforce, we are looking forward to developing a centralized 12 month learning program to incorporate in our onboarding of every new employee in 2019. This will help us continue to deliver unmatched experiences to our clients and employees no matter if you are working with our folks in India, Seattle, or Miami!

-Heather Bahorich, Senior Manager, HR &Talent at Centric Consulting​

Provide more visibility into career options

One of our big New Years’ goals is to better support people in their careers at Photobox Group; from providing visibility into career options, understanding the skills and capabilities required to progress, and providing the most relevant learning content and experiences to help people get there.

-Emily Whittaker, L&D Manager at Photobox Group

“One of our big resolutions for next year is to provide better career support to HP employees. We want to help them elevate what they can do in their role as well as provide visibility into career options. That includes learning content on how to build a personal brand, network within the company, and discover new opportunities. The final piece of that is to provide resources in Brain Candy to develop the skills they need to move ahead.”

– Michael Jordan, SVP Global Talent & Learning at HP Inc.

Shift the learning mindset from push to pull

“One of our resolutions at 84.51° for this year is to support the shift in learning mindset from the traditional “push” mindset to more of a “pull” approach. Our people are highly technical and, in many ways, already operating this way. Our goal is to make the learning experience easier. We’ll start by expanding access to learning experience platform to all employees, and making learning resources more robust and easily accessible.”

– Annette Brown, Talent Development at 84.51

Support employees at the speed of business

“Signify (the new company name for Phillips Lighting) is in the midst of disruptive change, and we are changing the way the learning function operates to align with the speed of our business. The focus will be on our Fit-For-Future” program. Just like in sports, playing a perfect match requires the right mindset, skill, and practice. Besides Education, we will promote learning by Exposure and Experience. With our new recognition program, we will reward people who deliver value to others by sharing information and offering learning-by-doing to their peers. In this way, we enable a new learning culture, driven by the learner, powered by managers, where our people have access to the right learning opportunities at the right time using the most suitable medium. We will identify a metric which is a leading indicator of Learning Effectiveness which also correlates Employee NPS. In this way, we will stimulate the brightest minds to bring Lighting beyond illumination.”

– Hans Ramaker, Sr. Director Learning Innovation & Technologies at Signify

Provide a collaborative learning environment

“2019 is going to be all about providing our people with all the necessary opportunities and tools, to collaborate while they acquire new knowledge and work experience. We’ll do this by providing connections between multiple platforms and vendors; creating and curating new social journeys within our organization through the use of learning paths with access to our thought leaders. We’ll be using machine learning and predictive insights to support and promote, as they build-up their profile of capabilities and interests.

The future is now!”

– Lee Schubert, Social Learning & Collaboration at Dimension Data

Provide an empowering learning experience for employees

The new year is upon us, one full of potential. The mission for 2019 is to simplify our training offerings, so our customers receive only the training that they need. Part of this simplification includes getting away from the current training mentality and developing a learning mindset. We are a compliance-heavy organization, which results in our customers being bombarded with training, while achieving a low level of learning. We want to provide information in smaller chucks so it is more easily absorbed and retained.

In parallel, we are evaluating technologies that can empower our Learners to learn from each other, while giving them more control over their learning experience.

We welcome the challenges that 2019 will bring.

– Shahzad Ali, Head of Pharmacovigilance Learning Center at Bayer

Prepare for the Expertise Economy with a focus on skills

“The most important thing you can do in 2019 is to understand the skills you have and the skills you need to build for the future. We all have aspirations and areas where we need to learn and build skills. Understand your skill gaps. Then, put a stake in the ground, create a learning goal, and start building the skills you need”

– Kelly Palmer, Chief Learning Officer at Degreed and author of The Expertise Economy

Do you have a New Year’s Resolution you want to share? Email us and we add it to this post!

In case you didn’t notice it, there has been a monumental shift in the learning market, with analysts beginning to diagnose a new trend.

  • The Sierra Cedar 2018-2019 HR Systems Survey white paper cites Learning Experience Platforms (LXP) as “an emerging trend in the Talent Management application space.”
  • Brandon Hall is calling it “the beginning of a movement that has been set in permanent motion to transform how organizations look at learning and improving individual and organizational performance.”
  • Josh Bersin says the “potential LXP market is huge,” and is currently valued at $200-250 million and growing at 200% or more.
  • Craig Weiss, learning technology consultant, calls the category, “Learning Engagement Platform,” and calls it a stronger product [than an LMS] in an inevitably expanding niche.”
  • In its 2018 Hype Cycle for HCM Technology, Gartner states, “Learning Productivity Platforms” has just entered the innovation trigger which occurs when there is a period of rapid development and growing interest. The market has finally been validated and defined and is expected to reach mainstream adoption in the next 5-10 years.”

Though analysts can’t agree on a name for the category, they all agree that there is something new and big here.

Engagement is a Prerequisite, Not the End Goal

Analysts remain focused on the front-end portal, the employee experience, and engagement. For many in corporate learning that are utilizing legacy Learning Management Systems, it’s easy to get caught up in the idea that the end goal of all learning is engagement, measured by time, activity, and satisfaction.

If your company is like most, voluntary usage of learning systems might average 4-6% in a given month — anemic by almost any standard. Increasing learning activity 9x as we’ve done at AirBnB, having 25% of employees spend 3-4 hours learning every week at HP Inc., or getting a 69 Net Promoter Score at T-Mobile would seem to be goals worth striving for. And they are. Without engagement, nothing else is possible.

We agree that something huge is going on here, but it goes deeper than the surface level experience analysts are seeing. There is plumbing and wiring hidden under the surface, and driving this experience behind the scenes is a robust skills data set that matches people to what they need to learn, driving more engagement.

We believe a new operating system  for learning is emerging that will enable companies to make talent decisions.

It’s what you do with that engagement that matters

Engagement is not enough. It doesn’t mean that outcomes are being created, or that value is being generated for the business. It’s a bit like how startups try to grow revenues without any appreciation for the value of profits. These companies  get caught up in vanity metrics because it makes them feel like they are making progress, but they are not actually building a sustainable business. In the same way, engagement indicates that you are doing something right, but it’s not the complete story.

It’s what you do with that engagement that matters. We’ve known all along that engagement matters most when it aligns to greater performance, opportunity, and achievement for all parties, like when a company is filling hard-to-fill roles and retaining employees longer; when employees are gaining skills that are valuable to their careers, and to the competitiveness of their firms.

To achieve this goal, we made a major investment in technology, data science, and machine learning. We’ve spent the last few years, creating a framework that creates data about what can people do, how well they can do it, and matches them to learning opportunities that will help them grow their career and contribute to organizational growth.

This is something that no one else is doing today and it is already starting to yield substantial value for our clients. At Unilever, active learners are 24.5% more likely to receive 4- and 5-star performance ratings, get promoted 10% faster, and are 25% more likely to be targeted for retention efforts.

The linchpin of this framework is Skills. Knowing the skills your company has is exponentially more valuable than knowing how many hours employees spent learning. It becomes meaningful to the entire organization, especially to the C-Suite, who can leverage this data for strategic initiatives like product innovation, entering new markets, and M&A, all of which require a talent pool armed with the latest and greatest skills.

It’s time to elevate learning

To that end, we’re making a series of other exciting Skills-related updates to our platform:

  • Skill Review to assess who has what skills across an entire company
  • Team Pages and Individual Development Plans to drive employee development at a grassroots level
  • Career Pathing to help people grow while aligning careers with company strategy

All these updates are intended to build upon what we’ve already achieved and continue to elevate learning — to make it more strategic to business units and to turn it into a competitive advantage. To redirect the way we talk about learning outcomes — leaving behind metrics like satisfaction and activity, and putting new a focus on internal mobility, retention, and performance. All these things come down to helping your business do a better job of developing your talent.

With rapidly changing business landscapes in virtually every industry, we believe learning is one of the greatest internal investment opportunities of our time. Learning drives the creation of skills, and skills are what drives corporate competitive advantage. It’s our mission to make learning matter and empower organizations to make skills the center of their people operations and create a path for every person to own their future while helping their company succeed in the marketplace. These recent upgrades to our platform are a step in the direction in this mission.

Menu