9 hours after singing A Whole New World on the plane as I watched Aladdin, there I was standing at Disney, ready for Learning 2019!
Attending Learning 2019 was special to me. Why? Well, I was still buzzing from being selected as one of the 30u30 for Learning 2019 (a program aimed at developing and spotlighting the next generation of learning leadership in our industry). I couldn’t wait to be around like-minded individuals who are as passionate as I am about learning, and getting an opportunity to develop together and challenge each other!
And it more than lived up to expectations. I had a wealth of transformative conversations on a whole host of subjects. Here are some reflections and key themes from the best of them.
One of the sessions that made a real impact on me was run by Nigel Paine, which I was fortunate enough to co-facilitate with two of my fellow 30u30's. What intrigued me most about it was the lack of consensus on whose responsibility it was to create a learning culture. Was it the organisation's? The individuals’? Both? Everyone has a strong opinion on this topic and that led to some fascinating debate.
The discussion made me think about how much of an impact a learning culture has on the productivity of a business and employee retention. I wonder how many companies think about how critical trust, diversity and inclusion and transparency are for people in their organisations. What do you think?
Making learning personal
Another set of trends that stood out to me were based around personalisation, AI, workflow learning, dispersed workplaces, learning culture and data analytics all popped up again and again. I cannot wait to see what the next decade will bring for the learning and development industry and how personalisation will shape and evolve the way our people develop.
Personally, I’m glad to see that personalisation is now the next trend in learning. We let algorithms guide us in our everyday lives through consumer channels such as Spotify and Netflix. It’s time to bring that aspect of content consumption into the world of work!
We know our people are busy. It’s about grabbing their attention and finding different ways of engaging our learners. We need to focus on what they truly need and want - not just to generalise learning for all.
Change is the only constant
There was also a lot of buzz about how to make L&D more relevant to the wider business. In fact, it feels like we all talk about that year after year with little to show for it. But I did speak to a lot of people who are finding real inroads by focusing their departments on change programmes.
By that I mean finding out what changes really matter to the business and then aligning their learning initiatives with the wider programmes already supporting those changes. There’s two major benefits to that approach: it’s much easier to secure budget, and more people care about your results.
I had several conversations with people who’d seen success with this strategy, and it resonates with much of what we’re helping our clients with at Filtered.
Women in learning
One cause that I am truly passionate about is Women in Learning, and I was fortunate enough to attend a session with some fabulous women in the industry. I loved their authenticity, honesty and influence. After attending the session and speaking to others there, it was evident that more than a few of us have been faced with impostor syndrome and lack of confidence, so it was great to hear about how some of my peers in the industry deal with it.
As a result of my experience at Learning 2019, I’ve decided to interview both women and men in our industry to explore on how they overcome the challenges they have faced. If you would like to share your experience with me and the rest of the learning industry, please let me know as I’d love to connect with you.
Learning 2019 was a truly eye-opening experience and, in the coming months, I’ll also be exploring some of these themes further.
I would like to thank everyone at Learning 2019 including Steve, Andy, Meghan, Elliott Masie, Don, Nigel Paine, Bob, Sharon and Celine for giving us 30u30s a platform for us to improve ourselves and to stretch ourselves to the fullest! My fellow 30u30 for sharing their knowledge and expertise. Also, thank you to my company, Filtered, for supporting me!