Making predictions at any time is difficult. Doing so as the gravest public health emergency in living memory works its way through the world’s economies makes it almost impossible.
What’s clear is that businesses around the world have been impacted, many adversely! Organisations have faced the challenge of responding and adjusting to a difficult and rapidly-changing environment. This definitely holds true for the learning industry, and by this I mean; a) organisations who provide and deliver learning and b) companies committed to developing their people and their global supplier networks. Face-to-face delivery of these learning and training opportunities became pretty much impossible overnight.
But the desire to learn didn’t disappear. Nor did the need to support employees and learners already on their learning journeys. It’s not unfair to say that some organisations had been resting on their laurels and had to scrabble around in order to find solutions to fill the gap. Many had to take new and unplanned routes in order to continue to enable a learning culture.
Nevertheless, history has shown that opportunities are invariably borne from difficulty.
I’ve joined a business which has provided services to the learning sector for more than 20 years, and we know this to be true, however realising these opportunities requires a shift in mindset, and a willingness to evolve.
The past few weeks and months have given me cause to reflect, and consider what happens next in the learning sector.
- Digital learning is here to stay. That doesn’t have to mean bells and whistles eLearning or virtual learning environments although these definitely have an important role to play. But I think there’s also a need for practicality and pragmatism – using the right tools and technology to do the right job for the organisation, the learner and the learning. For me this about a combination of digitally-enabled learning being used alongside face-to-face (real or virtual) training.
- The need for learning in the workplace is evolving. For businesses to grow out of the undoubted recession ahead of us, they need to adapt to the changing world. They need the best people and those people need to be developed and supported. They need to be given learning opportunities, and those opportunities need to be served up readily and easily.
- Joining any organisation in the middle of a pandemic is definitely “interesting”. But the team at KnowledgePoint has embraced me with (virtually) open arms. In a world when people have been furloughed or find themselves unemployed, businesses must think differently; they need to be flexible and adaptable to the changing needs of the workforce and their business goals.
For my part, ensuring that learning continues to play a critical role going forward is key. Drawing on many years in the learning industry, I know that a learning culture, based on curiosity, is crucial in helping organisations to stabilise, grow and become more resilient.
My sense is that those organisations who are able to lean into the challenges of today will become the best in class tomorrow. But they will only do that if they embrace learning. I’m not just saying that because its my job – but because I’ve seen it to be true.