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Learning for the future

Updated: May 3, 2020

Learning is our business and of course we love it and follow trends and pick up fresh ideas all the time. So, we’ve enthusiastically devoured the latest Deloitte 2019, Human Capital Global Trends report.

Here’s what they’re saying about learning or Learning in the flow of life as they call it.

First of all, the need to improve learning and development is the top-rated 2019 trend worldwide. Why? The future of work is changing; massive technological change; people working for longer and needing to be re-skilled; and the tight labour market.

But how to do this? We’re happy with the concepts the report recommends, but worry about if, and how, they’ll be actioned.

How to promote better L and D

The Deloitte report puts forward four basic ideas:

  • Integrate real-time learning into work.

  • Target learning to individuals: encourage people to learn as and when they see fit.

  • Integrate learning into the work of teams.

  • Make learning the joint responsibility of workers and the organisation.

All good stuff.

Facing the challenges of doing this

Yes, but how to do it? In our experience more and more people are time poor and lack the focus for learning. To bring these four principles to life needs huge commitment and sophistication from L and D and talent teams.

We’re concerned about assuming workers are keen to learn. Yes, some are intellectually but find it a struggle to translate this into actual learning that leads to behaviour change. Why? Because it means giving up a focus on something else. And for many learning can often wait. Deadlines can’t.

We’re often faced with the following: we want transformational change; what can you do in two hours? Our hearts sink as we fight for more time, not for the sake of it, but to accomplish something meaningful.

And yes, some people will access material and learn online, face-to-face, or informally but many won’t. So we can take workers to water, but we can’t make them drink.

We’re not proposing a simple solution, but we’re suggesting incentives and real accountability for learning. Making learning available is one thing, ensuring it’s taken up is another.

We’ll check in again in 2020 and see what the L and D trends are again. We predict it’ll still be the top-rated or near top-rated concern.


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