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Elliott Masie's 30 Under 30: Interview with Jennifer Lim Bok

First in our series of interviews with Elliott Masie's Learning 2015 30 Under 30 is Jennifer Lim Bok, Manager Talent Team (Global Assurance Learning) at Ernst & Young.

Unfamiliar with learning's 30 Under 30? That's ok! It's an annual program put on by Elliott Masie at Learning 2015 conference. "The goal of the 30 Under 30 @ Learning 2015 Program is to provide support, visibility, voice and development for the next generation of Learning Leaders." Read on to learn more about industry insights from an up and coming learning leader!

Maestro: Tell me a little bit about your company and your role within it.

Jennifer: We are a multinational professional services firm with more than 210,000 people based in 728 offices in 150 countries. We recognize the critical role we play in the community and therefore, at EY (Ernst & Young), we are committed to building a better working world —– one with increased trust and confidence in business, sustainable growth, development of talent in all its forms, and greater collaboration.

Normally, I manage audits in the Philippines at EY. Currently, I am doing a rotation on our Global Assurance Learning group in Cleveland, OH. In my rotational role, I support the design and development of learning for our global audit practice on everything from simulations, eLearning and supporting key strategic learning initiatives within our group.

Maestro: Tell me about some of the things you are doing to stay current in the world of learning.

Jennifer: In my current role, I have the opportunity to work with learning leaders internal and external to EY and I try to use this network to help me stay up to date with new and exciting things happening in learning. I am an avid consumer of learning, attending formal learning events and reading relevant articles, magazines and books on key topics I love.

Maestro: What challenges do you see for the next generation of learning leaders – people like you?

Jennifer: One of the key challenges of the next generation of learning leaders is the ability to get the stakeholders' buy-in. The business environment has transformed. A fact that learners need to recognize in order to realize that they should take their learning more seriously. Similarly, our business leaders must recognize that we have a new generation of learners and that providing traditional learning is no longer effective. The way people learn is radically different and the level of retention is very short. This means organizations have to make necessary investments of time and money and reallocate priorities to keep up with the changing world. Getting these messages across is not easy but is critical.

Another challenge I see is recognizing the changes in the role of our teachers or instructors as a result of modern delivery platforms. The learning technology is more advanced and so the traditional instructor skills is no longer effective. With increase of on-demand and online learning, organizations must equip instructors on how to support learners outside the classroom to provide continuity for self-paced learning (e.g., mentoring and consultation). Technology is a tool that could help deliver learning but could never replace human interaction as channel to keep learning honest to the realities of life.

Maestro: What excites you about the future of learning?

Jennifer: Now more than ever, I think, learning is more learner-centric. Across organizations I am seeing more and more learning that focuses on developing skills and behaviors that enable people to effectively do their jobs. Shifting the learning paradigm from "what to think" to "how to think" is a total game changer.

Maestro: What advice do you have for companies struggling to keep up with the changing landscape of learning?

Jennifer: Change is always a risk and an opportunity. With business landscape changing rapidly, status quo is commensurate to failure. Take advantage of collaboration and the availability of vast amount of resources to evaluate your current position and learn from learning leaders and organizations across the industries. Learning 2015 could be your gold mine.

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Sydney Hill

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