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​The 3 Keys to Corporate Learning in 2016

I recently read through "Predictions for 2016: A Bold New World of Talent, Learning, and HR Technology Ahead", and was pleased to see corporate learning on the list coming in at number seven titled, "The Revolution in Corporate Learning Continues as a New Model Evolves." After reading that, it's only natural to wonder, what is the 'new model' for corporate learning?

This 'new model' is dictated by the new learner - people who are "short on time, [rush] to learn, and [want] to learn [their] own way." They are mobile, constantly bombarded by content, and extremely social - even if it is through a screen. The article detailed several case studies and great examples of how the new learner is helping to mold the new corporate learning model. Three things stuck out to me as most important: self-directed learning, social learning, and continuous learning experiences.

Self-Directed Learning

Have you ever learned how to do something by searching on Pinterest, YouTube, or your favorite blog? That's is self-directed learning. You identified something you wanted to learn, you searched for it on a system you trusted, and you learned it. It feels natural to incorporate self-directed learning into our corporate settings because we have found so much success with it in our personal lives.

For example, I wanted to learn how to install a light fixture, so I searched on YouTube, watched a few videos, found the one I liked best, and toggled between pause and play while installing. Voila, a new light fixture up, functioning, and no electrocution in the process! Similarly, I wanted to work on developing HTML skills so I can further my knowledge and expertise as a Digital Marketer, so my boss and I found some basic HTML courses on for me to dig into.

Self-directed learning can become the pathway for career mobility. In fact, the article points out that, "many individuals in just about every domain are looking for ways to improve their professional skills. If you are not an active learner pushing yourself to improve your skills, you are probably falling behind everyone else."

Social Learning

The piece walks through a case study of a retail company that "introduced a new portal tool to help its employees to curate, recommend, and arrange content they find helpful." Corporate Pinterest anyone? For this company the results were extremely positive, with over 4,000 employees actively sharing content with one another after just six months.

In fact, the L&D team's hope is that "people will have learned how to share content so well that the L&D team can pull back from the curation of training content." As amazing as that sounds, don't leave the learners to curate completely on their own. Remember that you want messaging and learning to stay on brand and you want content on the most common topics to be easily found. Be sure to have an active presence on the curation platform to make sure the content is appropriate and optimally organized so that your learners keep coming back!

Continuous Learning Experiences

They hit the nail on the head; "professionals must focus on their job as "learning experience designers" as opposed to "instructional designers." Today, formal learning represents a small part of the role you have as an L&D professional. Learners have too much stimuli they are consuming and organizing each day to appreciate a page turner; the traditional methods aren't going to cut it anymore.

As a learning professional, this may be overwhelming at first, especially if you have made a career out of instructional design for traditional learning. If that is you, try to think of this as a challenge for the year. Force yourself to create something unique, interesting, and outside the box.

If you haven't already, look into self-directed learning, social learning, and continuous learning experiences and figure out how you can bake small concepts into your already stellar plans for 2016. And, if you're interested in seeing the other topics on the list of Predictions for 2016, check out Bersin by Deloitte's document here!

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Sydney Hill

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