Updated: Jan 7, 2019
Learning Collaboration is usually considered to be between employees, or team members. Working as a cohort or group on learning, sharing and consuming learning content.
In 2018 we were faced with demand for rapid changes in workplace skills. The like of which, we may have never seen before. This is continuing to accelerate in 2019. Skills are high on the individual 'To-Do' agenda.
That places an extraordinary load on the HR and L&D team, first to attempt to predict those learning needs. Embrace, develop or source the right content. Make that content appropriate to the business needs.
Then gain support from the learners to consume and learn. So the business can benefit from newly acquired skills, that are needed immediately.
Or worse, or having to trawl the market for the right people. People that already have the skills you need. Skills that are in demand everywhere…
If business is hoping for that as the way to up-skill your teams in the near term. With all the right skills needed, I sense a rapidly emerging ‘skills-gap’.
In my mind the best actions HR and L&D teams can effectively achieve. Is to meet this head-on. Try to translate the business direction and strategy into potential needs and/or emerging gaps the business may need skills for. Not a perfect path from any measure.
There is another potential reality, you may have the skills you need already. The Talent primed and eager to acquire those skills to mutual advantage.
The question then is, “Is your Business harboring hidden skills”? They could be your potential SMEs (Subject Matter Experts).
I predict a different model will emerge that of ‘Collaboration between the Business and Employee’. I fall back to an expression I’ve used many times in my career:
“let smart people do smart things”.
Imagine SMEs collaborating across the business with L&D and HR to help permeate the 'right learning to right people'. They're probably doing this already in an informal sense.
The learning environment you rely on for the formal learning processes. Will need to have some core Platform capabilities to take you forward and make this a reality for you.
Tools you will need; a fully integrated LRS (Learning Record Store) and x-API (Experience API) for tracking and managing all internal and external learning.
API connectors to HR and CRM Systems. Action Based learning would serve to bolster newly acquired skills with evidence of success/achievement.
As smart people, I’ll leave that platform choice to your discretion. Just bear this in mind. You won’t need to ‘back up the truck’ and unload all the formal learning you have.
Retain that in your existing LMS and then add new capability to achieve the right results.
This will be a good play for the emerging generations. Tech savvy, skills and awareness. With personal drive for opportunity, recognition, and learning. Learners can then utilize their personal learning to advance their careers.
This is where your smart people step-up.
The opportunity to understand the business strategy and directions. To assess themselves what that may mean in terms of skills required to meet future demand.
With this approach your business would be fostering that generational desire to learn. Supporting its emergence into your own culture. Making your business a popular place to be.
Provide individual rewards, recognition and promotions, enhancing self-value. Awarded for skills achieved with those self-learning pathways and directions. Could add amazing individual drive and personal value. Which builds potential for the business.
The big pay-off is 'uncovering the unidentified talent in another area of the business'. This becomes the real potential business reward. Skills you didn’t know you had. Perhaps the Introverts will have their day after-all…
Enable your SMEs and smart people, to operate as thought leaders. Using Social Learning channels to support peers. Enhance learning through peer engagement and collaboration with learning content.
An integrated LRS - Learning Record Store, will allow the recording and tracking of all learning both inside and outside the LMS. Giving both the learner and the business the capacity to manage and develop identified or needed skills.
The combined capability of the Learning ecosystem tools, gives a depth of analytical capability to truly understand your own Talent Pool.
Have all that newly acquired information added back into your HR system and automatically updated. You have an emerging Talent Pool ready to meet new resource demands.
Bear in mind your smart people are looking 'right now' for their next challenge - is that your business or another?
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