CIPD L&D Show preview – times are changing

Next week, London Olympia will be host to the annual CIPD L&D show and a read through of the conference and seminar agenda reflects the state of the nation for learning and where emphasis will be placed moving forward.

From ‘Innovating and Upskilling the Learning Organisation’ to ‘Learning and the Future of the Professions’, the event is taking a decidedly future scoping view. There are a range of practical how to session covering video, microlearning, coaching and analytics which always prove popular. But there is no doubt that over the next year, we’ll see the conversations continue to focus on the shape, direction and focus of the new learning professional.

Lisa Minogue-White will be reporting from the event so check back for her report coming soon.

Learning Live preview – why lecture free is important

Last week I created a quick Adobe Spark view on why I love Learning Live, partly to thank the LPi for their support and the opportunity to take part, but also because as an event, I think it’s more important than ever.

As our relationships with the workplace, technology and our environment continue to shift and intertwine, it demands that we work together to shape the future of the profession to flex and adapt.  Learning professionals need to be polymaths because individuals and organisations are learning all the time, not at scheduled events or in defined e-learning.  Formal orchestrated learning has its place, just as communities and coaching do but when regarded as very separate, distinct entities, we limit our effectiveness and relevance.  We need to add value, insights, inspiration and performance impact in the flow of work It’s why the learning community with its variety of experience, approaches, favoured models, best tech, most effective engagement methods needs to work together to set out the new learning agenda.  That needs space – space to discuss, challenge, map out, draw, speak, plan, take action.  Learning Live is about working together, celebrating the diaspora of experience and giving these important conversations room to breathe, so this doesn’t stay in the realms of theory.  During my practical session tomorrow on using value chains to understand real business need, I my attendees leave with a tool they can use to create a complete view of performance.  But more than this, I hope it helps even in a small way to help shape the definition of the new learning professional. I’ll be blogging and sharing my experience from the event, so hope to see you back here for more on the future of performance.

Learning Live Preview – a conference where you can get stuff done

leanring liveSummer time and the livin’ is easy?  Well being specialists in the tougher L&D challenges, we aren’t ones for the easy life!  A good creative and intellectual challenge is what we prefer and the issues facing the changing face of learning and performance in organisations required some rigorous thinking. That’s why I would encourage you to get along to Learning Live on the 7th and 8th September, as its a departure from your standard conference.  The format is lecture free, which makes the event by its nature, highly collaborative.  For someone attending, its means you can come along with questions and expect to leave with practical answers. It can be difficult to find the time and the budget to get out to events but because the LPi have worked so hard to make these sessions to participatory, you can expect to leave with some of your strategic to do list ticked off. Some of my essential sessions include:

MICHELLE PARRY-SLATER: The value of free: creating fantastic learning assets

NICK SHACKLETON-JONES – Redesigning Learning

JOE TIDMAN: Delivering an agile Global Learning Strategy

ANDREW JACOBS: Developing the L&D professional to be relevant to the business

TOM SPIGLANIN: Personalised learning in unusual places

CATHY HOY: Embedding Learning – Maximising the role of the Manager

BRENT SCHLENKER: VR isn’t the future – it’s the past & present (and future)

Oh and of course my session 🙂

LISA MINOGUE-WHITE: Learning where it really matters – a practical guide to understanding the business through value chains


Performance is more than support – performance in context

  What this performance model means for the provision of learning support in organisationstheperformance-medium So taking the performance lens to typical learning challenges, let’s finish with looking at performance in context.  To do this, I have broken down performance in a more contextual way and applied our model to each situation of the following contexts: Performance rehearsal, performance analysis, performance catalyst Today, we’ll take a look at performance rehearsal. Examples: This could range from preparing someone for their first managerial role through to highly complex skills, such as designing major structural engineering projects, conducting medical procedures, flight training etc Conditions: This requires clear communication about expectations for a given role, understanding of core work activities (i.e. the processes, tools, inputs and outputs), transfer of knowledge, mentoring, practice opportunities aligned to typical work challenges and scenarios to develop a realistic and fully aligned view of what levels of performance are needed. Where these skills are complex, rare or safety critical, investment in creating the right conditions is a much easier case to make (think flight training) but there are other areas where a safe place to explore skills acquisition can benefit, such as first time management challenges. From an organisational culture perspective, leaders need to endorse time for people to invest in development, recognise and value contributions to supporting rehearsal (though capturing and sharing case studies, volunteering as a mentor or peer reviewer, contribute as a subject matter expert into formal content development). Goal setting: For those with clear outcomes (such as engineering projects, flight deck, medical etc) it is likely that well defined measurement is in place already and that number of incidents, speed of project delivery, budget, errors, quality etc can be tracked.  This can be integrated into your performance dashboard and over time, you can track these numbers.  However for topics such as leadership, the measures can be quite subjective and a great outcome can mean different things is different contexts.  That’s where a value chain can be very useful; its a worthwhile exercise in which to engage, not only for the purposes of defining measures but its also a great tool for senior team buy in. valuechain-medium Community: Mentoring is relevant here, but there are other community activities that can be beneficial.  Peer assists are a great way for teams of people to test hypothesis, present ideas and explore options, with the support of ‘critical friends’ who, in a facilitated environment, will encourage the team to scenario plan, work through alternatives and refine their plans.  Communities are also a fertile ground for gathering business stories that can be used to build realistic and credible scenarios. Tools and Tech: For complex, highly specialist settings, investment in VR could be a viable option.  Creating physical simulations of some of these tasks has been the only way to create a realistic environment but advances in VR technology are bridging that gap.  It may never replace it entirely, but speed to competency and high performance could be accelerated. Collaborative platforms with effective search capabilities help Responsive content can enable scenario base content to be delivered across platforms but its worth considering the screen real estate of each device and how detailed an interaction you can achieve.  However, there is a great role here for mobile in the continuum of performance rehearsal into application, through reinforcing learning with refreshers, quick exercises and top tips at the point of need. People: Facilitators to support and nurture communities are key roles here – connecting experts to novices, gathering insights to build realistic scenarios, orchestrate and facilitate peer reviews are just some of the key activities they can support.  Experts in content development with specialism in interactive scenarios, video storyboarding and production can be useful here.  VR simulation development houses are growing all the time (we at WillowDNA work with virtual environment and VR specialists, Immerse Learning).  Learning professionals need to ensure they are aware of progress in these areas and most major conferences will provide demonstrations and examples of new tools.  It goes without saying the leaders and budget holders will need to be supportive here but getting buy in requires well informed learning professionals who can tap into good case studies and examples from other organisations. Next, we’ll take a look at performance analysis.

Our quick video overview of Performance Is More Than Support

Intrigued by our latest series on Performance Is More Than Support? Lisa Minogue-White, Director Of Learning Solutions at WillowDNA gives us a quick 3 minute overview of the 5 key components of building a performance focussed environment. It’s a great way to get into the subject and will help you understand how you can use this approach to develop your learning strategy.

CIPD Learning Survey 2012 – Willow’s solutions to current L&D challenges

Subscribers to our newsletter have given us some great feedback on our report on this year’s learning survey from CIPD. It was a great opportunity for us to share how Willow address the challenges of online learning in context, so we thought we’d share it with you as well.

Get your free guides to creating great online learning in just 5 days

We are very excited about the launch of our new series of guides on ‘5 days to Success: Creating great online learning in just 1 week’. Our first guide is available down for download from our site here.  It is taken from our ‘5 days to success’ workshop so if you like what you read, why not sign up for a place on our next session on 29th March 2012 at Southwark Cathedral.  Places are currently just £99 for those that book in the next 2 weeks, so secure your place today!

Sign up for our 5 free tools for online learning success

In conjunction with our one day workshop ‘5 days to success: great online learning in just one week’ on 29th March 2012 at Southwark Cathedral, London, we are giving away a guide a week over the next 5 weeks.  These guides will help you plan, develop and launch great online learning in just 5 days, using techniques from Willow’s Learning Pathway approach. By taking e-learning out of the box, you can take even the most complex subjects online.  Our free guides will help support some of the most important activities to complete in order to develop a great learning design, create great learning resources and encourage great learner interaction. To get your free guides, sign up here.  You’ll also find more information on our workshop and how to book your place here.

‘Training has seen the future, and it’s confused.’ Trainers get social

Having visited this year’s Broadcast & Equality Training Regulator (BETR) Learning and Development in Broadcasting conference, the folks at AV Interactive are a tad downhearted. That’s because the conference focused on the inexorable rise of social and informal learning, placing the role of traditional AV equipment further down the pecking order. However, the article is a great synopsis of the points raised by the speakers, who included former Head of Learning at the BBC, Nigel Paine, Lloyds Banking Group’s learning director, Peter Butler and Donald Clark, director of UFI learndirect and former managing director of Epic.

Blair versus Brown – what does that tell us about diversity in the workplace?

Peter Honey from People Management gives his views on that famous relationship and what we can learn from it “The Blair-Brown relationship has been described as dysfunctional and the extent of the strife between Tony Blair and his chancellor, described in Blair’s memoir, A Journey, leads most people to bemoan the damaging effect this must have had on the Blair government. But looked at another way, Blair and Brown, with different backgrounds and personalities, might have been good for each other. I’m not suggesting it was comfortable, but just possibly it was a splendid example of the benefits of diversity: differences producing something better than like-minded sameness could have done. Click here to find out more