The learning environment: How can we rethink our current models in L&D?
On 30 November, Nigel Paine delivered an LT Webinar on 'The Great Reset: Why We Need to Rethink Organisational Learning'. With over 25 years of experience in corporate learning, Nigel is a regular speaker, writer and broadcaster on the topics of learning culture, technology and leadership.
Nigel headed up the BBC’s Learning and Development operation and has held board level appointments, and been CEO of four organisations in the Ed Tech space. His work is focused on building workplaces that develop great people. In this webinar, his main focus was on talking about why and how L&D can rethink its current models of learning, and build an environment that works for everyone.
Does L&D have a clear choice: change dramatically or become irrelevant?
Nigel kicked off the webinar with a poll, asking the audience their opinion on the following: 'We need an existential change in learning and development to be relevant for our organisations.' Nigel stated that L&D's very existence is threatened, due to so many jobs, roles, people and processes all shifting, which is largely due to AI, global issues and political issues. He emphasised that we can't escape this and that L&D has a 'fabulous opportunity to move centre stage, or an amazing opportunity to make ourselves irrelevant.'
The audience responded with 67% agreeing with Nigel's quote, 30% being unsure, and just 3% disagreeing. The audience shared their reasons on why they voted the way they did, with one person stating that 'I've made myself redundant with the integration of everything project. It's great, being freed up to optimise educational outcomes at the university.' Someone else said that 'I think there is also a change needed by the "clients" as much as L&D which is why I chose not sure.' Another person said that actually 'Learning and Development is already there. What is needed is support - TRUE support!'
Rebuilding and re-imagining the learning environment
Nigel shared a new idea that 'Learning Happens in the Space Between People'. It's the idea that when we come out of a discussion, the insights of the learning is not locked inside anyone's head, the insights are actually in the room. 'If you can have an organisation where most of the knowledge is outside the individuals; people you can talk to, groups, maybe stored somewhere online — you've got a smarter organisation.' This is more sustainable, as Nigel explains it, as smart individuals can leave an organisation, but a smart organisation can remain so.
Nigel wanted to know from the audience: 'How do we connect the organisation?' Ideas came flooding through, including 'Digital enterprise workshops work really well as public forums' and 'Onsite (not online) onboarding training for new staff so that they can sticky together and create bonds.' Other opinions included people saying that 'Knowledge-sharing communities' were vital and 'Set up People Libraries in our community of practice to help people share globally.'
To get the full scope of this topic and experience the online discussion that took place, watch the recording!
More on Vygotsky and the ZoPD: https://www.simplypsychology.org/zone-of-proximal-development.html
The computer boys take over (book): https://www.amazon.co.uk/computer-boys-take-over-programmers/dp/0262050935
Current use of AI in L&D: https://www.donaldhtaylor.co.uk/research_base/focus-on-ai-in-ld/