It all starts with a shared purpose, common goals and objectives that bring us all together. Otherwise, what are you going to align people to and how are you going to collaborate to drive the business forward?
Typically, people overlook a few key ideas that bring all of this together, and that’s what Lori and Jon discussed in this session.
- How you can amplify and accelerate the natural ways we learn at work.
- The role of tech, teams and leaders in collaborative learning and development.
- Shared knowledge and action learning’s crucial roles in success.
- Creating learning that tackles workplace obstacles rather than content for the sake of content.
Speaker: Lori Figueiredo – Digital Learning Strategist | Creator of Syzygy® Design Methodology. For more than three decades, Lori has been helping people learn by facilitating meaningful learning experiences and helping businesses to shape how they work and learn together.
Your host: Jon Magnus – Director of Learning at HowNow. An experienced learning professional with a demonstrated history of helping build Edtech companies and designing learning experiences. On a mission to champion and empower people through learning, innovation and development
Five takeaways from this session
Meet people where they are
The truth is that teams are learning with or without us, at their time or place of need. So we need to ask what can we do to help them learn and work more effectively together and consider how we use tech to do it. The thing is that we often learn and work best when we have a clear and shared purpose, and when we’re learning with other people. It’s important to mention this because it puts into perspective how damaging it can be to take them away from that and encourage them to go somewhere else for a course or training – outside the workflow.
Think about what business as usual looks like. How are your people already learning and working together? A common mistake might be to ask people what training they need, but it’s better to start by asking them what they’re doing every day and what would help them do those things better. That’s how you understand the natural behaviours that happen without L&D or HR! Identify what people are good at, what brings people together and how to make the most of their informal learning and talents.
What part does tech play in that? Well, it’s somewhere for people to learn anything 24/7, to share wisdom and digitise content. Lori summarises it as a three-part process: the online education, the experience in which they apply it and exposure.
Understanding the role of leaders
Learning efforts typically work best when leaders are setting an example – when they’re the first online, the ones sharing and caring enough about the idea of active learning to live it. When leaders aren’t on board, then you might face more challenges in getting other senior stakeholders and learners involved.
If you can get leaders to understand that learning, un-learning and re-learning every day is a critical skill and that you can’t always wait for the next course to come out, that might help them understand the need to support the way people learn at work. A shared focus with a leader is where the magic happens and drives us to tap into our natural curiosity and capacity to learn.
Jobs to be done
Don’t think about learning first, think about obstacles and jobs that people need to be done. Too often, the temptation is to dive right into the learning and courses you think you need, as opposed to determining the barriers or tasks someone is trying to overcome or complete. In Lori’s opinion, this stretches to skills too – it’s good to know and build skills, but you need to know what jobs they’ll help you complete.
And it’s not always jobs to be done by your people, but what outcomes your customers or users expect. What’s the job to be done from a customer point of view? Are they comfortable, do they feel welcome? Once you know that and what you need to achieve, you can work out the behaviours and the learning should be driven by that outcome or the performance impact.
What can organisations do to drive a better culture of sharing knowledge?
People need safe spaces to share and technology that makes it easy to access – otherwise it’s difficult for them to share what they’re doing at work with others. A little bit of encouragement goes a long way, especially when you want people to share – and mindsets a big one too. You’re creating an environment where people think ‘I’d normally share this on Slack or Whatsapp but I should actually upload it.’ and giving them a pat on the back once they do it. Between the positive feedback and the engagement they’ll get from other learners, they’ll get a good feeling that makes them want to share more of their tacit knowledge.
How can they get started in introducing this behaviour?
Firstly, there needs to an organisational appetite to democratise learning, not just to share it from the top down. Finding your early adopters can really help in that sense, and that means seeking out people who are already sharing knowledge and either tapping into that or getting them on board. A passionate advocate can go a long way into recruiting others on your learning mission.
Another option is to try things on a small scale and see how that goes, encourage a limited number of people to come and try learning or share knowledge. From that group, you might find a passionate champion, who you’ve helped save a lot of time and build best practices – those people become your advocates.