50th Learning Uncut Episode – Marking a Milestone

To mark the milestone of Learning Uncut’s 50th episode three learning professionals at different points in their career join us to discuss the past, present and future of learning.  The concept for this discussion is to look out to 2050 (a play on it being our 50th episode) and consider what the world of work will look like then and how learning professionals can prepare now for the future.

My three guests represent people at different points in their career in organisational learning across the span of 30 years. Laura Overton takes us back through the arc of past 30 years, and in particular, she points to the promise of technology being able to personalise and individualise learning but us not really having realised that promise. She suggests it’s time we start coming of age and playing a more adult role in the world of business.

We have Amanda Ashby – yes, Learning Uncut’s producer for the first 42 episodes – is back on the other side of the microphone. Amanda is a workplace learning practitioner at the coalface. One of the things she talks about is the kind of demands and tensions and the tricky balance placed on learning professionals out in the workplace when there are so many different ways we could be contributing and making an impact and the range of skills and technologies has expanded so broadly.  She does bring us really nicely back to grappling with the problem we are trying to solve and starting with problems and solutions as a way of adding value.

Our final guest is one and a half years into his career as a learning professional.  Jelle Buiting joins us from the Netherlands. He also picks up on the idea of translating problems into solutions. In particular, he has an interest in data and HR analytics and how that can help us to be better partners.

We talk about what should we hold on to from the past as we prepare for possible futures, because it’s quite clear that the original premise of this podcast was fundamentally flawed. You cannot look out 30 years and know what the future is going to look like. But what we can indeed do is understand the foundations, the things that maybe aren’t glamorous, but keep us grounded in the fundamentals of learning and creating business value.  If we ground our practice in those and if we are flexible and adaptable in how we respond and we expand our view of our role into the future, we can remain very relevant and be valued business partners.

For a discussion that occurred before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic there is much in this discussion that is prescient and relevant to the shifts underway at the time this episode was published.

A big thank you to Amanda Ashby and Karen Moloney, who were my co-creators of the podcast for the first 42 episodes.

Episode Highlights

–  What brings each guest joy and what frustrates them most about working in the learning profession

– Laura’s view of technology as a key part of the arc of organisational learning over the past 30 years

– How technology has not met the promise of connection and personalisation for learning

– A plea for learning professionals to play an adult role in the world of business

– Amanda’s take on the work of learning professionals and demands on them at the coalface, including the variety of tasks and skills required

– Jelle’s interest in HR analytics and combining data with human factors to help achieve organisational goals

– Taking a scenario-based approach to consider a range of possible futures

– A shift to enabling performance and helping organisations to change and adapt

– The importance of holding onto evidence based common-sense in organisational learning

Episode Preview

Full Episode

Listen to the full episode and access transcript and additional resources on the podcast website or your favourite podcast platform.

Curated Learning Uncut Disruption Collection

From 17 March to 7 April the special Learning Uncut Disruption series was created.  Using the podcast as a platform I reached out to expert practitioners to provide practical guidance on approaches that many learning professionals are using for the first time or scaling up as they respond to the impact of enforced physical distancing.  At the start of 2020 face-to-face training still accounted for over half of learning delivery.  Suddenly we’re unable to use it for the foreseeable future.

I’ve curated all twelve episodes in the series and associated resources onto the Padlet board at this link for easy access.  Please take a look – odds are that you will find something relevant to your needs right now.

Join the Conversation Online

All new episodes are shared via posts on both LinkedIn and Twitter using #LearningUncut.  Once you’ve listened to the episode leave a comment, share your experiences or ask a guest a question by commenting on the post.  If you can think of someone who may be interested in the episode please let them know.  If you do it online please add #LearningUncut to your post.

Learning Uncut has accounts on Twitter  and Instagram. Find and follow them at @learninguncut.


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