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Learning at Work Day 2 – My Key Takeaways / Ideas

This post is a continuation of my list of Key Takeaways / Actions form Learning at Work Day 1.

WOL 5 elementsIdea #6 – Seed/introduce Working Out Loud Circles as a self-organising development program within my organisation.  From Mara Tolja, Community Manager and Collaboration Specialist, Deutsche Bank, “Working Out Loud: a grassroots movement to make work better and more effective”.  I’m now in my second Working Out Loud circle, and find it a great way to work purposefully towards a goal while developing relationships with a spirit of generosity and contribution.  In August I spoke about Working Out Loud at a National Association of Women in Operations (NAWO) event my organisation hosted, out of which five circles started.  About 1/3 of the participants are from my organisation, so I guess I’ve started seeding it.  I’m concerned that if I try introducing it as a ‘formal’ program it will get bogged down, or ‘ambushed’ and the self-organising, self-direction element may be lost.  I also don’t want people to be confused about where it fits with the remainder of my role as manager of Coca-Cola Amatil’s Supply Chain Technical Academy.  Perhaps the simplest approach is to keep it grass roots and support others to spread the word.  I’m open to suggestions and different points of view on this so please feel free to comment on this post.

Idea #7 – Take another look at MOOCs.  18-24 months ago MOOCs were on the agenda of most L&D conferences as a standalone topic.  Now they are mentioned as part of the corporate learning tookit in presentations on broader topics and discussed amongst delegates.  It’s been over 12 months since I last searched for MOOCs on topics relevant to Supply Chain, at which point I didn’t find much.  It’s time to take another look, and also to consider how we could promote MOOCs as a broader option in the context of self-directed learning (Day 1 Idea #2).

Idea #8 – Get more targeted with development of L&D capabilities.  From Vivien Dale, Manager, Organisational Development, North Coast TAFE, “Opportunity knocks: improving performance through 70:20:10.”  Vivien spoke about the skillset that needed to be built in her L&D team in order to implement 70:20:10.  I’ve recently asked all members of the Coca-Cola Amatil Supply Chain Capability Community to complete the LPI Capability Assessment.  Over the next two days we have a Community workshop where we will review our strategy, 2015 ‘wins’ and 2016 ‘opportunities’ and capabiliity plan.  We will analyse the LPI capability profile across the group, look at how well aligned our skillset is with what we need to contribute to the performance of our organisation, and create a development plan.  Although we have been developing a modern workplace learning mindset and skillset in recent years this will be a more focussed approach than we have previously taken.

Idea #9 – Adopt an “appreciative inquiry” approach to turn problem statements into positive lines of inquiry.  From Jeremy Scrivens, Work Futurist & Social Business Catalyst, Roundtable “Digital @ Work and social buisness strategy: think outside the box.” Take a problem statement and convert it into a positive inquiry in order to figure out and amplify what is working, and to find innovative ways to create a positive future.  For example, instead of asking “Why are people not active on our knowledge sharing discussion forums?”  ask “Where and how are people actively sharing knowledge?”

Idea #10 – Understand where my organisation is going with HR Analytics.  From Tym Lawrence, SumTotal Roundtable “Leveraging Technology and big data to provide individualised learning journeys”.  There’s been a lot of investment in HR Technology in my organisation this year, and I am aware that HR and our business intelligence team are defining our HR data strategy and introducing new reports through our business intelligence platform.  What insights might be possible using a combination of our HR and business data that will help to not only focus our Capability development efforts on areas where we can make the biggest contribution to organisational performance, and also where we can better identify and meet the performance development needs of individuals?

This links back my Day 1 Idea #1 about using data more in decision-making, so a ‘data’ theme has emerged.  It also got me thinking again about the power of self-directed learning and communities of purpose to enable individuals to create their own learning journeys.  Two different, complementary ways of achieving the same goal.

Idea #11 – Get access to relevant results from our employee engagement survey and see if/how we can use it to inform our learning strategy and capability plan.  From Tina Griffin, Kineo, Roundtable “How do you get buy-in for your learning initiatives?”  Another potentially valuable data set that I’ve never tried to access.  On Day 1 we heard from David Mallon that the Bersin by Deloitte 2015 Global Human Capital Trends identified the #1 global talent issue is engagement, and that organisations need to constantly re-engage their workforce.  I’m curious about what insights might be available about how learning and development approaches and opportunities are viewed by our employees, how this impacts engagement, and what we could to amplify areas of positive engagement.

Idea #12 – Add  simple, powerful questions to learning evaluation.  (1) “What else do you think you need to learn or would like to learn?” Asking this question at the end of, or at key points during, a learning program is a simple, timely way of getting learner input to needs analysis.  It’s a start point to a conversation we can have with people rather than a commitment by the organisation to ‘provide’ the learning, and could be a good opportunity to enable self-directed or manager-led development.  Thank you to fellow delegate Victoria Oettel, Uniting, for this idea.  (2) Ask participants to rate their performance of a target skill on a simple scale at three points in time: start of program, end of program, 3 months after program completion.  Ask managers to provide the same ranking.  We have been using a similar approach, but sometimes it feels like people are getting weary of responding to surveys.  The potential improvement is to make our surveys shorter.  Thanks to Tina Griffin of Kineo for sharing this idea on her Roundtable.

Idea #13 – Make our eLearning even better.  From Clark Quinn, Executive Director, Quinnovation “Building an Agile organisation: optimal execution and continual innovation.”  Clark asserted that eLearning done well remains important to optimal execution in organisations.  I’ll follow his recommendation to examine the Serious eLearning Manifesto and discuss it with my team to identify what we can do better.

Idea #14 – Build specific collaboration skills in my organisation.  I couldn’t resist adding a second idea from Clark Quinn.  He identified collaboration and communities of practice as two key strategies for continual innovation and advocated that L&D has an important role to play in developing both within organisations.  I intend to research collaboration skills, starting with those listed by Clark in red in the image below and work with my team to figure out how well we are currently supporting development of them, and how we can do this more effectively.

Clark Quinn Collab Skills

So, 14 ideas to take back to work and discuss with my colleagues.  Given that six colleagues also attended the conference it will be interesting to hear what resonated with them, throw their ideas into the mix, and sort through them together to figure out which we will apply and how.

For other Learning at Work attendees – what ideas have you gathered to take back to your organisation and try?

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