In order to be successful in the 21st Century, organizations must make continuous learning and unlearning a core competency.
If your organization’s team cannot learn quickly, unlearn outdated processes and data, and adapt and apply new knowledge and insights to current challenges, then it will be left behind.
Organizations need team members committed to learning and unlearning. These organizations also need the best tools to rapidly disseminate and share the best learnings as well as information on how to apply them.
Top Ten Traits
The best learning opportunities are uniquely tailored and delivered to meet the needs of that organization and its stakeholders.
Training Magazine recently recognized its Top 125 2012 education programs. These programs used a wide variety of non cookie-cutter approaches and formats. While the programs varied in approaches, they all had some common characteristics that other organizations should follow and implement.
So how do your learning opportunities compare to these top ten common traits of successful education programs?
1. Support from senior leadership and executives.
2. Education programming with learning outcomes that directly support organizational goals.
3. Solid evaluation and measurement of learning outcomes and attendees’ needs.
4. Blended learning (both face to face and online) programs and user friendly technology platforms.
5. Learning opportunities are directly linked to attendees’ business needs and objectives.
6. Competency-based learning opportunities
Programs are directly connected to skills, abilities and expertise needed for successful job performance.
7. Leadership development learning opportunities
This is a topic area more organizations should offer as it is paramount for success in the 21st century. Too many organizations ignore this as a “soft-skill” and don’t realize how critical it is for success today.
8. Video-based content both for face to face and online learning opportunities.
9. Capitalizing on internal expertise
Savvy organizations are tapping their own employees and volunteer leaders to share their expertise with others.
10. Learning opportunities that leverage social and informal learning.
Training’s Top 125 education programs also fully respect, appreciate and value learning obtained from social and informal learning opportunities. These organizations have found ways to mine those insights and share them with the entire organization.
Learning Agility Rules
Successful organizations today know that they must foster learning agility. They have to continually remake themselves and not rest on yesterday’s success.
Today’s organizations “…will need to see the market and comprehend it quickly and adapt, discarding ideas, products, services and business models that no longer make sense. In order for organizations to become as fluid as the market, organizations need people who are equally agile…
All of those attributes that describe the business world of today are tailor-made for someone with learning agility…. It’s almost become a price of entry for success now, especially in leadership and executive roles.”
~ The Importance of Agility, Andrew R. McIlvaine, Human Resource Executive, January/February 2013
Which of the above traits are most reflected in your learning opportunities? Which traits do you need to work on more?
Sue Pelletier says
Jeff, I’m fascinated by the idea of unlearning. I think that’s harder than learning because you have to break old habits, but you have to do it to let the new stuff in. Have you ever learned how to unlearn? I know I haven’t and could use a brush-up!
Sarah Lugo says
I love that you including “unlearning”. Often organization and association learners get stuck in an outdated learning style. LMS and elearning programs are defiantly a way to help bridge the gap and keep members engaged and moving forward.