Why develop the learning organization of the future?
We can read about skill shortage in Sweden on regular basis. 7 out of 10 companies have trouble finding staff with the right skills. These challenges are increasing and we have not yet seen the full effects of AI and digitalization. According to several studies, 30-40% of skills in current jobs will change within 3-5 years. This means that we all need to learn new things at an increasing pace in order to stay relevant in the job market.
In order to meet these challenges, new expectations are placed on those of us who work with learning and development. According to CEB, 70% of the employees believe that the company’s offers for learning and development are not enough. Employees preferences for learning has also changed dramatically alongside the development of new technologies. Employees want to learn just when they need it, embedded at work and from their professional network.
These are some of the reasons we need to change how learning is performed in organizations. This is why companies today need to become learning organizations.
What is a successful learning organization?
A successful learning organization that can adapt to the demands of the future is characterized by:
- A culture that encourages learning.
- Employees who want to, have the opportunity to and have the ability to learn continuously.
- Leaders enabling employee growth and development.
- Learning in the flow of work.
- A digital learning ecosystem.
- A Learning & Development function that enables continuous learning.
There is a lot of research on how a successful learning organization is built. The most influential one being Deloitte Bersin research and models on “High Impact Learning Organizations”. It is a great tool for planning the steps you need to take and also describes the step-by-step maturity journey an organization makes, well.
According to Bersin research, mature companies at the highest level are 3 times more profitable than the average company.
I have used and adapted this model as a basis for developing learning for my customers.
How do you develop a future learning organization?
Developing an effective learning organization is about developing a number of capabilities within the L&D function and in the organization as a whole. It is not just a question of adding new learning approaches, such as microlearning, augmented reality and social learning.
Developing a successful learning organization starts with developing the learning strategy in the organization. The culture needs to encourage the strategy, a “growth mindset” and continuous learning. Responsibility for learning needs to be shifted from L&D, not only to employees and managers, but to the business responsible for designing jobs, systems and tools that encourage learning.
A digital learning ecosystem that encourage the organization’s solutions for learning, performance and development needs to be established. This requires many new roles and working methods within the L&D department. Examples are curation, experience design and performance consulting.