July 16, 2020

How to Foster a Culture of Learning: Heeral Gudka's Learning Playlist

The world of work is changing. We're about to see shifts that most companies aren’t prepared for. This Learnerbly playlist will help you navigate that by looking at the meta- and detailed-perspectives.

Let’s start with Reboot by Jason Stockwood (Virgin books, 2018). From his early days working in call centres, to the ground-breaking CEO of Simply Business, Stockwood has put together a blueprint to push-through change.

Automation is gathering momentum and we need to adapt. Not only how we think about financial models and systems as a whole, but all the way from culture and leadership to people. L&D professionals need to know what lies around the corner so they can get prepared for the challenges and opportunities. From rebuilding trust in the private sector to 4-day weeks, Stockwood doesn’t gloss over anything. Leaders and L&D experts need to work hand-in-hand or ignore his message at their peril.

From here, let’s head straight into the L&D trends for 2019. Effective training strategies will have to adapt to the trends we are facing — those spoken about by Stockwood and more. Here's our take at Convergent Consulting about these trends, as identified in Forbes earlier this year:

  • C-Suite and HR working closely together – and working in unison to clearly defined and well-understood goals. There is literally no point in putting together a training strategy if it doesn’t meet the current and future needs of the business.
  • Developing competencies for future goals – leading in straight from the point above. Identify your leaders of tomorrow and start training them now. Better yet, tell them you want them to lead in the future, invest in them and increase their motivation to stay.
  • Communication skills given even more emphasis – a company that communicates well has increased retention & effective leadership. Teach your people how to communicate the positive messages and also the more challenging ones.
  • Increase the gamification of learning – in some companies this has taken a digital form and that can work really well. But organisations also need to be aware of increasing the digital burden their employees already face. There are “analog” gamification tools out there getting a lot of attention globally. (Speak to us to find out more about them!)
  • Effective and innovative methods of enhancing the learning experience are truly effective bait when hiring and retaining people. Think outside the box and book a demo with Learnerbly to find out their thoughts on this front.

Next up: you can’t solve a problem if you don’t know what it is. Paul Matthews truly knows the ins and outs of how to get the best outcomes from the L&D perspective. His book, Capability At Work: How to Solve The Performance Puzzle (Three Faces Publishing, 2014) is invaluable. We have used his methods ourselves with great success.

From getting the information you need from your client or team-leader, this book gets you to the crux of the issues being faced. Understand the difference between competence and capability, and become a performance consultant, not just a learning and development professional.

What does this mean? Find out what is really needed, and then apply your expertise to improve the performance of an employee or a team. In particular, learning how to help, when managers might actually find it hard to ask for it.

Now you know that the problem is, what you need are tools! The Learning Imperative by Andy Griffith and Mark Burns (Crown House Publishing, 2018) is full of them. L&D professionals want and need their “clients” to be open-to-learning. But we need to understand that openness can be derailed when any of the following are compromised:

  • Processing capacity
  • Strong relational trust
  • Accurate self-perception

The Learning Imperative not only provides tools on how to strengthen these areas, but also how to design a learning programme that deals with them all jointly and coherently. Highly recommended!

Finally, we arrive at Essentialism – the Disciplined Pursuit of Less, by Greg McKeown (Virgin books, 2014). The world is becoming more hectic, not less. And we need to create time to learn. But there isn’t any, right? Wrong. There is, if we can apply a more disciplined way to working, and also to filtering out the noise.

Why is this book on a playlist about learning and development? We all need to understand how to make better choices so that we can do the things we really want (or need) to do, with the attention they deserve.

Focus and time management are just as important as any skill we learn. What use is expertise if we're unable to find the time required to actually apply our learnings and skills? We need to get out of our own way first — and this book shows you how.

Heeral Gudka is the Founder of Convergent Consulting. Learn more about her coaching and training on Inclusion and Diversity and other subjects at Convergent Consulting

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