Edited by Michael Leitner.
What does it take to establish an Agile Learning Approach in your business? Here are 6 tips to set up the right ecosystem and mind-set for the agile approach to flourish.
In a nutshell, Agile Learning is all about promoting a learning culture that embraces speed, flexibility, collaboration, and an ecosystem that provides learners with the right tools. This learning ecosystem must ensure that solutions, whether they are learning technologies, learning modules or learning communities, are not set-up as islands, but rather as interconnected entities.
Here are 6 things to consider when starting out to create an Agile Learning Culture, including the approaches and formats that will help you take it forward.
- Make learning continuous through a Mentoring System: One key aspect is to make people understand that they learn not only from formal education and formal programs, but more so from each other. A good way to promote continuous learning is to setup a Mentoring program. This will cause learning to take place in more informal settings, but make learning more continuously.
- Involving subject matter experts: Make use of talents within your organisation and leverage their potential to make others benefit from their know-how. In this regard, it is essential to break up traditional teacher-learner relationships. The key is to realise that each of us can be a mentor in one situation but a learner in another. This will help especially in inter-generational mentoring programs.
- Set up two-way communications with Learning Clubs: Learning Clubs are digital spaces dedicated to collaborative learning. Here, members learn from their peers, often in informal settings, rather than in classical formats. The organisation needs to provide that forum, triggering learning interaction to take place. In these clubs, the learners themselves choose the topic, rather than the company setting up the themes for them.
- Create bite-sized learnings through videos, documents and interactive trainings. Bite-sized nuggets make sure learning can take place as part of work, and not as detached activities from projects and tasks. This requires learning to be provided in smaller chunks. Learning time should not exceed 15 minutes in order to be consumed during work, be it a video, a PDF document or a web-based training.
- Find your allies & spread the word. New cultures and new approaches can only start to grow if there are people invested in them. One needs allies, who help promote the new way, and speak out in its favour. Engagement Days or Social Thursdays/Fridays can be used to spread the word.
- Mobile Technology & the right channels. The best learning content is useless if it does not reach people. It is essential to understand and choose the medium and channels that matter most for your workforce. Currently that seem to be mobile technologies, especially for younger generations. Analysing usage of content will help you understand interests and preferences, and will support you in selecting and promoting topics of interest for the future.
Needless to say, communication is important in each of these 6 points. It is essential for Agile Learning to work. Speak to and discuss with colleagues! The information flow between the L&D department and the learners, who are the experts of their own learning, needs to be a two-way stream. Your learners will give you clues to the industry, and tell you what is needed at the moment - directly or indirectly - and vice-versa, your L&D department can offer these insights to them.
The most frightening aspect for L&D professionals about Agile Learning in Corporate Training could be that shift towards a more informal learning setting, like ascribing to the above-mentioned Learning Clubs and Mentoring Systems. This can be easily accounted for by establishing clear structures, but refraining from over-defining sets of practices and rules. Remember, learning functions best when the atmosphere doesn't scream 'Learn'.
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Ghenwa is a passionate Human Resources Professional with 15 years’ worth of experience operating at Management level in multiple sectors across GCC, Africa & Asia within multinationals. Ghenwa’s approach in driving business is through managing a robust and agile Talent Management Division. She is an engaging strategic thinker who can translate vision into strategy, drive change and lead the team to deliver on business strategy to shape organisations' cultures.
Furthermore, she is passionate and a strong advocate for diversity, inclusion and equal representation of genders across organisations.
Michael Leitner is part of Learn Tomorrow. With cBook.AI, Learn Tomorrow aims to create eLearning tools that support Agile Learning approaches, and support them with Artificial Intelligence.
Learn Tomorrow is an eLearning technology provider. cBook is an integrated Learning Experience Platform (LXP) aiming to create digital learning experiences with impact. Tailored to the needs of businesses, academies & trainers.