Can L&D really think like marketers?

By John Helmer

Man holding sign saying 'Think Tank'Learning professionals are being encouraged to think like marketers in order to meet the needs of today’s increasingly self-directed, peer-directed learners. But doing so can lead L&D into difficult waters.

This was just one of a number of fascinating insights that arose from our latest Think Tank dinner.

We assembled an invited group of L&D leaders to discuss these issues in a three-part discussion held under Chatham House rules. Contributing to the debate were delegates from the worlds of Finance, Mining, Telecomms, IT and commodity trading.

You can read highlights of the discussion here.

But for those who want a deep dive into the third part of this fascinating discussion, read on, as we address the following question:

Part 3: How will technology shape the future of learning in a post-course world?

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Why pictures always win – and what it means for learning design

By Richenda Sabine

Photograph of a baby's face‘If one wants to reach younger people at an earlier age to shape their minds in a critical way, you really need to know how ideas and emotions are expressed visually’
(Martin Scorsese)

Be honest. What was the first thing you looked at on this page? The headline? That interesting quote from film-maker Martin Scorsese?

Or the baby?

We are visual creatures. It is hard-wired in us. A large percentage of the human brain is dedicated to visual processing: images grab our attention more readily than the written word – even when those images don’t have the emotional content of a baby photograph. It’s very probable that you looked at the infographic below this block of text before you read these words. This doesn’t mean you are a superficial person, or too easily distractible: the truth is, we are all the same. It is the way our brains are made.

Chart illustrating how our brains interpret visual information

Our brains are pre-wired to automatically interpret relationships between objects with minimal effort.

This fact of life is hugely important for how we design learning, and as a learning designer I am conscious of it every day. In a world where more and more of our learning and information is received in digital form, we need to understand this dynamic better in order to engage and motivate our learners through excellent learning design.
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Women in leadership: it’s all about the culture

By John Helmer

Business man and woman at a window togetherA new report from HM Treasury and Virgin Money finds that the culture of organisations is stopping women from reaching the upper levels of management (Empowering Productivity: Harnessing the Talents of Women in Financial Services).

According to the report ‘there is a “permafrost” in the mid-tier where women do not progress or they leave the sector’. And issues around child care are not solely responsible: ‘Women are leaving because the culture isn’t right’.

The report recommends that:

  • Every financial services company operating in the UK publishes its own inclusion strategy and its own targets on an annual basis – and that progress against these targets is reported
  • These targets are included in the company’s balanced scorecard and, as a result, form part of the annual bonus outcome for all Senior Executives
  • The inclusion strategy is owned and driven by a member of the Executive team

We at Lumesse welcome this new focus on an area we recently looked into – with a specific focus on L&D and its role in helping to change organisational culture – in our Think Tank event ‘Creating 21st Century Female Leaders’: download a free copy of the report .