How L&D can help line managers to support learning

By Duncan Barrett

website_blog_300x170While many organisations are looking at how best to support a culture of learning and meet the needs of self-directed learners, many are still dealing with the challenge of engaging employees around content that needs to be delivered and understood by its workforce, whether for compliance or operational reasons.

For L&D teams facing this challenge, the most important ally must surely be the line manager.

We explore these themes in our webinar: Learning in the Line: L&D, line managers & the self-directed learner 

Line managers form a silent (or not so silent) army of support that is ready, willing and able to guide their teams in meeting the challenges of uncertainty and complexity that are sweeping through the world of work as we know it … Well – something along those lines!

In truth, line managers are pulled in multiple directions to meet the needs of the organisation as well as their team.

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11 ways to empower the self-directed learner

By John Helmer

Graphic ident for research report Me Time: Empowering the Self-Directed Learner Recently our Head of Transformation, Rachel Cook, contributed a piece to this blog about how changes in the pattern of employment are shaking up the employer/employee relationship. One of the most interesting aspects of Rachel’s work for us was how these changes ­– momentous enough to get analysts talking in terms of a ‘fourth industrial revolution’ – are highlighting the phenomenon of the self-directed learner.

Aware that this is a source of much debate for the learning and development clients we work with, and in many cases a pain point, we wanted to know more.

We reached out to our research partners, Towards Maturity, for help in investigating this phenomenon, and commissioned a report written by Peter Williams, editor of e.learning age entitled Me Time: Empowering the Self-Directed Learner that you can download for free. The findings were fascinating. Continue reading


Learning analytics: 8 opportunities for L&D

By John Helmer

Graphic to illustrate Learning Analytics theme with graphs, etc. in a thought bubbleLearning analytics offers L&D a wealth of new opportunities to increase the effectiveness of training and to be better aligned with organisational goals in today’s data-driven business environment. Our Think Tank delegates identified eight key opportunity areas.

Lumesse Think Tank events are held with an invited group of L&D leaders, who discuss issues in learning under Chatham House rules. Contributing to this debate were delegates from the worlds of finance, logistics, FMCG, mining, pharmaceuticals, professional services and commodities trading.

Download a highlights report of the whole discussion.

And for a deep dive into the section on opportunities, read on as we address the following question:

Where are the biggest opportunities for L&D in learning analytics?

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The challenge of mobile learning content

By John Helmer

Illustration of happy learners using mobile learningResearch from Towards Maturity shows that two out of three learners find accessing mobile learning essential or very useful, and 57% like to be able to access learning on the go.

Meanwhile in the US, where 50% of the US workforce holds a job that is compatible with at least partial telework and approximately 20-25% of the workforce teleworks at some frequency (according to GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com) learning solutions that support mobile learning are increasingly being seen as essential.

67% of organisations in the Towards Maturity sample now offer mobile learning in some form, but many struggle with getting the right content in place for this channel.

The options can seem bewildering. Should you build or buy for a start?

Then, if you’ve decided to buy off the shelf e-learning content, where can you find mobile content that really works on mobile devices?

On the other hand, if you’ve decided to build your own, what are the important design principles you should follow – and which is the best content authoring tool to use?

Because we know these are troublesome issues for many of our regular readers, we recently put together a webinar that brought together the key experts within Lumesse Learning on mobile content. Between them they span the key fields of knowledge about

  • OTS content for mobile
  • Learning design for mobile
  • Technology for mobile authoring

To watch a recording of this lively roundtable session  – click the link below.

Webinar: Mobile learning content. How to get it, how to build it ­– and how to make it fabulous


Is L&D ready for learning analytics?

By John Helmer

Graphic to illustrate Learning Analytics theme with graphs, etc. in a thought bubbleLearning professionals are reaching out beyond their traditional data sources and methodologies to embrace a new world of learning analytics. However, innovation is sporadic and held back in many organisations by a historical culture of not evaluating effectively (if at all).

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, logistics, FMCG, mining, pharmaceuticals, professional services and commodities trading.

Download a highlights report of the discussion.

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

Part 1: What examples can we see of organisations using learning analytics and insights in new ways?

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Flash conversion to HTML5 gains urgency for learning content

By John Helmer

graphic illustrating Flash conversion to HTML5 - superhero business man arrests declining arrow The long slow death of Flash could be entering a terminal phase – with big implications for any organisation that has large amounts of learning content developed in Flash.

Concerns have grown about serious security vulnerabilities in Flash (a patch released in March addressed 23 separate security bugs). Meanwhile, major video platforms such as YouTube, Daily Motion and BBC have either migrated to HTML5 already or are in the process of doing so. Now Google has announced that it will phase out full support for Flash in its Chrome browser by the end of 2016, seen by many as sounding the death knell. Other browsers, too, are following suit.

This raises the worry that Flash might be supported by Adobe going forward with less than 100% enthusiasm and energy – making security worries all the more intense when it comes to legacy content.

Of course, publicly, Adobe is committed to not leaving its past users high and dry: ‘the responsible thing for Adobe to do is to continue to support Flash with updates and fixes, as we help the industry transition,’ it told Fortune. However, the company’s statements leave no doubt as to where the future lies: ‘Looking ahead, we encourage content creators to build with new web standards.’ Meaning, principally, HTML5. Renaming its web animation software from Adobe Flash Professional to Adobe Animate CC was seen as yet another step in the company’s distancing itself from the Flash brand.

So where does this leave organisations with hours and hours of learning content developed in Flash – content that might be in daily use around the organisation, but which could increasingly become the source of business-critical security risks?

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What motivates self-directed learners?

By Richenda Sabine

Graphic of carrot on a stick to illustrate motivating self-directed learnersWhat motivates you? Is it money, purpose, or something else? According to Maslow (Hierarchy of Needs) our basic needs of security, identity and stimulation have to be met before we progress to self-actualisation (growing and developing to reach our individual potential).

Consider this in the context of learning. Without motivation, learning is rarely effective, so how do you motivate learners in the first place?

The answer, it turns out, is that they can largely do it for themselves.

Daniel Pink, in his book ‘Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us‘, dismisses the carrot-and-stick approach and tells us to forget everything we think about motivating people. He believes that the secret to high performance and satisfaction in today’s world is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and the world.

This view is borne out In the organisational context of today by the phenomenon of the self-directed learner, which has been well documented in research from learning benchmarking experts Towards Maturity, telling us that:

  • 88% learn more by finding things out for themselves, rather than through F2F training
  • 87% know what they need to learn in order to do their job
  • 74% know how to access what they need for learning

The research also shows a worrying disconnect with what some learning managers think about their learners, indicating that it is more than ever important to understand what motivates the self-directed learner.

There are two types of motivation:

  • Intrinsic – internally generated and comes from personal enjoyment or from a sense of obligation
  • Extrinsic – generated externally from objects, other people and the environment

The burning question in the world of workplace learning is how to keep these two types of motivation aligned, and not in contradiction with each other, so that self-directed learners stay engaged and motivated.

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5 reasons why learning needs to get the omnichannel

By John Helmer

Graphic to illustrate Retail in LearningOops, here comes a buzzword. And surely we need another one of those like we need a hole in the head. But there’s a serious idea behind this one – the omnichannel – an idea that was born in the world of retail, but which has important implications for learning and communications across all business sectors.

Omnichannel has become a thing in retail because major shopping brands have seen changes in customer behaviour – around the huge proliferation of smartphone use and the convergence of physical and virtual spaces – that are seriously disrupting their markets.

According to Google, 82% of smartphone users turn to their phones inside a store when making purchase decisions. And that process of decision making is highly likely to blend visits to a store with visits to a website. A process of research that starts on smartphone might end up with purchase in a shop around the corner – or vice versa. And it might also involve use of a tablet and a desktop PC along the way.

Infographic giving statistics for consumer use of the omnichannel in purchase decisions

This is where shoppers live now, in the omnichannel, moving seamlessly between physical spaces in the real world and spaces accessed virtually, through a screen. It’s where we all live.

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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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