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Learning in the Flow of Life

Learning in the Flow of Life

We’ve all heard about the importance of learning in the flow of work. Well, now there’s a new one, according to the 2019 Global Human Capital Trends by Deloitte Insights, and it’s learning in the flow of life.

Learning generally was cited as the top rated challenge in the report, with the ‘opportunity to learn’ being one of the main reasons why people take one job over another one. Learners, learning professionals and employers all recognise the critical importance of learning, unlearning and relearning in a world where change has become the new normal. Organisations have to foster a culture of continuous, lifelong learning.

That’s why integrating learning and work has become so important. ‘Recoding learning into the flow of life’, as Deloitte Insights calls it, is like integrating learning and work, only even more so. There are several trends that combined together, are making learning in the flow of life so important.

What are those trends? People are living and working much longer than ever before. Individuals can expect to work for 50-60 years now and potentially live to 100. And within those 50-60 working years, people are not restricting themselves to just one career, but several career paths. This has a huge impact on learning needs and expectations.

Skills and job roles are also dating faster than ever before, which is why skills regeneration has become such a big thing. All of this is fuelling the need to create new ways to offer diverse learning portfolios and work experiences. Or as Deloitte Insights puts it in an article discussing the report: “The challenge may be nothing less than to integrate ongoing learning into the flow of life.”

The boundaries between work and personal lives have been blurring already for several years because of technology, particularly when smart phones came on the scene. That trend is now accelerating. People – and that includes learners – want technology and experiences at work that mirror what they do and experience out of work. 

Take learning experience platforms (LXPs), the new kid on the block in learning tech terms. LXPs represent a big and welcome shift away from the LMS, which has been all about compliance, box ticking and business needs. LXPs cater for the needs and wants of individual learners. They are not the unwieldy beasts that the LMS has always been. According to the Deloitte Insights report, content is much more fluid, in terms of how it is integrated, accessed, designed and shared as LXP content can be integrated into any system. Organisations and users have much more choice about how content is designed and delivered – creating playlists on specific topics, for example. Users can share and rate content. They can leave comments and search for recommendations. All of this is very much like how we consume content and interact in our personal lives online. 

That is what Deloitte Insights means when it talks about learning in the flow of life – organisations and L&D enabling people to learn and interact at work, while working, in the same way that they learn and interact, outside of work in their everyday lives.

Deloitte Insights says this new way of learning, working and living is just around the corner, but that many organisations have some way to go to facilitating it. It signs off the article with this sentence: “Integrating learning into the flow of work and life, and empowering people to actively develop throughout their lives, are significant challenges that will require leaders to dramatically rethink their approaches to learning, reskilling, and capability development”.

To read the rest of the article, visit: https://www2.deloitte.com/insights/us/en/focus/human-capital-trends/2019/reskilling-upskilling-the-future-of-learning-and-development.htmlor to download the full report, visit: https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/insights/us/collections/HC-Trends2019/DI_HC-Trends-2019.pdfL

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Siobhán Mac Court

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