This is a great time to learn and develop
It’s great to have Learning and Development (L&D) in today’s world! There is a growing recognition for learning as a competitive advantage. Executives are realizing the importance and importance of learning, because they understand that the learning mindset of their employees is a core competency of the business. As the rules of how we do business change, the workforce needs to learn quickly, re-learn and rethink, and innovation is a must. Second, employees will not stay with employers who do not invest in their learning because they understand that their careers and skills need to be kept relevant.
It can also be difficult to work at L&D at this time. The profession is going through a transformation and as more companies realize that employees and companies need to learn to prove themselves in the future, it adds some pressure. It completely shines on L&D professionals and the expectations are high. Leaders are looking to their experts to come up with new solutions. Which are not repurchases of traditional course design or program delivery, which only evaluates course completion to measure success. They are looking for more innovative thinking, more ways to engage employees, and to integrate the learning environment and experience with the organization’s business challenges.
The goal of our Greenhouse team (Spotify’s L&D team) is to enable and empower our band members to learn faster than the world changes. Maybe it’s not possible to learn faster than the world is changing, but we are Effort Because (you know the old saying: shoot for the moon, and you will land among the stars). And we firmly believe that this mission will take us further if we only say ‘education enabled and empowered’.
It is our northern star, it is our raison d’etre (cause of our existence). If we break it down, ‘enable and empower’ is the keyword here, because they are setting a direction that the team should aim for. At the same time, it is a comprehensive team mission statement to open up a sea of possibilities about how and where this learning can take place. This means that instead of focusing solely on training design / delivery and the ‘butt-in seat’, we can take a step back and see the bigger picture. We have to ask ourselves – what are we trying to achieve, and what results are we noticing? With companies hungry for L&D and innovation learning in Limelight, one thing is for sure – our plans must ensure that we do not hinder our workforce development journey, which can be done very easily if you have limited resources. That’s why it’s so important to step back and take big pictures.
At Spotify, we ask our band members to drive their development with the tools they need, which means they will definitely move faster if we are too involved in everything. It is clear to us that this is what we are aiming for – we should be able, we should be multipliers and sometimes (but not as a definite rule), we should create learning ourselves.
L&D requires new capabilities
Adopting this approach should be re-adjusted to focus on activating L&D professionals, which requires a different mindset and some extra capacity, as well as abandoning certain habits. They need to think about tools that can help in this mission, personalize the learning experience and help the individual and the team develop. At Spotify, we have long believed that this is how we will be able to scale, and this approach has made our adaptation more relevant since we started working from anywhere and to be a distribution-first workplace. We don’t believe in cookie-cutter methods, or personality building where we all streamline and cluster people in an effort to serve the same food.
What new skills and abilities do L&D teams need to add? There are definitely some things that are very important for becoming a strong L&D professional today and tomorrow.
On the one hand we have to zoom out. A good L&D pro may have a vision for their company goals and how people combine skills. They understand what development requirements are and what are the best solutions to build these capabilities (which go beyond training and formal education activities). They are skilled in developing the workforce. This requires a strategic mindset built on complex understanding
Systems that have the ability to translate their company and its people into the learning opportunities they need. Or in other words, L&D professionals need to know how to implement a system thinking approach to connect what is happening within their company with what is happening in the business world and society at large.
In addition to taking wide grip, paradoxically, we need to zoom in on the details and build technical knowledge. We need to master the ways to create videos, create animations and create learning opportunities in a fast and hungry way. We are not advising to give up L&D remittances, we still need to retain our core competencies and be able to curate and create education in new ways than before. However, we need to be better marketers and communicators, ensuring that our learning content is accurate, accessible and personalized. There are several platforms and learning technology offers that can help with this and we need to take advantage of more technology, but this world is really like the Wild West. So, we have to catch what is right for our organization and we have to do it fast and be able to understand new systems quickly.
Whatever the mission of your L&D team, the important thing is to embrace this exciting time. Go back, look at the big picture, find the right one for your particular organization, and be quick to identify the habits you need to give up and the new abilities you and your team need to learn. Find a way to use your macro and micro skills.
And have fun, enjoy the attention and get the best process for you and your team to rise to the challenge!