ow can a modern training business stay relevant in an industry that’s rapidly changing? And what skills, resources and technology do you really need? That was the focus of the event that took place in London on a sunny 7th June 2018. The participants joined a variety of sessions related to the central theme. Here are my six key takeaways:
1. How can technology help people learn
The participants were welcomed by Jan Jilis (JJ) van Delsen. He is based in London and represents aNewSpring in the UK. Marten de Prez, CEO of aNewSpring, told the story of how it all began. In his personal story, he explained how he struggled with dyslexia, especially when attending university. Because of this, and because of his curiosity and eagerness to learn, he went looking for the answer to the question, “How can technology help people learn?” That was, and still is, the main purpose of aNewSpring.
2. The entire world is personalised
Ger Driesen (that’s me) gave insight into the general trend of more personalised and adaptive services that are available in the world that we live in. He also explained how personalised services such as Google, Netflix and Spotify create user expectations about other (digital) services being more personalised and adaptive. This trend will also affect expectations related to training and learning.
At #ANSevent18 @GerDriesen highlights the expectations from people about data and how it’s used, with many accepting that data is held about them, and wanting it to be used and not ignored. People want better experiences and from all organisations, including learning providers pic.twitter.com/TCH6bCpfKz
— Jo Cook (@LightbulbJo) 7 juni 2018
3. Innovation in training
Tom Bos was interviewed by Brant Seethaler. Tom is Manager Technology and Innovation at NCOI, the Dutch market leader in professional training. The company consists of 20 brands and turns over 250M euro. Tom shared the marketing strategy of NCOI and the use of data. Data is really important to find out what resonates with clients and what does not. It is important to find and test new marketing approaches and initiatives. Both success and failure belong to experimenting. That’s why having good data is so important: data tells you what works and what does not and, thus, what to continue and what to stop at an early stage.
4. The importance of digital body language
Jo Cook of Lightbulb Moments introduced another interesting perspective: digital body language. Knowing that training and learning move towards online learning and virtual classrooms, trainers and facilitators need new skills. Digital body language is the aggregate of all the digital activity you see from an individual and a very important perspective for online learning.
5. End-to-end delivery of apprenticeships and other skills programmes
Mark Dawe is the Chief Executive of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers. He had a really clear story to share about the apprenticeship levy. Based on numbers, he clarified why the levy doesn’t deliver what it is supposed to: the amount of apprenticeships declined. He explained some of the misinterpretations of the levy that make the application of the levy seem much more complicated than needed and describes how this affects business and training providers. At the end, it seems all about clear thinking and creating programs and solutions that make sense. If training providers can help organisations with that, they can really benefit from the levy, and because of their flexibility, this benefit is much more than for institutions for higher education.
6. Results and outcomes of ‘speed dating’ with participants
After exploring different perspectives related to the future, it was time to tap into ‘the wisdom of the crowd’. I moderated a process to gather the ideas of all participants on how to future-proof their training business. Via a kind of ‘speed dating’ approach, all ideas were reviewed and scored based on their merits. This led to the following overview (including points scored):
- Never forget about your audience (and adapt your learning to it).
- Be open to innovation and base your change/innovation on research (f.i. neuroscience).
- Adaptive and personalised online learning is important for the future of L&D.
- Always keep an eye on industry trends where technology is advancing, for example, areas such as retail, gaming and virtual reality (VR). Learn about the successes and failures across them.
- Look at emerging technologies, artificial intelligence (AI) and the way of personalising or customizing
- Understand the future needs of individuals/employees, make sure that the offer meets those needs and have access to resources to deliver world-leading training and development.
- Keep the learner at the heart of the business and the programme design. Think like your audience when getting creative!
The conversations continued at the same highly engaged level during the drinks reception. A good way to celebrate the first successful aNewSpring UK event.
See you at the next aNewSpring event! In the meantime, sign up for my learning notes.
Ger Driesen, Learning Innovation Leader at aNewSpring
Think of connecting people, ideas and inspiration in the global L&D community and you’ve just created the perfect description of Ger Driesen. In his role as Learning Innovation Leader at aNewSpring he focuses on motivating and guiding professionals to build inspiring learning journeys. During his career he has had a variety of L&D roles, from consultant, trainer and facilitator, to L&D manager and entrepreneur. He’s also known as ‘the Dutch L&D trendcatcher’. Keep up with Ger on Twitter and LinkedIn.