True Transformation by Anticipating the Future of Training

Anticipating the Future of Training - Dr. Jim Guilkey - S4 NetQuest

The famous quotation from Heraclitus is “The only constant in life is change.” Substitute “business” for “life” and the quotation remains equally applicable. When you are focused on gaining a competitive advantage, you have to constantly look to place yourself ahead of the curve. Predicting the future can be hit or miss, but we have to do the best we can amidst the certainty that change will arrive whether we are ready for it or not. It would be a fool’s errand to believe that learning doesn’t have to transform to meet that future as well.

So, what can we predict? Well, for starters, many of those who will be completing your training will have new faces. As I cited in my book M-Pact Learning: The New Competitive Advantage, this year Millennials will account for 46% of the US workforce. And the reality is Millennials have different demands when it comes to learning. They’ve never known a world without computers. They grew up in the age of smartphones. They’re adept at finding information and teaching themselves. They will demand transformed learning approaches. They won’t slog through information they already know, and they will demand flexibility to skip around training materials to what is relevant in the moment. They enjoy collaboration. Have you transformed your training to accommodate such needs? If we don’t develop learning modules that are flexible enough to meet their expectations, they won’t learn what we need them to know. The good news is that meeting such requirements is central to the approach taken by M-Pact Learning design because it develops a curriculum that is based on an understanding of how learners learn. 

Learning has to be adaptable to those doing the learning. That’s why, for example, a learning design program S4 NetQuest developed for oil change technicians was ideally suited for applying gaming technology as one part of our design. But learning isn’t about finding a cookie-cutter approach. The role of learning through gaming might have been perfect for that demographic but would never work for another. But it does point to how creative and flexible good learning approaches can be when specifically designed for the learning audiences and learning tasks required.

What else can we know about the future? Well, the demands for remote work revealed by the global pandemic clearly aren’t going away. This has been a trend for some time, and during the pandemic, we’ve learned that we can minimize productivity loss and save substantially on business travel. Obviously, there will be a continued demand for remote training. As I’ve discussed before in this space, simply moving your old training materials online won’t cut it. Those materials haven’t been designed for how people learn. And they certainly haven’t been designed for the nuances of remote learning.

Those are a few predictions for the future of training. Follow this blog and I’ll share more such predictions you need to plan for NOW if you are to gain the competitive advantage transformed learning approaches can create. You can also get more information in my new book: M-Pact Learning: The New Competitive Advantage.

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