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9 Top Deck Tips to Prepare You for the Future of Learning

by | May 17, 2016 | Articles

Modern Business is becoming more global, fast paced, complex and fluid. Modern staff are increasingly connected, curious, tech-savvy and self directed. Are today’s L&D teams prepared for what that means for learning in the future? Here’s 9 tips inspired by Top Deck L&D teams.

This is a key theme explored in our latest In-Focus report, Preparing for the Future of Learning, released this month in conjunction with our strategic partner, the CIPD. Laura Overton took the opportunity at the CIPD L&D Show to explore what we can learn from Top Deck L&D teams in the Towards Maturity Benchmark, to help us get fit for the for the future of learning. Check out the slides from Laura’s session at the CIPD L&D Show.

9 Top Deck Fitness tips:

1: Establish Clear Goals

We’ve seen before that top performing teams work directly with business leaders to focus on the KPI’s important to business rather than the metrics important to L&D. 79% also have a plan to help them achieve their aims, compared to 36% on average.

2: Indulge in fresh thinking

When it comes to helping the business achieve their goals we need to think beyond the course- 94% of Top Deck believe the course is only ONE of the options available to them to build performance.

3: Understand the terrain – know your learners

With any fitness goal, it’s important to know the terrain you’ll be working out in. FOr L&D that means understanding our learners- finding out how they currently learn what they need to do their job and adjusting our solutions to their needs rather than forcing them to bend to our

4:Use the right kit

Using the right technology, at the right time, to support the right solution for staff, is a critical fitness requirement. Get this wrong and you can cause all kinds of injury to yourself and your staff! Keep it simple: the Top Deck focus on technology to improve communications and  access, ensuring that staff can connect with each other and with content that does the right job, at the right time.

5: It’s a team effort

The Top Deck show us that peak performance is only acheived through effective teamwork.  Line managers play a critical role (they are 3 x as likely to provide active support to staff to help application of learning in the workflow than average). Top Deck also show us how they help staff learn how to learn more effectively. When pressure to deliver outcomes is shared overall impact increases as a result.

6: We need to train hard!

L&D leaders know that they need new skills in place to deliver their vision of the future but Top Deck Teams have already invested in the skills of their teams so that they are twice as likely to have new skills in place now to deliver their vision. This is not a time to rely on the latest fad ( model, technology etc) but to invest in the skills we need for our future.

7: Use a common sense framework

Instead of using the latest fads to identify what might or might not work for your L&D team in the future, focus instead on a common sense framework that helps you think through the practical tactics of top performing teams.  Top Deck teams apply business thinking to learning strategy and that’s what get’s results. (Check out the Towards Maturity Framework as an example).

8: Stay on track

Top Deck teams continually monitor their fitness against performance improvement frameworks and adjust their tactics to keep up to date and agile. They are three times more likely to use benchmarking as a performance improvement tool – benchmarking against the tactics that improve performance. Old style cost based ‘benchmarks’ are no good to keep you on track – constantly monitoring cost per head leads to cost cutting not performance improvement.

9: #Make it happen!

Improving fitness requires a bit of effort – it won’t happen from the comfort of our conference ‘sofa’s’ or safe community ‘coffee shop’ discussions. Top Deck Show us that we need to get out there, experiment, try new things and #MakeItHappen.

Benchmark Your L&D Strategy

At Towards Maturity, we have identified six workstreams that characterise successful, high performing organisations. From these workstreams, we have developed a common framework of effective practice.

Benchmarking against that framework helps L&D pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of their own organisation, work out what needs to change and map out actions. In short, the Towards Maturity Benchmark is a structured framework that helps learning leaders under pressure identify the actions that will bring tangible results in the workplace. It helps you to work out how to get from A to B!

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