How to Develop a Learning Culture

Posted on March 13th, 2019

A few years ago, Pat Wadors – who was senior vice president of global talent organisation at LinkedIn at the time – published an article for the Harvard Business Review, in which she argued that to stay relevant, companies and employees had to keep learning.

“My hypothesis” she wrote, “is that for organizations to win in the market, they must help their employees stay relevant in their skills… Here at LinkedIn, we think that this is going to be the number one management issue of our time.”

Wadors – who is now Chief Talent Officer at ServiceNow, a major American cloud computing company – also gave some advice to leaders looking for the best approach to learning in a digital world. Interestingly, while she stressed that leaders should provide access to relevant, up-to-date learning for employees, she also asked leaders not to worry about what their employees were actually learning, and whether it related to their work.

“Learning is a skill that requires practice, just like anything else.” 

“Learning is a skill that requires practice” she wrote, “just like anything else. By learning something new, no matter what it is, your employees are practicing the skill of learning, which is invaluable. Plus, you never know how learning an unrelated skill can help down the road.”

Learning with LDL

Learning is obviously a big part of what we do here at LDL, and the emphasis being placed on learning at the moment is good news for us. Whether through sales training, management training, negotiation training or presentation skills training, our clients enlist our services in order to develop their skills, or the skills of their people.

And for us, it is important to keep up with the latest insights. While the basics of management, sales, negotiation or public speaking may not have changed much over the years, the development of new technologies is changing the way we work, with more emphasis being placed for example on collaboration, agility and learning.

Silicon Valley is of course at the heart of this revolution, and its data-driven insights provide a continuous stream of ideas for those of us looking to enhance the performance and productivity of our organisations, as well as the engagement and well-being of our employees.

learning and training group

Learning and Training Challenges

One of the challenges of working as an external training provider is that – no matter how excellent our training – when it comes to implementing the learning, we can only do so much for our clients and have to trust the participants and decision-makers we work with to keep each other on the learning curve.

The famous 70-20-10 principle of learning suggests that most learning happens through on-the-job reinforcement rather than through one-off training events. And because of this, at LDL a big part of our Skill+Will philosophy, and the high-energy format of our training, is to engage delegates on their own learning and development journey.

“At LDL a big part of our philosophy is to engage delegates on their own learning and development journey.”

There are all sorts of ways we suggest to clients looking to reinforce and embed the learning, and post-training plans can include anything from follow-up coaching to success stories, ‘accountability buddies’, digital reinforcement, scheduled review and regular management feedback.

But embedding the learning from a training initiative is of course much easier to do if a culture of learning is already in place. So here at LDL we thought we would experiment with new ways to further develop our own learning culture (which we hope might inspire you in turn!). Such an initiative will allow us to keep up with the latest insights while encouraging all of our team members to practice what Pat Wadors called “the skill of learning”.

Introducing the LDL Learning Review

In 2019 there are of course so many ways to learn, and so many resources available: from books (and audiobooks), to films, blogs, articles, podcasts, online courses, YouTube recordings, magazines and more. In seeking to further develop our learning culture, we hope to refer to a range of different resources under the ‘learning review’ umbrella.

We aim to include different voices in the conversation – from some of our youngest, to our most experienced people – to encourage the culture of learning and dialogue at every level, and (hopefully) to provide an effective model for any organisation seeking to further develop a learning culture of their own.

We will be choosing a range of resources related to the core forms of sales, management, leadership, negotiation and presentation skills training we deliver – and whatever else happens to inspire our team. If you have any suggestions for us, or if there is anything you would like to see us cover, then please let us know!

Learn more about LDL Sales Training and Management Training.

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