Making learning more effective in your organisation

Making learning more effective in your organisation

Understand differences in individual learning styles and set clear, practical goals

With the exponential rise in the demand for artificial intelligence (AI) and automation, you can be certain that robots will be working along with humans in almost every industry very soon. No organisation is immune to the technological disruption that is sweeping over the horizon.

The question is, how big is the problem we’re seeing?

Kai-Fu Lee, the former president of Google China, wrote in this book AI Superpowers that between 40% and 50% of current jobs will be replaced by AI and automated processes over the next 15 years.

According to a survey done by Vincent Müller, a philosopher at the Eindhoven University of Technology, and Nick Bostrom, a philosopher at Oxford University, experts believe there is a 50% chance of AI exceeding human intelligence by 2050.

What does it mean for your organisation? Given the speed at which businesses are moving today, organisations do not have the option to choose whether they’d like to be part of this revolution or not. The only choice you have is to prepare yourself for the future if you want to stay relevant.

This is where learning comes into play. A learning culture is the only solution to the ever-changing demands of the market. We’re talking not just about learning new information, but also about being willing to explore new ways of learning.

What can you do about it? Let’s look at three steps you can take to design the learning process more effectively: 

Step one: Understand that every individual learns differently

We can broadly classify learners into four types: First, generators, or people who enjoy getting things started. Second, conceptualisers, who prefer to put ideas together. Third, optimisers, who turn ideas into plans, and then, Implementers: people who prefer to get things done.

First, you need to acknowledge that different people learn in different styles. Then, you need to identify and provide different options so that each learner can have their preferred styles. 

By doing this, you not only give your people what they need to learn and grow, but you also train yourself to become more empathetic in your management and leadership style.

Step Two: Set tangible learning goals

The two most common struggles organisations face when they try to promote effective learning are understanding what to measure and how to measure. Many times organisations end up measuring irrelevant factors and take major decisions based on those unrelated aspects. 

For example: “We want better leaders” or “We want everyone to work hard” are not tangible goals. It only creates confusion and misinterpretation unless you define what exactly you’re expecting. 

Instead of that, you can try something like, “We want our managers to check with their team about progress every day or every week”, or “We want sales to increase 10% by the end of this quarter”. 

This not only gives your people a concrete idea of what they need to do to achieve those targets but also helps you keep the right expectations.

The problem is every individual might have a different definition of what a “better leader” or “work hard” looks like in their mind, based on their personal experience and preferences.

Setting measurable learning goals will not only encourage learners to achieve and grow more but also will reduce the amount of work you have to do as a leader when it comes to monitoring and managing them. 

Step Three: Set a learning path

A learning path helps the leader and the learner stay on the same page in terms of understanding what kind of progress is desired and identifying the challenges of learning at every step. 

When you have a clear learning path, it not only motivates your people to learn more, but also gives them clarity about what they could expect in course of their learning journey. This helps to measure their progress more effectively.

It also helps learners to grow according to their specific goals. Without a roadmap, a learning journey can go all over the place, absorbing all sorts of information that doesn’t help people reach their goals. A learning path helps everyone to stay on track with a consistent speed.

Building an effective learning culture that experiments with new practices and ideas, while simultaneously unlearning outdated traditions, can seem like an impossible task if leaders are not fully committed to investing enough time and resources in the process, with absolute clarity in direction.

Only those leaders with a relentless passion to leave no stone unturned in their pursuit of effective learning will see the light at the end of the tunnel.


Arinya Talerngsri is Chief Capability Officer and Managing Director at SEAC (formerly APMGroup) Southeast Asia’s Lifelong Learning Center. She can be reached by email at arinya_t@seasiacenter.com or https://www.linkedin.com/in/arinya-talerngsri-53b81aa. Experience our lifelong learning ecosystem today at https://www.yournextu.com/


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