Digital Learning And Development (Part 2): What Are 'Resources'?

Digital Learning And Development (Part 2): What Are 'Resources'?

Resources In The Context Of Digital Learning And Development

As a Director of Talent, Learning & Organization Development at Disney, I learned that I wasn’t actually accountable for Learning. I was not charged with embedding, accelerating, or transferring learning.

At a time of huge shifts in consumer, technological, and wider societal shifts, I was responsible for preparing the workforce to operate in fundamentally different ways and to operate with enhanced (if not different) skill-sets. I knew, then, that ‘courses’ wouldn’t cut it and that we needed new ways of influencing the way that people operated at Disney – and feel equipped to do what they were there to do.

These days, most of us will web-search at our moment-of-need as part of our day-to-day. Whether we seek answers, information, insights or know-how, search results will bring us articles, blogs, or videos that we hope will efficiently help us with the work we are doing, or the work we want to be doing.

But as great as Google, Bing, Yahoo or [add in your alternative search engine of choice] is, they don't deliver results that directly relate to our jobs or the contexts of our companies.

If you actually think about questions you might ask a peer, a colleague or an internal ‘expert’ at your company, chances are, your questions will end with (or something like) ‘here’, as in the following examples:

This is where purpose-built ‘resources’ can help.

In the context of L&D, ‘resources’ help distinct groups of employees to do the actual work they’re tasked with—in a way that is expected and that benefits the organization—or prepares them for the work they could be doing at their company. Resources do this by packaging up what internal ‘experts’ know and do in a form that others can easily digest, and then perform with greater competence and confidence.

It may seem fanciful or hugely time-consuming to create digital resources that appeal to distinct employee groups rather than eLearning for the masses. But it’s not. Technology today makes this very easy. And this approach (‘resources-first’) also changes the conversation in the organization from ‘What training do we need?’  to ‘How can we support our people to deliver the most important priorities for this company?’.

What Does A Resource Look Like?

Resources could be just like articles, blogs, and videos you might discover online, but with your organization’s context and priorities addressed. Here’s an example:

There are a great many applications for resources. In fact, where you currently offer courses, you could find that resources offer efficient, on-demand support for workers when they face their challenges, and better equip them to be more immediately effective:

Resources can be incredibly powerful tools to equip business people with organizational context, knowledge, and know-how. By capitalizing on what employees are already doing to support their working, online and in the workflow as challenges arise, your digital transformation in this direction will have fans from Day One, if you get it right.

However, ‘resources-first’ doesn’t mean ‘resources-only’, and campaigns should consider a rounded approach to addressing employee ‘concerns’ as well as ‘capability’.

The next article in this series takes a look at how to run a ‘resources-first’ campaign.



  1. Why leadership-development programs fail