Free eBook: Time To Transform – How Is Digital Transformation Affecting L&D?

How Is Digital Transformation Affecting L&D?

Digital transformation is giving ‘disruptive’ a run for its money as the most hyped technology term doing the rounds in L&D circles. It’s as if by repeating phrases over and over again like a mantra, aided and abetted by the web and social media, a phrase like ‘digital transformation’ takes on a life of its own. No one knows exactly what it means but the words have a ring to them, so everyone assumes it must be a ‘good thing’, and therefore something to which we can all aspire. Having said that, it’s undeniable that ‘digital transformation’ does describe a hugely significant ongoing shift in how societies and businesses operate.

Time To Transform: How Is Digital Transformation Affecting L&D?
Get a notion on how Digital Transformation affects L&D, and what are the next steps it brings.

As the website i-scoop puts it: “Companies across the globe are digitally transforming as they are challenged to improve business processes and develop new capabilities and business models”. Slips off the tongue, doesn’t it?

In the eBook Time To Transform: How Is Digital Transformation Affecting L&D? you will explore how and why digital transformation is for life (not just for Christmas). Wikipedia’s page on digital transformation shows a traditional London telephone box, now painted black instead of red, with a sign saying ‘WiFi here’. We’re all used to the signs of how digital has transformed our everyday lives. Chances are you can’t remember the first email you ever sent, or the last time you wrote an actual letter to a friend.

But we should recognize that in a wider context ‘digital transformation’ can be seen to be as problematic as it is beneficial. Perhaps that’s because we are getting ahead of ourselves and Western society has not yet 'transformed', and we're actually in a period of transition (more of this later). Or possibly because there is a malign edge to digital transformation.

Think, for example, of your experiences at the sharp end as a consumer, having to work harder than ever to get what you need as human contact is removed from the equation. Think how digital has transformed surveillance, spawned websites that act as barriers to the truth and homepages of corporate opacity masquerading as gateways and portals, the rigmarole of forgotten passwords, and information overload (the average US worker now spends 25% of their day reading or answering emails, according to Bersin). Then there’s trolling, cybercrime, the dark web, the fragility and insecurity of personal brand projected over social media, threats to children’s safety – not to mention the casual relentless exclusion and isolation of those people who are not able to get online or deal with its complexities and jargon-ridden instructions. Think of those people without a mobile phone.

So there’s nothing new about ‘digital transformation’, which has been going on for years. Nor is it all good. But the phrase—along with ‘digital learning’—has only recently been picked up and amplified in L&D and HR circles.

About The eBook

Here are the key chapters of the eBook Time To Transform: How Is Digital Transformation Affecting L&D?, looking at what digital transformation means:

Digital Transformation: The Rate Of Change

In all honesty while many organizations and society as a whole is digitally transforming at pace, the same cannot be said for workplace learning. In fact when it comes to the use of technology for learning and performance support, many organizations are behind the curve.

All Power To The Learner: Social Learning And More

The ‘trust and control’ issue also comes into play when we look at social learning. Are your learners not only allowed to use their own device at work, but trusted to control their own learning – whether that’s from resources you control or from other people?

Can L&D Be Transformative? About Microlearning

So, perhaps workplace learning and development has some way to go before we can call it ‘digitally transformed’. But we do know that things are on the move. And the very concept of learning – how, why, when and what we learn – is changing.

Horses For Courses

Let’s explore some different styles of delivering learning or other digital content in the light of what we’ve been saying about digital transformation.

Performance Support And A Resource-Based Approach

It’s increasingly the case that ‘I need help now’ is not a cry for learning (if it ever was). Many jobs or tasks don’t require a great deal of ‘capability’ to be learned. They just require the most appropriate information or instruction at the point of need that can then be forgotten and summoned again if required. Think checklists, aide memories, FAQs, watch-outs, how-to videos, top tips, flow charts, decision trees, animations, and infographics.

Data: How Is It Transforming Our L&D Lives?

Arguably at the heart of all digital transformation of L&D will be the role of data. L&D is miles behind here – all the evidence suggests there isn’t as much data being captured as there could be, and little use is made of the data that is captured.

Artificial Intelligence: Robots In Disguise?

In 1950 Ray Bradbury published a short story, There Will Come Soft Rains, itself based on a 1920 poem about human extinction due to an apocalypse. Bradbury’s story features an entirely intelligent computer-controlled house which continues to prepare food, clean itself and even issue a fire alarm even though its former human inhabitants are no longer there.

So What Happens Now?

So where does this leave us? As many have blogged, workplace learning needs a new definition and a new mindset. Learning happens as a natural part of work, people are learning more by themselves using online resources as they’d do in everyday life. The new role for L&D involves encouraging, enabling, and supporting
 self-organized learning.

If you’re concerned with how we learn—particularly at work—download the eBook Time To Transform: How Is Digital Transformation Affecting L&D?.

Related Articles:

  1. The AI-Driven Digital Transformation Of Learning And Development
  2. 6 Ways To Create Pull Learning Content
  3. Performance Support And A Resource-Based Approach
  4. How Is Digital Transformation Affecting L&D?
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