A common pitfall in corporate learning is unfocussed learning: disconnected from organization strategy and waiting for full strategic clarity might squander valuable time. One approach to overcome this disconnectedness is to imbibe Agile Learning Values and Principles. Let’s fist understand what Agile Learning is! According to Gartner, Agile learning is a mindset and method of skills development, via iterative short bursts, applied in the flow of achieving outcomes that can dynamically adjust with changing needs. The key principle is Learning to Earning, organization’s financial performance and the individual’s career advancement are codependent, both inextricably linked to the rate of skill development. Learning and earning curves must connect. If our people don’t learn, no one wins.
In the fast-moving digital world, agile ways of working, such as iterative sprints and pivots, enable teams to start delivering value right away and to change directions as business needs change. Likewise, agile learning must deliver value right away and be able to change directions as needs change.
A HR/ Learning leader can really embrace nine Agile Learning Principles to re-craft their learning strategy, practices and programes, which would help them in achieveing the superior business performance and individual career & skill advancement.
- Performance Impact: all learning programs (blended, digital, ILT/ VILT, journey etc.) need to have an effective measurement on performance of work for an individual
- Progressive Layering: People need continuing “skills for life”, foundational skills for a career path, and technical/ functional skills in the latest techniques in their domain expertise. Skills in lower, slower layers underpin upskilling in higher, faster-moving layers
- Speed: the half life of technology skills is 2.5 – 5 years and the speed of digitalization and automation, organizations really need to effectively measure the speed at which new skill/competencies are developed in the people
- Time: People need autonomy of time, task and team to deliver high performance. For learning its key that everyone is given the needed time to learn
- Pull Learning: based on learner’s motivation, aspirations and career advancement, enabling people to access the information they need when and where it is needed.
- Flow of value delivery: providing an apt ‘experience’ where the learning can be applied into everyday work scenarios so that it powers the achievement of personal and business objectives. Embedded learning drives a steady stream of value delivery. Learning is the job, not time away from the job.
- Technology Driven: right technology helps match the right learning experience at the right moment with the right learners and teachers/ facilitators. It augments learners to stay on track and speeds them to desired outcomes. It personalizes and scales to reach everyone — try doing that in a classroom
- Social Connections: leveraging social connections in the form of coaching, community of practice to empower learning. It’s the best way we can give back to the people and organization we care for. Community compounds learning and people’s gain can be shared and amplified via network effects
- Micro-learning: People learn best in short (two to 25 minute) well-designed learning chunks (either singularly or in a dynamic pathway linked to a learning goal) that can applied immediately, then practiced regularly. This helps in developing new skills incrementally at a pace and underpins learning agility
Gartner did a research with 306 business leaders as respondents to explore the future of learning around Agile Learning Principles by studying on the ground practices of few organizations. Below is quick overview of the research on organization which have adopted agile learning vs organization which haven’t adopted these principles yet.
One of the key imperatives of Agile Learning is the right culture and leadership buy in to deliver upskilling/ reskilling efficacy. Leaders as role models would truly act as a change makers and would ensure higher adoption of these principles at work. As HR/ Learning leaders we do need to revolutionize our thinking and take smaller steps towards making agile learning live in the organizations and don’t have to invent anything new or invest vast sums to make it happen.
To know more about how you can facilitate & implement high performance learning via Agile Learning values and principles, do contact our experts.
Sources: Agile Learning Manifesto, Survey Analysis: Agile Learning Delivers Superior Outcomes by gartner