The requirements for learning technology have evolved because organizations and their employees have evolved. Today, people are learning in many different ways, often outside of conventional L&D systems.
But investing in the tools to deliver and measure learning in a modern ecosystem requires new approaches to selecting technology as well. Some organizations may just be starting to dabble in learning beyond the LMS, while others aim to fully transform how they deliver and measure L&D. Regardless of where you fall on the “innovation” spectrum, though, RFPs are still geared towards the same old systems.
Join Todd Tauber, Degreed’s VP of Product Marketing, and Mike Rustici, CEO of Watershed, for a 30 minute webinar to learn:
1) What questions to ask when evaluating tools for a new learning ecosystem.
2) How to identify the capabilities you really need instead of the product you think you need to deliver, track, and analyze formal and informal learning
3) Three examples of how leading-edge organizations have successfully created an RFP for a modern ecosystem
We’re here to talk about changes to the modern learning ecosystem and how you can look to incorporate these new perspectives into your learning organization.
Logistics Ask questions, we’ll answer any we don’t get to and post them/email them. Recording will be available. We’ll have a few polls throughout to keep things interesting as well
If you spend a lot of time – like Mike and I do – talking to folks like you all, going to conferences and trade shows, reading industry research and blogs, then you have heard this sub-text that L&D doesn’t work. If not, you’ll have to trust me. Terms like “out of sync” and “revolution” get thrown around a lot. But that’s not always fair.
What is fair to say is that there is a massive shift happening in the way people learn at (and for) work. That IS changing the demands on L&D teams. And it creates a big opportunity to elevate the learning function… To change people’s perceptions from L&D as a distraction – although one that is often necessary – to a driver of performance.
Y’all might have seen this recently... We recently surveyed over 500 workers and asked them how they learn the things they need to do their jobs and build their careers. That was last month’s webinar, so I won’t repeat it. But this is the money shot. What this says is that today’s learners are two things. They are omnivores. And they are empowered to graze and gorge themselves like never before.
The fact is, formal, structured, training is still a valuable part of how we learn. Around 70% told us they take live, virtual or e-learning courses from their employers at least once a year. This is the traditional L&D toolkit. It is not dead (although it is evolving). However, on average, people only do those things every three or four months.
In between, we are using informal, unstructured, self-serve resources to connect the dots. Just not in ways that are traditionally recognized as “instructional”. Almost 85% said they learn things for work by searching online at least once a week. Nearly 70% learn from each other or by reading articles and blogs every week. And 53% learn from videos in any given week. And while some of these things can, technically, live inside your existing L&D systems, the reality is they happen all over the place. On the web and in the office.
Both of these approaches – traditional training and self-directed development – have their place. But the balance of our efforts needs to shift.
The reason I say the balance needs to be adjusted is that learning and development opportunities are a critical factor in making employee engagement (and more importantly, performance) happen. The problem is that business requirements are sometimes at odds with what employees need and want.
Most L&D organizations have been built, organized and rewarded for delivering efficiency, scale and standardization. But according to our research, that traditional, one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t really work for a lot of today’s workers. Only 18% told us they would recommend their employers’ training and development opportunities. Almost half would not. That translates into a net promoter score – which is a simple measure of engagement or satisfaction – of -31. Not great.
What people expect is not one-size-fits all. It’s utility, relevance, and personalization. That’s not to say traditional approaches are obsolete. They’re not. They’re just not enough now. If you really want to build a culture of continuous learning, you need it all. Formal and informal. Job training and career development. L&D and self-service.
Smarter L&D teams are thinking about more than just serving up expertly prepared classes and courses and programs. They’re thinking about how to stock the buffet for self-service, too.
Don’t just take my word for it. According to the latest Corporate Learning Factbook from Bersin by Deloitte, the best L&D organizations are already delivering... - up to 20% fewer hours via formal training (ILT, vILT, elearning) - up to 30% more via experiential learning - up to 13% more via coaching and collaboration - and significantly more through on-demand resources like articles, videos and books
These are the ones who are delivering the most value to their stakeholders; they’re having an impact on employees and they’re moving the needle on business results. This is what the near future of L&D looks like.
But in order to do all these things – to make L&D work differently – these organizations need new and different skills and better processes and tools. You can’t really do coaching inside a one-time course or a platform that people only use once every three or four months, for example.
The takeaway here is that the operative word in L&D is now “and”. There are two jobs to be done now.
This quote from Bain really nails it… Satisfied employees have the training and resources to do their jobs. That’s the conventional L&D role, right? That still has to be the foundation. And it still starts with the conventional L&D toolkit – psychology, neuroscience, classes, courses and LMSs.
But there is more to it now. Because engaged, high-performing employees – the ones we all want – need to learn and grow every day. That is something very different. And it requires a new toolkit.
So how do we go about shifting from L&D as a distraction to an elevator of performance across the organization? We need to rethink how we approach the entire ecosystem
That starts with “And, not Or”
We live in an exciting time where we get to rethink our possibilities.
We are moving beyond the monolithic-LMS-centric view of the world and incorporating new and exciting tools and capabilities.
It’s important to note that what we have so far isn’t going away, but we have an exciting opportunity to build on it and do more
Technology is changing, finally giving us the ability to demonstrate our values as L&D professionals, to secure a seat at the table and show how training and learning programs improve the effectiveness of the organization as a whole.
To get there there though, we need to think bigger, we need to think beyond the LMS. All too often, this is how we picture our corporate learning ecosystems.
But let me ask you something, how much of what you’ve learned in your life has come from an elearning course in an LMS? It’s a tiny fraction, so why do we put so much emphasis on an LMS? It’s because it’s been the most powerful/only tool on our workbench.
We have more options now, we have a new vision of the corporate learning ecosystem. It’s time to go beyond the LMS. Learning happens everywhere and it’s time for us to embrace that. To embrace all the wonderful tools we have available to us, both inside the enterprise and outside, formal and informal, online and in the real world.
But remember, it’s AND, not OR, we still need an LMS, we still need compliance training, we still need elearning. But we can do so much better.
So what does that look like?
This is our (Degreed & Watershed) version of what we think the next generation ecosystem looks like. Todd and I have been working on this and plan to expand on it over the coming months.
Notice all the wonderful learning tools and opportunities we have readily available to us.
[read examples from new diagram] Many of these are already available and being used.
More and more are available every day, so the question becomes how do we enable our learners to harness these opportunities.
New technology and standards like Tin Can/ xAPI enable us to bring together all these disparate resources into a comprehensive learning portal.
Learning experience curation tools allow organizations to bring together all these disparate resources into a comprehensive learning portal.
Analytics tools allow you to harness all the data from these various systems to optimize their usage and understand what training programs are effective.
The big takeaway here is that if you’re looking to expand your organization’s capabilities, it’s probably not an LMS you’re looking to buy. You’re looking for new capabilities to “AND” into your organization, not “OR” your LMS. Require standards compliance using Tin Can/Experience to ensure that all of your tools will plug in together. Ask for capabilities that can: curate many different types of content Allow learners to explore aggregate data from all over the organization without manual work Dashboards to monitor activity Analysis without spreadsheets or data scientist
That’s great insight. But to be fair, it’s also still too vague. You can’t really sell your CLO or CTO on just those few bullet points. That’s why we’re doing this – Watershed and Degreed – together. We talk to L&D leaders every day that know they want to build that “and”. Many of them are still struggling with how to get others on board with them.
Between us, we’ve now seen a couple hundred clients and prospects starting to build this learning environment of the future. The really successful ones – the ones who were able to make the investment case, change the way they operate and are getting the results they expected – almost always start with a strategy. And those strategies start with a hypothesis and a vision. They inspire their stakeholders to act – and invest – differently by literally showing them employee experience they could have.
Every organization is different, of course. But there are some common elements. So Mike’s team and mine have gone back and reviewed dozens of RFPs we’ve worked on over the last year and pulled out what we think are some of the most broadly useful capabilities to look for.
Now think back to what Mike showed you about the next-generation L&D ecosystem… there were three layers: the experience, the activities and the insights.
Let’s start at the top. If you believe that people really experience learning and development in all kinds of ways, then you have to also accept that it’ll come from a range of sources, both in and outside your corporate L&D systems. Here’s what the most forward thinking companies tell us they’re looking for.
Integration – ALL of those sources should, at a minimum, be aggregated. But ideally, they’re integrated too. So they can work together.
Personalization – That’s a lot of content; too much actually. And there are at least five reasons people access L&D resources, if you subscribe to the “moments of need” idea. That means people need a number of ways to find what they need – or to discover what else they might want to learn next, depending on their context. That can come through search and browsing. It can come through automated recommendations Or it can be through recommendations from other people.
Curation - You can also make all those resources more relevant and meaningful by curating – aggregating, filtering, mixing and matching, and structuring recommendations or requirements. We’ll be exploring that more in future webinars.
Collaboration – For a whole bunch of reasons we shouldn’t have to detail here, today’s learning experience should be networked, social and collaborative.
Motivation – And it should give people reasons to come back. Every day, every week. Because they want to. Not just once every few months when they have to.
The second set of capabilities that we see our clients looking for is around a more holistic portfolio of learning and development activities.
Employee-driven L&D and performance support Internal + external [paid + open-source + user gen] Required + recommended + personal > push / pull [have to / want to] “Macro” and “micro” learning Access - Anytime / anywhere / point of need
The third set of capabilities people are looking for these days is better insights into the activity and impact of all that learning and development activity. Bersin by Deloitte’s latest state of measurement study said that only something like 5% of organizations excel at connecting learning activity to business outcomes in order to actively drive operating performance. One big difference between those that do it right and the rest was the fact that the good ones are capturing a lot more of this activity. Less than 1/3 are tracking anything that happens outside of their LMSs, virtual classes and live classrooms.
Internal + external - So the most significant thing we see people looking for is the ability to gather data from not just traditional L&D systems, but also from external vendor solutions, like Skillsoft Harvard ManageMentor or Safari Books, and the ecosystem of open (and often non-traditional) learning resources.
Inputs + outputs – What’s also important, though, is to connect data on inputs and activity with outcomes and performance. “Business metrics”, not just “busy metrics”. And those “outcomes” are not in LMSs or other learning and HR systems. They’re in business systems like CRMs and ERPs or in the real world.
For L&D + other stakeholders – And finally, the most forward thinking employers want more than just reports for L&D practitioners and leaders. They also need insights and answers for talent + operating executives And they want to use data to personalize the learning experience and to provide guidance for employees and their managers
The takeaway here is that it is essential to balance priorities:
You now have to meet both business priorities AND employee expectations. You should still create and deliver courses and programs. But you also have to curate experiences. That’s all part of how workers solve their problems. You should still manage and package up learning and development solutions for employees. But you should also look for opportunities to empower people to access the specific activities or resources they want. At least where that makes sense. And you should start looking for opportunities to put data and insights to better, smarter uses than just looking backwards for reporting. Use it to personalize the experience, to automate recommendations, and to connect learning to people’s growth.
And there is, unfortunately not one simple solution: Part of the new L&D job is to be an integrator.
There are lots of ways to do that, But it all starts with experimenting. And Mike is going to show you three approaches we’ve picked out from the herd.
So here are a few high level examples of how companies got started embracing the next generation learning ecosystem. We’ll go through three levels: conservative, curious, innovative
International tire and rubber company
Using a typical LMS for formal training and wanted better visibility of training data at store level.
Currently, they had to export everything in CSV and build reports in excel. Manual work was time consuming and open to errors.
They realized there were many tools they could use to get this accomplished (badging, LMS, LRS, BI, etc.), but they were looking for specific capabilities: To have an automatically generated dashboard of learning data.
Their initial requirement didn’t go far beyond what the LMS could do, but they wanted to build for the future. Introduced a new capability that helps with an immediate use case, but allows them to build and do so much more.
The Performance Insignts side of the diagram. The ability to aggregate data into that dashboard from multiple systems like CRM, POS.
They landed on an LMS that would integrate xAPI and a Learning Record Store to produce in-depth reporting dashboards .
Financial Services Corp
They want to provide a more personally tailored learning approach.
First step is to leverage a variety of content types and providers.
The capabilities they sought to procure first include:
Single sign on for learners, regardless of what the delivery type or learning activity was. Curation and exploration of content by the learner Standardized tracking of data across all of the delivery methods that can be sent to a central repository Digestion and analysis of data from disparate sources without manual work or reformatting
The resulting tools: LMS, experience and curation tool, LRS w/ built in Analytics
International Tech Company
Wants to positively impact customer satisfaction by focusing on the various types of training that have associated positive impacts.
To do so, they need multiple systems within and outside of the training department.
They started with the capabilities: A knowledge-share/discovery environment with many different types of content for representatives to access while working with customers Tracking workflow of individual learners as they navigates through the call and access performance support documents Tracking of customer satisfaction rating tool and ability to associate data with respective call and representative Ability to map workflows and identify relationships between learning and business data sources
The tools they chose based on the capabilities they asked for allows them to: Identify the best representative workflows associated with higher customer satisfaction.
The takeaway here is that the operative word in L&D is “and”. Or at least it should be. Evolving to meet the needs of tomorrow’s learners still starts with the conventional L&D toolkit – psychology, neuroscience, classes, courses and LMSs.
But there is more to the job now.
RFPs For a Modern Learning Ecosystem
RFPS FOR A MODERN
Mike Rustici | Watershed
March 31, 2016
Todd Tauber| Degreed
VP Product Marketing @Degreed
HELLO. Elevating L&D
Rethinking the ecosystem
EVERY DAY EVERY WEEK EVERY MONTH EVERY QUARTER ONCE A YEAR
TODAY’S WORKERS NEED A DIVERSE SET
OF L&D SOLUTIONS
Source: Degreed, How the Workforce Learns in 2016, 1/2016
Articles & blogs
Live classes (external)
TRADITIONAL L&D IS NOT OBSOLETE
IT JUST ISN’T COMPLETE
Source: Degreed, How the Workforce Learns in 2016, 1/2016
On average, workers give their employers’ learning and
development opportunities a Net Promoter Score of…
SMARTER L&D TEAMS INVEST THEIR TIME
AND MONEY DIFFERENTLY
Source: Bersin by Deloitte, 2015 Corporate Learning Factbook, 6/2015
(-20%) +29% +13% +90%
via ILT, vILT and
HIGHER-IMPACT L&D ORGANIZATIONS DELIVER...
BAIN & COMPANY
Satisfied employees have the
tools, training and resources
to do their jobs well…
Engaged employees learn
and grow every day.
Source: Harvard Business Review, Engaging Your Employees Is Good, but Don’t Stop There, 12/2015
getAbstract MindTools Safari
Udemy Pluralsight Lynda
Coursera edX Udacity NovoEd
IDEO U General
Pocket Feedly Stack
INTERNAL L&D SYSTEMS EXTERNAL TRAINING OPEN RESOURCES
Performance InsightsL&D Activities
mentoring ILT classes
1. From L&D systems + external
2. On L&D activities (inputs) +
3. For L&D teams + operating
leaders + employees
Source: Degreed 2016
BALANCE BUSINESS REQUIREMENTS
WITH EMPLOYEE EXPECTATIONS
WORKERS EXPECT TO... SO EMPLOYERS SHOULD...
Limited to LMS delivery
Manual report building
Easy Win: Consider future goals and
include capabilities that will help you
data aggregation and
Multiple tools to provide
more personally tailored
Capabilities: One login.
Delivery of many types
of activities and curated
content. Analyze training
data without manual work
to ID learner preferences.
Focus on training and
performance support that
of various content.
tracking and aggregation
across systems. Workflow
analysis of learning and
Start by designing for a
comprehensive, holistic vision of
the ecosystem you want
Don’t just ask for familiar tools;
look for the capabilities and
requirements you need
Aim for constant progress and
monitor, measure, optimize
Walk before you run