Thinking about holistic learning solutions

Yesterday, I was writing about how LinkedIn has changed the face of learning by buying for $1.5bn. I wrote it in a purposefully polar way because I wanted to see what reaction it would get from people. Here’s some examples of how people reacted on Twitter.

Now the thing is, they’re all right.

What we need to start looking at when it comes to learning solutions as L&D practitioners is less about which method of delivery are we going to advocate best, but which learning solution provides a holistic approach to supporting a person’s development.

What used to be called blended learning is now quite dated and doesn’t quite capture the right ethos of how learning and development can progress.

For some purposes, a face to face workshop or classroom is exactly the right solution. You get to ask questions, debate with others, have your thinking challenged, see reactions, hear alternative points of view, gain live insights and a host of other interactions and connections.

For some purposes, social technologies can and do provide pertinent information which is accessible at the point of need. That’s the biggest win when considering this is a solution. People don’t need to wait for the learning they’re looking for, they can access it right away. The main consideration here is that people need to know how to find the information they’re looking for and that can either be a curated source, or it can be in educating others in how to find good sources of information.

For some purposes, social collaboration tools are the solution. Open, transparent working practices, sharing of information, sharing knowledge, are all ways in which people can develop their skills in safe environments where they are supported by others around them.

For some, coaching and mentoring are the ideal solutions. They have particular needs, understand how coaching and mentoring can be beneficial, have the motivation to act on their own insights and value having private and safe conversations with someone who is able to ask questions which prompt thought and reflection.

For some, being a part of a community of practise is the way forward. Coming together with a bunch of people all interested in the same topic or way of working and being able to develop your own skills as well as the skills of the group working co-actively, with shared interests and shared community.

For some, e-learning is a great tool for delivering their learning of need. It can give them the pertinent information, at their workspace, meet compliance need, and is a useful source of bite sized important information.

For some, watching videos is a highly engaging format of delivery. They get to watch a well scripted production, with useful insights, and some direction on how to develop their thinking.

And there’s a whole list of other types of learning and development activity I’ve not listed. Which is the point.

The future of the learning and development practise lies in the way we advocate for holistic learning solutions.

LinkedIn buying is a significant activity in our profession. It has signalled that there is a step change in the way learning and development operates and delivers its content. 350 million people will now have access to online learning when they want to access it. That’s a strong stance from LinkedIn, and it demands that L&D as a practise meets learners where they are, not where L&D are most comfortable operating.


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Sukh Pabial

I'm an occupational psychologist by profession and am passionate about all things learning and development, creating holistic learning solutions and using positive psychology in the workforce.

2 thoughts on “Thinking about holistic learning solutions”

  1. Sukh, I’m so happy to see you advocating a place for the multiple, different learning methodologies. Some people have their favourites and refuse to consider anything else. Others will only consider the latest trend. There’s a place for everything, including the coffee bar chat, as long as it’s the right tool for the job and done well.

    1. Thanks very much for commenting, Sarah. It’s simple, I see the need for L&D practitioners to become more skilled by learning about these different learning methodologies to deliver different learning solutions. It’s a challenge, straight to the core of what it means to be in L&D.

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