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20

Feb 2019

A roundup of #LT2019

News

We’re just about recovered from LT2019, and starting to process some of the things we saw and learned. If you were there it would be great to know what you thought about the conference, exhibition, seminars. It's the one time of year where, as always, the weeks leading up to the event were rather hectic as we set up our ‘Kineo Experience’ themed stand, built presentations together with guest customers from BP and Credit Suisse, and planned demos of new products like our Digital Transformation course with DefactoEd.

In previous years, there has often been a stand-out trend at LearnTech- something everyone seems to be talking about, whether that’s gamification, AI, social learning etc. This year we didn't really feel like there was one thing that the sector collectively landed on; rather than grabbing onto a shiny new piece of technology, it was time to consolidate.

Consolidation, if not a trend, was a definite theme, and manifested itself in various forms. A few that resonated with us: 
 

1. Measurement 

This was very high on our radar, not least because one of our fundamental aims is to demonstrate how our skills development has an impact on people, organisations and economies around the world. This year we shared a space with our colleagues at HT2, our City & Guilds Group Venture Fund partners. They are all about helping businesses to measure the extent of behavioural change seen during learning programmes, using big data and sophisticated analytics, which closely aligns with our Group ambition. There were lots of sessions at Learn Tech focused on measurement: where to start, who to talk to, how you can gather data and what it's even possible to measure. For us, what matters the most is why you want to measure, and what you're measuring against. To get the answer, you really need to be clear on your objectives - both for learning, and what you're striving for as a business and build in measurement from the very beginning. 

2. Agility

It's not just what you do, but how you do it. There was a sense of maturity around this years’ LearnTech. It's impossible to stay ahead of the lightening quick pace of change, so rather than constantly battling to keep up we should focus on adjusting what it is in our power to do, and one of the key ways organisations can make the most of learning technologies is through agile ways of working. Agile teams are more open to change, and better able to implement it, which makes it possible for them to evolve learning programmes on an ongoing basis, rather than perfecting from the get-go.  

One of the most important roles for L&D teams is being able to break down the barriers that limit progress. #LT19 drew out the central role L&D and HR can play in business strategy, developing the talent that can deliver. Structuring L&D in an agile and nimble way, readily able to adjust to the needs of the future workplace, can shift the perception of the team from one that plays a supporting role to one that plays an indispensable part in securing the future success of the business. 
 

3. Experience

The learner and the importance of their learning experience was notable throughout. There were some differences in what people thought constituted a good experience for the learner – which is absolutely fine. In fact, personalisation – whether that’s for your business, a team, or an individual –is what makes the concept of ‘experience’ so appealing. Rather than taking a one size fits all approach, exhibitors and delegates were looking for technologies that were simple but seamless in being able to cater for the needs of different people, at different times, all around their business. 

The ‘experience’ focus at #LT19 was more about the learner’s expectations of technology. When people head to online learning tools now, they want consumer-grade technology. They don’t understand why if their favourite retailers, news sources and indeed the organisation they work for offer a premium user experience complete with intuitive journey mapping on their websites, their in-house learning should not. 

Experts presented on ways that organisations could bring the experience learners are looking for to their programmes, and the different types of content that would not only look better, but provide more value to the individuals experiencing them and you guessed it – more impact from the learning. 

We'll be sharing more insights and content in the coming weeks and months, ahead of the launch for Learning Insights - our annual global report on what’s really happening in corporate learning technology. We'll be honing in on what's important to learners and organisations, and comparing notes on what's working in learning around the world. If you're interested in participating in the report email laura.mountain@cityandguilds.com.