The event began with a motivating presentation from Laura Overton, who set the scene for our day by discussing the role of L&D adding value back to the business. Her discussion highlighted the importance of valuing what we do as learning professionals and how we measure the impact of our work. “As L&D professionals, as people professionals, we’ve had an opportunity to add a different kind of value this year,” explained Laura. “If we keep business first, that’s where we will add our most value, and that’s why I believe our time is now.”
Laura’s opening talk sparked much inspiration for us all, which resulted in some highly interactive discussions in our first breakout room session.
We then heard from Novartis’ Head of Global Learning Design, Mirjam Neelen, who explored how to best use scientific evidence to accelerate performance (she also has a great book on this topic, entitled Evidence-Informed Learning Design). Mirjam shared wisdom on how she designs learning for complex tasks; addressed limitations people might come up against when designing for complex tasks; and advised breaking tasks down into separate elements.
Hot on Mirjam’s heels were Rolf Reinhardt, Treasurer and Board Member of ICOBC, and Jennifer Velev, HR Specialist and Project Lead of the World Health Organization. Their joint talk investigated credentials, accreditation and reimagining skills recognition – especially in the context of this new normal. Rolf reminded the audience that skills can be transferrable: Skills like teamwork, time management, organizational skills, customer service might sound like an operations coordinator, but are, in fact, the skills listed out on the CV of a waiter. Indeed, skills can apply to lots of different industries. Both Rolf and Jen dove into why it’s important that capabilities get recognized.
Andreas Kambach (Area9 Lyceum GmbH’s Managing Director) was up next, and his future-forward talk spotlighted how tech and AI can help measure the impact of learning. He described conscious competence (when a learner knows that he or she might have no idea about a given topic) versus unconscious incompetence (when a learner is certain he or she is right about something, but is actually wrong), and how organizations can uncover and fix this. Andreas also provided guidance on how to cut a company’s training time in half, but still end up with higher proficiencies, especially when an organization is using blended learning methods.