MD of Dyad Training and lead designer and facilitator
At the beginning of this year, many of us had our plans in place, our actions determined, our goals set, our motives clear, our motivation high and our determination was packed and ready to tackle a year already filled with a level of uncertainty and ambiguity. Fast forward to the close of quarter 1, and we find ourselves in unprecedented change and being challenged beyond what we have ever seen or experienced before.
The plans are now being redefined, the actions may be somewhat panicked, the motivation levels drift up and down, we grip onto what we can, and we shift focus from thrive to survive.
But we know, in life as in business, there are seasons. Now, I might be showing my age here, but there are great lyrics from a song called Turn,Turn,Turn recorded by the Byrds and written in the late 1950’s. Here are some of the lyrics to demonstrate the message…..
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; (ain’t that the truth)
A time to gain that which is to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time of love, and a time of hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
So these got me thinking….there is a season. In the learning and development space, the season has been slowly turning for some time. The traditional teaching classes and knowledge overload, the death-by-powerpoint and information dumps started to shift into a more facilitated, conversation-driven, collaborative process. Many people in the space of learning started to adopt e-learning, podcasts and intranets became the ground for sharing knowledge and information.
Now this is all good and well as the seasons changed for L&D, but we continued to grapple with the questions of knowledge retention, learner commitment, people connection and application of learning.
I have just got off the phone from a delegate who is on a 1-year learning programme with us. His words: “Lindy, I miss our classes, I miss the people and I miss the interaction”. He further unpacked that he is zoomed-out, skyped-out and just wants some face-to-face connection.
This brings me to our new season here at Dyad Training.
For the last 2 years we have been developing e-learning workshops that mimic a classroom environment as far as possible. These e-learning modules deliver a diversity of methodologies rather than listening to a 30-minute “talk” or reading 30 pages of text, we have aimed to combine a range of delegate and user experiences on our portal.
We don’t see e-learning as the replacement, what we do see is a blended learning approach where we step into a physical room, converse, engage and connect at certain points on our learning programme or journey, coupled with self-driven e-learning modules that call for application tasks and coaching.
A blended learning approach that serves to encourage high touch learning and high-tech learning.
The need to drive a blended approach is imperative and critical as our business landscapes change, as we get used to the virtual world, and as the need for culture and behavioural shift becomes more pertinent.
Learning cannot stop! Personal growth cannot ground to a halt! People development cannot be put on pause until “this all blows over”. What is required is a change of season, a change to how we traditionally approach learning, how we deliver learning and how we continue to create a learner experience that drives development both personally and within a business.
This is the time to plant, so that as we navigate our way forward, we reap benefits from teams that are equipped, people who feel valued and empowered, leaders who truly lead, and cultures that are conducive to high performance.
Consider, both personally and within your business – how can learning and development help solve your challenges, support your new ideas, enable people to act, equip teams with relevant skills, shift thinking and ultimately create benefit?
As we learn to embrace the season in our businesses, in our families, in our economy, in our communities, what needs to be done to build capability, commitment and capacity? What do you need to shift internally? What mind set traps do you need to break free from? Where do you need to spend your time? What do you need to learn or unlearn? What steps could you take to allow yourself to see beyond?
We’re almost half way through the year and we may not be in full control of what happens next, both locally and abroad, but perhaps it’s the season to focus on what we can influence and control. Perhaps it’s the season to build, the season to sow seeds, the season to turn within…in all likelihood, the answers are all there.
If you’d like to sing along to the song, and get your groove on, here’s a link for easy reference.
Until next time, keep in mind that seasons change and although it may look stark, empty and bare, the blossoms will bloom again…they always do!