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I had an awful realisation about pilots the other day. Not the sitting in the front of a plane kind but the small exercise of a bigger plan kind.

I’m a big fan of pilots – they don’t fail but just have different degrees of success. What I hadn’t appreciated was how much they fall into the learning theatre environment.

The point is coming when people will begin to unlock, businesses will start to review their working practices, locations and workforce strategies. The learning function is perfectly positioned to experiment, pilot, try and challenge the norms from before.

There are some obvious things you could do now:

  • Reflect on the evidence from lockdown – how did people learn, how do they want to learn? The ability to build asynchronously becomes even more of a driver for the effective learning team than it has ever been.
  • What is everyone else doing? Find the broadest sweep of examples you can find to support your pilots.
  • Understand the likely office scheduling – will Friday be a ghost town again or will EVERY DAY be a ghost town?

Ultimately none of these things will matter if you’re treated as learning theatre.

The most important thing you should do is go and speak to your senior management teams and ask them what they expect. If their expectations don’t reflect the zeitgeist, throw your plans out and just get ready to do what you did before but with the new stresses of availability, digital literacy, concurrency, and physical distancing.

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