I mentioned yesterday how we have to start planning for the long stretch; we can’t take any of the old models for granted any more. The drive for normalcy should be a drive to find what can be different not how we get back to what we did before.
We can’t take the workforce for granted any more. Their absence in the workplace – if in knowledge work – is a reminder that things will have to be very different. I saw this yesterday as someone delivered a session to 5 participants in a space that would have held 20 beforehand.
Go back through your strategic plan for learning. How far were you away from what REALLY happened as opposed to what you thought it would be like? Your plan for workplace learning needs to be looking 6 months ahead, 2 years ahead, 5 years ahead. Your plan needs to reflect locations, timetables, technologies, role and task design, and the crushing realisation that we need to be more fluid than we ever have before.
Where did money get spent during the lockdowns on learning? Now see what the most effective learning activities were. If the two are aligned you’re in a good place. If they didn’t, don’t try and create a correlation between spend and the things you want to have been good. How effective were those small discussion groups that people self organised? How many times did people trade messages in WhatsApp and Teams groups that you didn’t (and don’t) know about?
Where did you spend your time? Where will you spend your time now? Carry out a ratio analysis looking at how much time you spent on:
You MUST prove the value of your efforts – not in a pedagogical way but in a pound, dollars, and cents way. You need to make the business realise you’re going to make them better, not tell them what they shouldn’t do.
What research did you carry out over the lockdown period? I’d guess many LnD people spent a lot more time seeing how to do things differently. That time you spent then should be replicated and multiplied. R&D into new, improved, better, cheaper, faster, clearer, tidier, and defter support should be your priority. How did you manage sickness absence training online over the last 6 months? Are you going to try and replicate that in a training room that only holds a third of the people you need it to?
Cut your content. You don’t need to force people to do so much to access something else; that horse has bolted and they’ll look something up on YouTube or ask their connections. No-one’s going to wait 6 weeks for a course that may – or may not – fit what they need now. That doesn’t mean flex and produce quicker; it means produce what’s needed, not what everyone has always said what’s needed.
The time is now – don’t waste it. No-one’s going to reward you for taking things back, embrace the opportunity and remember #ItStartsWithMe.