Learn, improve and perform

21st century skills

Organizations need to respond to the increasing complexity and changes and the unpredictability arising from this. Everyone and everything connects as a result of the technological developments.
Focusing on  results and keeping knowledge and talent up to date is pivotal for organizations. Are you yourself in focus? How do you keep on upskilling yourself? How can you continue to improve on your work?
Important so called 21st century skills are curiousness, readiness for surprise, allowing to make mistakes, critical thinking, creativity, flexibility and open to sharing information. Collaboration with your team, department or knowledge community is crucial. To coach, give and receive feedback to your co-workers and evaluate and reflect with them is an 'engine' to active learning! Alle mentioned innovative and entrepreneurial qualities are the needed 'energy'!


Organisation aimed at eachothers strengths

Of course these qualities have to be embraced and made possible by organizations. To foster them, management shoulde release imposing strict targets and short term structured plans. If you - on the other hand - take ownership and responsibility - you will find yourself taking those necessary steps and goals. You and your team will comply to the strategic goals and mission of the organization (think for example about supplying customer, clients or public the best possible products or services).
More organizations embrace this organizational mindset, reinvent themselves and successfully embrace these core qualities. Self-management replaces the hierarchical pyramid and the organization is seen as a living entity, with its own creative potential and evolutionary purpose. It is a smart way to improve performance by connecting everyone to the organization's main objectives. Your strengths and qualities are energized and aligned with the performance of team and organization.


Performance learning

So how can you put this into practice? Start with your own "business as usual" work.  Challenges and problems arise here and customers and stakeholders always know how to provide them! Actually the learning automatically starts. Learning and Performance are closely connected with each other.  For example, you performance improves when you learn something for the first time or when you want to know more about because your specific task "right now' needs it.  And as a result of the rapid changes and unpredictability there are more than enough challenges! So if you actually try something in practice, you will learn.  Obviously mistakes or things do not go as expected are part of this learning journey. If you are aware of this, take responsibility for your learning process and development. You then have made an important step.  Collaboration is very important in this process. By working together, you will get sooner to the core problems, solutions and results. It might well be that your problem should be resolved by someone else.
You might experience that your learning is focused on improving yourself and the performance of your co-workers. Learning is therefore not longer imposed by management or L&D  (as course or training) but much more an informal continuous journey. By sharing each other's experiences, improvements, solutions and results a learning organization arises that constantly reinvents itself by looking at what works and what doesn't.



A learning model that responds to this is called 70:20:10. It aligns learning and improving in an organic way with your performance. The '70' refers to the percentage of informal learning. The '20' stands for 20% social learning (working together)  and the '10%' for formal learning (training and courses etc.). Don't take these figures too literally. See them as  three important groups which co-exist with each other. For each organization this could be different. For example, there may be highly regulated work environments, which are heavily dependent on legislation, regulations and procedures. Formal certificates and diplomas are mandatory then, like the domains of security, privacy , health etc. Often permanent education is imposed.  The essence however of this performance improving way of looking at learning is that the starting point is the informal en collaborative way. The continuous search for solutions starts with the informal part of learning. Learning is not imposed but "experienced". And by sharing and improving experiences with each other, an organization is created based on continuous learning "evidence based" solutions. 70:20:10 is a structured learning cycle of detecting, designing, building, implementing and measuring solutions , explicitly aimed at positive results for the organization.


How can learning technology support this responsibility?

It is important to use an online learning platform that optimally supports informal social learning. A learning environment where knowledge and experiences are built, curated, shared and maintained together. Peer feedback and the use of gamification prove to be decisive. By applying this you will be able to use each other's knowledge even more actively and in a more focused way. The learning platform must be available anywhere, anytime and anywhere. The experiences of learners must be stored in a smart and safe way. The learningdata can be analyzed and visualized by user friendly dashboards.Of course a  mutually accepted data policy has to be deployed.


Sources and Inspiration
Docebo (Charles Jennings & Jos Arets): Continuous Development for Improved Performance in the Workplace
Bob Mosher en Conrad Gottfredson: 5 Moments of Need
Frederic Laloux: Reinventing Organizations
EMC: Performance verbetering? Integreer!