Interview: Nick Shackleton-Jones - The business challenge
As part of the Brightwave 'What a difference' video series, Nick Shackleton-Jones, Group Head of eLearning (Leadership Development & Talent) at BP, looks forward to the next 10 years in Learning and Development.
Videos in this series
So over the next 10 years I think learning technologies will play an interesting role. I suppose the way to summarise it is kind of top, bottom and middle.
I suppose the top piece I think would be more involved in compliance training and business assurance, and that’s certainly reflected in some of the work that we’re doing now.
And I think learning technology can play a vital role in that space where companies are challenged logistically or geographically to reach a large number of people quite quickly, and in a way which is sort of measurable. So I think the top part is the business assurance and compliance training.
So the bottom part is just in time learning. So here – it’s a funny thing. You don’t have to provide just in time learning on a peer to peer basis, but in practice that’s how it works out.
If you actually want to do just in time training well then you need to ensure that knowledge can move quickly around the organisation. And increasingly the expert, the person who knows something, isn’t the person who’s in a kind of necessarily senior or a training role. So to do just in time training well, quite often you’re engaged in freeing up flows of learning between peers.
And then I think the third part, middle part is improving the quality of the training that we do more generally.
So a lot of what we’re trying to do is to create learning interventions which connect with people on an emotional level. That might sound like a quite sort of odd thing to do, but my observation has been that the information’s out there; if people really care about something sufficiently they’ll learn and they can change their behaviours.
So in areas where they don’t care sufficiently we have to drive them, and we have to engage with them, we have to make an impact and connect with them at that sort of level. And then we can trust them to engage in the learning which is available to them.
So I think apart from the technology then there are a number of things that would need to be in place. I think the first one, my dream is that there would be a good model of learning in place so that we would have a common language and a common way of understanding what we were doing in learning.
I think good relationships with the business is something I think learning and development kind of struggle with. We talk about it in euphemisms, business objective alignment or whatever. But yes, just having good relationships with people in the business and listening carefully and designing solutions which meet their requirements.
I think it goes the other way as well. Third thing would be investment. So I think investment and a solid rationale for that investment so the business is investing properly in learning
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