Do you know what a portmanteau means? A portmanteau is a word that fuses two different words, and example being smog. For the organizations, the portmanteau that is changing the landscape is "Biznology"- business plus technology! Biznology is an art of how organizations are leveraging technology to create a business impact and this is emerging as the key differentiator.
The common misconception is around what a technology organization is and the most traditional sectors tend to believe they are not one and hence “Biznology” does not impact them. But organizations today need to overcome this myth and start realizing that each of them is leveraging technology in some or the other way and hence staying on top of them is not a choice but a mandate now. In this context, it is only learning that can empower organizations to achieve this and the key to it is technology itself.
How can technology help L&D?
As in case of any business it is absolutely imperative to understand their customers, the L&D function also needs to evolve to understand their customers and technology can help pull the levers in the following ways:
- Hyper-personalization: Leveraging technology and data can help in personalizing the content and creating an experience that engages the learners beyond the long classroom sessions. This not only creates the learner engagement but also enables continuous learning.
- Modularization of learning: The average attention span for each learner is reducing with every passing day and long training programs are no more resonating with the learners. Hence, the need of the hour is to break the learning into granular byte-sized modules that can take the learners to exactly what they need.
- Push vs pull: The most common dichotomy that challenges the organizations is to how much to empower the learners to find their own learning content and how much to mandate. The only way to overcome this is to realize that the learning should be focused on investing in the learner’s career and not on the fear that he/she may leave the organization. And technology helps create that balance of mandatory learning with the freedom of choice from a learning catalogue.
- Sociable and fun learning: Organizations today realize that everyone is out there on the social media and everyone has the urge to share their experiences and achievements. And hence, enabling learners to share their success such as the number of courses completed, levels reached and many more; help not only engage them but also create a connect for continuous learning. Achieving this has only been made possible by technology that provides a platform that brings together learning content and learners and that too, on-the-go.
What can organizations do?
While technology transforms the learning, L&D needs to step up its ways of identifying and approaching the learners. A few innovative examples are:
- 4x4 matrix for continuous learning: Creating a matrix that maps the employee life cycle with the technology skills lifecycle will help in identifying what kind of learning requirements need to be focused on. For a new employee with a relatively lower level of technology skills, the focus should be on foundation courses. The existing employees at a lower stage of technology lifecycle should focus on enhancing the technology skills. Those who are new but high on technology skills should focus on new-age technologies while the existing employees who are high on technology skills should look at transformative learnings.
- Dynamic technology radar: Radar that captures the learning needs for the next 3-6 months that dynamically updates based on the learner needs can help L&D stay absolutely relevant and technology has a major role to play in this.
- Content marketplace: An upcoming trend is to creating a supermarket of content where organizations are sourcing content from multiple partners and are curating it to be more relevant to the context. This not only has the resource benefits of not developing content, it also brings the most recent and up-to date content in an extremely agile manner. And this is possible through leveraging the online medium only.
A Pluralsight research has revealed that by watching 1 hour of learning videos, employees have save 84 hours of effort in a year and 55% of learners used their skills within 1 week. It’s clearly the time to bring the portmanteau, “Biznology” into action.
(This article is based on The Art of Biznology – Creating Business Success with Technology Learning at L&D Annual League Conference.)