Four critical themes from Learning Futures, New York

Four critical themes from Learning Futures, New York

Our Client Director Sophie Thornton recently presented a session on Learning to Thrive in Disruptive Times at iVentiv’s  Learning Futures New York.

Learning Futures brings together top CLOs to develop strategies, share teachable experiences and workshop new perspectives on learning.

This year it was hosted at GE’s Management Development Institue training headquarters. The institute is a concrete expression of the emphasis GE place on the significance and importance of learning and training to drive development, innovation and transformation.

As an overview of the numerous sessions and discussions, here are the significant talking points and key takeaways from this inspiring two-day event:

1. Commitment to L&D – The need for successful organisations to advocate and support the learning and development of their employees. A key address was given by GE’s Linda Boff, CMO and VP of Learning & Culture. Linda spoke passionately about GE’s historically strong learning culture.

Because the leadership within GE believe learning is so crucial to who they are and what they do, it’s felt throughout the whole company.

And always has been.

2. Having a growth mindset – Learning from mistakes, learning from successes, and using both to make constant improvements to the way we work.

The Chair for Learning Futures was 70:20:10 innovator Charles Jennings. He discussed the benefits of learning collaboratively from others, experiential learning (or learning-by-doing), and the importance of making mistakes to a healthy change and development culture.

He spoke of the ‘obsessive reflection’ which you see in Rafael Nadal and other elite athletes, where mistakes are rarely repeated because they are so thoroughly learned from. We can do the same with data-driven decision-making: tracking learners’ interactions with digital content, analysing the results and developing an evidence-based change methodology.

3. The rise of authentic leadership – Leaders now are required to be transparent, human and have humility. They have to understand themselves as part of the wider organisational mission – not separate from it.

A must-have for any authentic leader is emotional intelligence. Complex, high-value, multi-stakeholder projects require careful relationship management and high levels of personal empathy to successfully manage.

4. Learning how to be Agile – The importance of flexibility in a fast-moving world, understanding the working methodologies and processes underpinning Agile delivery, and the advantages of an iterative approach to strategy and learning development.

The discussions of agile touched on the rise of multi-skilled generalists. Equipping each learner with the core skills of creativity and innovation – putting them at the heart of success in every organisation. Unlocking the underlying perspectives and attitudes to know and do more, and learn how to rotate between different functions continuously:

The ability to adapt, on steroids.


As we head into 2020, how do these themes resonate with your learning challenges and ambitions?

We would love to connect you with one of our expert consultants for a free session to discuss your learning strategy.

Get in touch today to turn this thinking into real learning impact.

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