Learning and Development has come a long way after it signed up as an ardent sidekick to HR (its Big Daddy) 25 years ago. 45% of leadership now views the L&D department as “an important business function” in South Africa*, and on 26 and 27 August 2019 it joins the already popular HR Innovation & Tech Fest as a fully represented entity, creating the first ever HR + L&D Innovation & Tech Fest in Rosebank.
With an ambitious mandate to combat unemployment, poverty and the economic downturn, the passion and dedication of the L&D community come as no surprise. Superhero status is the next step – here are the 7 ways this conference will transform your L&D career with timely, thought-provoking talks by influential local and international speakers. So, let’s power up!
Craft a Robust, Realistic L&D Strategy
Your L&D strategy has to get “the big 5” all in one shot:
- Attract and retain talent.
- Develop people capabilities.
- Create a values-based culture.
- Build an employer brand.
- Motivate and engage employees. – McKinsey
For this, you must brave new terrain, but you don’t have to reinvent the wheel or hunt alone. Move closer to the inner circle of influential L&D veterans who have done battle and lived to tell their tales: “First ask how people learn,” cautions Zolani Lugawe from SA Taxi Development Finance, then craft your digital strategy, and only then go shopping for an LMS. Louis Janse van Rensburg, CEO of Glengarry Capita, challenges us to think like an investor by asking, “Can you communicate your L&D strategy in less than 3 minutes?”
Pick the Perfect Learning Management System (LMS)
The weight on the L&D leader’s shoulders to get this right is colossal. At times, it might feel a bit like choosing a life partner: Which one will I love now and forever? How do I create a relationship with a provider that will blossom and strengthen over time? What if things go wrong – do I need a prenup?
Why not get advice from the best? Bruce Walker brewed up the eLearning platform of Distell, and Tanith Mohale brought Sasol’s Learning Technology Ecosystem to life with a creed of “fit-for-now, fit-for-purpose, fit-for-future”.
You can even speed-date software with two showcasing sessions. Don’t miss out on Lesson Desk’s interactive demo; their “Content Crew” also help develop material from scratch to digitalization, which brings us to the next superpower…
Create Memorable, Meaningful Online Content
You bought the Rolls Royce of LMS’s and you’re introducing it to the staff with a champagne party and a petting zoo for the kids… Crickets chirp.
How do we get people exciting about learning? Just look over at what the content marketing industry has been doing right: their worth of $195.58bn in 2016 is estimated to catapult to $412bn by 2021. How? By obsessing over the audience.
We need to obsess about the learner first and create learning content that fascinates and engages.
“The sad reality is that most courses require learners to sit through a disappointing experience,” says Tim Slade, an award-winning eLearning designer from the US. Wayne Mott from Agilite Consulting in Australia warns that “the opportunity to engage learners in a digital world is growing smaller.”
Fortunately for us, these two wizards will work their magic on day 1 and tell us exactly how to fix our online learning content and ecosystems.
Use Data Correctly and Powerfully
“Approximately 84% of digital transformation initiatives fail – how can data be leveraged to create a realistic transformation roadmap?” asks Liora Gross, Director at the Center for Creative Leadership, who will take the stage on day 1.
In his product showcasing on day 2, Jurie Van Zyl demonstrates what cloud solutions like Skillogical bring to people development. Getting individual employee ROI in line with the overall company goals becomes a lot less challenging with a simple, dependable and intuitive system. He boldly promises to “give dashboards a whole new meaning”.
Balance remains important though. In his insightful keynote “Are You Watering the Right Tree?” director and psychologist Gregory Bayne explores how we can harness data and technology and still nurture our people’s well-being.
Ignite a Remarkable Learning Culture
Thea Pelser had no idea what she was getting into. But it was what she walked out with that astounded her most: PwC’s learning culture had also completely transformed.
In her talk, she shares her 4-year quest to adapt this multinational powerhouse’ training strategy for millennials, how vital the learning experience is, and how you too can infuse your company’s learning culture with passion and meaning.
Liberty Group’s Masindi Hoppenbrouwers had a similar journey, but her road to the right LMS and revamped learning culture trailed through the often-murky waters of a restructuring. Her lessons will help all L&D leaders cultivate a comfortable relationship with the future.
Know What’s Happening With L&D Tech
What kind of tricks will technology play on L&D’s future? Throwing bones and gazing in crystal balls are all the rage now, but perhaps we should seek advice from an old-school prophet. Like Oracle’s Rob Bothma.
“Flexible hybrid learning paths…” the wise man mutters. Then something about “gamification, artificial intelligence and chatbots” – make sure you join him after the coffee break on day 2.
When you’re done digesting that, after lunch, Wayne Mott tells you what you absolutely need to know right now about digitalization and where to invest. He’ll also throw in some real-world advice on tackling obstacles. Alternatively, go explore augmented reality instead – Hugo Coetzee from Anglo American Platinum’s “AR in Action” falls in the same time slot.
Dessert is served straight afterwards in Tricia Jones’s “The Rise of Humans: How Robots will Re-Awaken the Human Potential”.
Be Ready for Disruptive Employment Models
The 9-to-5, brick and mortar employee model has been turned on its head by the dual forces of technology and millennials (yes, those “kids with the selfies” that will make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025). Flexibility and accessibility are now currencies that L&D professionals also have to trade in.
Susie Gleeson-Byrne is Uber’s Head of HR in Australia and New Zealand – who better to take us through the opportunities and challenges of the gig economy? This trend has infiltrated all employment levels – a Mavenlink study revealed that 63% of full-time executives would prefer to be a contractor.
Flexibility and location-independence are the major drawcards for the virtual workforce, yet 70% of remote employees feel left out of the workplace. In his deliciously titled “Remote Success: How My Team Beats Your Team in Their Pajamas”, Chris Dyer points out the immense opportunities to cut costs and retain prize employees and tells us how he keeps his fully remote team engaged.
Mingle With Flair, Cocktail in Hand
Yes, I did say 7 ways – but your new superhero status absolutely compels you to strut around on the glamorous verandas of Rosebank’s Hyatt Regency after the first day and hang out with people who are as passionate as you are about learning and development (drinks are included of course).
*The Eventful Group’s 2019 L&D Innovation Research Report – get your copy here.
Get Your Tickets
If you’re reading this before or on 2 August, you’re in luck – the Early Bird tickets are still available at R12,995 excl. VAT (standard tickets are R14,995 excl. VAT).
You’ll dine like the king or queen you are and get the (electronic) keys to all the content and full participant contact list.
About the Author
Ilse de Vries is a human-development zealot and hopelessly excited about learning and development, in South Africa and in its digital incarnation. She is also an adventurous content strategist and content creator. Over the last two decades, she has honed her skills as a learning and marketing specialist in the UK, Japan and South Africa.