The L&D Disruption Playbook pt 5: How To Scale A Digital Learning Strategy That Works

David James
David James
November 25, 2019
The L&D Disruption Playbook pt 5: How To Scale A Digital Learning Strategy That Works

We’ve mentioned the importance of developing a digital learning strategy in pt 3 of this series, and the importance of identifying what prevents people from efficiently doing what they need to do at work (identifying frictions) when it comes to solving real business problems.

This article is the final part of our L&D disruption blog series and dives deeper into understanding what measures need to be put into place to scale your digital learning strategy.

Scaling Your Digital Learning Strategy: Only Scale What Works

If you’re just looking for problems to solve with your existing tools and content, then it’s highly unlikely you’re going to see any real results. You have to start with working with your employees and understanding real business problems and then look to scale with the right technology. 

Scaling what works — rather than launching platforms and content with a big bang approach — is a risk-free way of engaging larger target audiences in the value you provide to them. This makes so much sense it makes the old way look ridiculous. 

The key to scaling what works is to go where there is genuine pain and a receptive audience. Don’t worry about sceptics and those who aren’t ready yet. You’re not launching anything. You are making valuable stuff available for those who are ready for it.

It’s important at this stage to bust the myth that the old way worked. Just because everybody attended a programme or was assigned content at the same time, doesn’t mean that people changed — or really engaged — as a result. Old-world learning metrics may have highlighted ‘success’. 

“Just because somebody attended [a course], stayed until the end, passed a short-term memory recall test and rated the course 9 out of 10, doesn’t mean it made any difference to their work.

Going where there is both a pain and receptiveness will help you learn more about your users and their willingness to engage before you tackle the next group of people.

Digital L&D Tactics: Experiment, Test & Act On Results 

In his book ‘Crossing the Chasm’, Geoffrey A. Moore argues there is a chasm between the early adopters of a product (enthusiasts and visionaries) and the early majority (the pragmatists).

Crossing the chasm

Moore explains that visionaries and pragmatists have different expectations, and suggests techniques to successfully cross the “chasm.” These techniques include: choosing a target market, understanding the whole product concept, positioning the product, building a marketing strategy, choosing the most appropriate distribution channel and pricing. 

If you have been working with your target group and testing your prototype solution(s) to good effect so far, and it’s produced the desired results, you’ll want to appeal to those who will be ready next.

There’s no mystery to this and simple tactics will help you to do this: 

  • Ask for more volunteers to be involved in the experiment 
  • Ask the current test group to recommend the experiment to peers 
  • Produce case studies of your results so far to circulate to the rest of your target group 
  • Make the solution available to the rest of the target group and see what happens 

And what do you do if you get no more interest? Find out why! It’s all an experiment.

Read more in your free copy of the ‘L&D Disruption Playbook‘.

Automation Means Doing More With Less

So far, this might seem like a lot of extra work but the promise of digital is doing more with less – and this is where automation comes in and releases you from the old way of doing things. 

In so many parts of our lives, digital technologies have made things faster, easier, better and cheaper — except in L&D. Automation is a way to halt this and run individual campaigns as a series of ‘experiences’ designed to sweep users up — potentially from before they even join your organisation — through induction, probation, advanced technical know-how, core skill building, ad-hoc changes, transitions into new roles, and beyond.

Progressive, AI enhanced technologies, such as Looop, allow you to create seamless user-journeys for distinct employee groups, from the moment they agree to their offer to the moment they might leave. Not only does this eliminate huge amounts of administration, it brings your valuable resources, conversations and courses directly to your clients, when and where they need it — which is more often in the flow of their daily work. This frees up L&D to be involved in more high value activities to increase the impact of the function across much more of the organisation.

Initiating Your Own Positive L&D Disruption

With digital transforming consumer experiences across every facet of our daily lives, it’s hard to imagine that it will not have the same effect on performance and productivity.

The technology tools L&D have used to this point have been for the benefit of L&D in its pursuit of better learning. But digital, in this context, will not help us to make better ‘learning’. Instead, it will help to harness the collective intelligence and know-how of an organisation for the benefit of everybody within it. 

Digital will empower individuals, not just scale programmes. It will enable smarter, collective decision-making — and more reliable ‘doing’. After all, we are all rewarded, in our professional lives by what we do, rather than what we ‘learn’.

This is not to say that learning is not important. It is vitally important for individuals, organisations and economies to thrive. However, we must recognise that the most valuable learning happens whilst doing the work, by being involved and having the confidence to try. Your digital learning strategy will be focused on supporting and guiding confident and competent ‘doing’, in the moment it is required, by addressing friction experienced by employees.

Execution of your digital learning strategy will have you experiment to find the right tools and approaches, so that digital technology can do the hard-work for you. 

And then we, as L&D, will realise the promise of technology: to make things easier, faster, better and cheaper, and finally, we can rise above the administration of our roles and realise our potential too.

Solve real problems and only scale what works. Run an experiment with Looop.

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