The Magnificent 7

Thriving in the 4th industrial revolution

Does your team have what it takes?

A recent Opinion article published in the People Management Magazine explored the ‘7 skills’ L&D professionals need to thrive in the 4th Industrial Revolution. They were:

  • The ability to conduct in-industry learning needs analysis
  •  Setting learning objectives for the learning facilitator and matching them to learner objectives
  •  Designing learning events for the specific learning target populations, including Socratic methods that enable integration with the individual learner’s previous knowledge and skills, and using social learning
  • Presentation skills, including PowerPoint and video
  •  Group and individual simulations using methods such as Kolb’s four-stage method
  • Using Skinnerian methods to reinforce learning
  •  Using the 70:20:10 principle to move and reinforce the off-the-job learning to on-the-job learning

As a team which relies on it’s expertise it was time for a quick skills audit. Did we, the Knowledgepool Consultancy and Design Team, have those skills? Or did we have the capacity to rapidly develop them? In summary we’re pleased to report that we do, on both counts. And we would raise PM’s 7 and propose an extra two: Commercial Awareness and Innovation Mindset.

Certainly L&D professionals have always required a basic set of skills to create impactful and effective learning. But our clientele is evolving. Learner time is increasingly at a premium and our on-demand culture shortens attention spans and patience L&D is under serious pressure to deliver innovatively. Acute consideration to the internal (micro) environment alongside a thorough understanding of different learning modalities – including digital media is therefore required. L&D should be all knowing, or have a very well developed go to network of specialist providers on hand!

‘We would raise Johnson’s 7 and propose an extra two: Commercial Awareness and Innovation Mindset.’

Some of the identified skills are waiting to be developed in the current workforce, just lying dormant waiting to be brought to the fore. L&D leaders will be negligent if they don’t develop those latent skills within the valuable resource they have already working with them.

Upskilling in busy teams with limited budgets brings it’s own challenges. It often requires significant innovation! Often the path of least resistance is to ‘recruit in’ all the new skills and what waste of time and energy and money that will be. To be effective L&D teams need to practice what they preach – creating time and space for personal development, effectively using coaching and mentoring, encouraging learners to curate their own resources. L&D professionals need to be as passionate about their own development as they are for their client’s.

The Knowledgepool Consultancy & Design team are just that. We are driven by our delivery mindset and we can demonstrate application of each of the 7 (plus 2) skills across several organisations and sectors. Let us show you how.

The ability to conduct in-industry learning needs analysis

With experience across private and public sector organisations from fire services to financial services, we have TNA covered. We follow a bespoke Knowledgepool TNA methodology to ensure consistency in approach and quality of output.

Setting learning objectives for the learning facilitator and matching them to learner objectives

This is best practice for all our delivery, learner experience is at the heart of our delivery principles.

Designing learning events for the specific learning target populations, including Socratic methods that enable integration with the individual learner’s previous knowledge and skills, and using social learning

We apply the adult learning principles to everything we do. Our social learning interventions are part of learning paths developed for several clients across private and public sector organisations.Our clientele is also more subject to external market forces. As we (slowly) approach Brexit it is important to consider the external (macroeconomic) context we are operating in.

While currently in a state of flux, we may well enter a brave new world of international trade requiring companies to focus on the acquisition of new knowledge and the development of new skills. We are also entering a new world of workforce dynamics; robotics and AI are well established in some markets and offer huge opportunity for others. To maintain our place at the top table as trusted advisors, it is critical for L&D professionals to understand the forces acting on corporates, their leaders and therefore their workforces outside of their four HQ walls.

Presentation skills, including PowerPoint and video

We deliver with passion and expertise with contemporary content and dynamic presentations. We practice internally and are always open to constructive feedback.

Group and individual simulations using methods such as Kolb’s four-stage method

If a model has value we know it and use it. Kolb’s method is woven in to our design methodology.

Using Skinnerian methods to reinforce learning

Although we won’t teach pigeons to play ping pong we will ensure that good learning and the application of learning is rewarded through our tailored programmes.

Using the 70:20:10 principle to move and reinforce the off-the-job learning to on-the-job learning

We were all early adopters of the 70:20:10 principle and have hands on experience of developing programmes. We can advise and deliver coaching solutions and provide support for the implementation of a social platform.

While we take the ‘Magnificent 7’ skills to thrive as a given, our value add as a team can be shown in the application of our two ‘bonus’ skills: Commercial Awareness and Innovation Mindset.

Commercial Awareness

Our team take pride in understanding the macro environment our clients operate in. Conducting PESTLE and SWOT analysis is a required input to our proprietary performance consulting methodology. understanding the market context adds value and often longevity to the solutions we deliver.

Innovation Mindset

The ‘we’ve always done it this way’ excuse just doesn’t cut the mustard in this demanding and VUCA environment. New media, new methods, new objectives are needed to meet the expectations of our learners and our wider stakeholders. This doesn’t mean we go digital-only or gamify everything, we can be innovative in a traditional classroom setting. Our audience is constantly evolving, we always need to be one step ahead.

Summary

We are confident we own the 7 skills and can demonstrate our value add through the ‘plus 2’. We shan’t be sitting on our laurels though, we’ll be searching out more skills we need to remain our client’s go to advisors.

If you are interested in Knowledgepool’s Consultancy & Design capability please speak to your Client Team or contact Alexandra Hopkins, Rachel Kuftinoff or Charlotte Wolfe-Jessop.

“Although we won’t teach pigeons to play ping pong we will ensure that good learning and the application of learning is rewarded through our tailored programmes.”