31.10.2020

 

One learning format is currently enjoying increasing popularity. It is a short term learning design that can be easily integrated into the daily routine of every person. By leaning on a time slot that is set anyway. The lunch break. With a sandwich or salad, some content and sharing. The Lunch & Learn is ready. And Lunch & Learns, they rock.

Micro Learning is on the move

The days when learning in business was primarily done in a group in the seminar room or alone in front of the computer are gone. Where you had to “cut out” days or hours to learn new things, to get inspiration or to optimize your own behavior. Today learning is different. For example in small bites, so-called Learning Nuggets. Small learning units for in between. They can be “nibbled on” in the process. They are assigned to microlearning, one of the current trends in qualification. Just like the Lunch & Learns, which rock.

Sharing turns out to be the new learning

Another trend that is just beginning to take off is learning through sharing. The sharing of knowledge and experience among people. In your own company or/and beyond your own organization, e.g. in topic communities. The advantage of this “learning format” is that knowledge shared by people who belong to an identical context is usually practical and immediately applicable. In addition, sharing one’s own experiences with interested parties is usually experienced as an appreciation. And this form of learning has yet another advantage: it is free of charge and available in a variety of ways. That rocks. Like Lunch & Learns, by the way, they rock, too.

Not to forget, the Social Workspace Learning

According to the 70:20:10 model, learning today and tomorrow takes place primarily at the workplace and in collaboration. In the ideal case as Social Workspace Learning, i.e. with a focus on social learning, i.e. learning in exchange with others. And that in a timely manner, when learning needs arise. Companies would do well to consider this demand for learning of their employees. And to offer suitable formats. Like Lunch & Learns, for example, which then rock.

Lunch & Learns offer everything in one format

What exactly is this dream format that rocks like that? Well, it’s basically a joint lunch with a guided exchange on a topic. Salmon roll meets super food salad, so to speak. And there is something to that. After all, food is an essential part of this setting. And so is showing what’s on your plate at the moment. Usually this is one of the openers for a Lunch & Learn, especially when it is done virtually. In this format treffen (meet), from three to X are people who belong to an organization or feel connected to a certain topic. around lunchtime, usually for 1-2 hours. Rather shorter than longer. And during this time they exchange ideas on a specific topic or question that is important to everyone. A teaser and/or (several) impulse “lecture” can introduce the topic and a facilitator should set the framework and accompany the group. It is then crucial that those present enter into dialogue with each other and share their voices and views, contribute their experience and hear other perspectives. This is where the design is needed and the “good” questions from the facilitator. Ideally, the exchange takes place in small groups of 3-4 people. This ensures that everyone can make a contribution and thus be heard. The best way is to invite people to the peer work in live format and virtually. At the end there should be a “harvesting“. What was in it for the individual(s)? What can be taken away? What should be tried out?

Lunch & Learns that rock

And here are a few tips from the treasure chest of the facilitator for the Lunch & Learns that rock

  • Short and crisp
  • Opener, where everybody has a say or shows an activity
  • Attractive teaser (video, mini-key note, message from an expert, provocation, etc.)
  • 2-3 sharingrounds with different conversation partners
  • Questions that stimulate a deeper exchange
  • 1-2 energizers
  • Space for harvesting and transfer

Lunch & Learns have an addictive potential. I promise. We at TCJG are happy to share our experience with this format.

22.05.2020 For many, almost 10 weeks of Working@Home are now behind us. Some helpful routines have been formed in the meantime, new tools and efficient working techniques have been learned and the state of emergency has created a strange, new everyday life. And yet now comes a dry spell. This way of working is reaching its limits. Colleagues are missed more, the spatial separation of our life areas is painfully missing. The urge back to the “workplace” is felt everywhere. Just in case it goes on like this for a few more days or weeks or if Working@Home becomes firmly established again: Here are a few tips from companies, freelancers and bloggers on how home office works.

The workplace

“As you’ve made your bed, now you must lie in it,” says the people. This applies not only to the choice of mattress, but also to the choice of a suitable workplace. Depending upon the possibilities of the own home naturally. Ideal is a delimited area with table and ergonomic chair with lateral light and a clean working environment. This prevents distractions. For those who do not have a home office, order helps. Please put away everything that is not needed for working. Sometimes a visual change, such as a cloth, can also help, giving the table a new appearance and the head a new way to switch to work mode. For days when you need special motivation, a small bouquet of flowers or a motivating picture next to the laptop may also help. The phenomenon that the outside can influence the inside and vice versa is not unknown. Everybody knows that in a suit or evening dress you move and behave differently than in a jogging suit. How was it with the control and the jogging pants, dear Karl Lagerfeld? And that brings us straight to the second tip: the clothing.

The clothes

It is best to choose exactly the same clothes that you would wear in the office. Those who usually dress more casually in jeans and polo shirt or sweater will keep that in mind. In other industries, a shirt or blouse may also be appropriate. Shoes can also help to switch to “work mode”. The posture is immediately more upright and the head gets the impulse to switch to “work mode”. Also, one performs better during (many) video conferences.

The structure

Working@Home lacks a spatial structure and a clear separation of living areas. This makes it all the more important to be well organized in terms of time. On some days fixed appointments from outside help, such as video calls, remote workshops, jour-fixed appointments with the boss, team or customers. If this framework is missing, it is a good idea to create a fixed rhythm. Those who have fixed reachability from their company are usually sitting at their desk from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be reached. After that is “end of work”. How meaningful these rules are is debatable. This varies depending on the business model and type of person. After all, there are many studies on the different daily and working rhythms of people. In science, a distinction is made between larks, owls or other types. An added value offered by the home office is certainly to be able to better accommodate individual inclinations. Why not go to the virtual school with the children for an hour in the morning, as is currently required? But then in the evening between 19.00-20.00 o’clock again process the e-mails. Current collaboration platforms provide excellent support for this. It is easy to leave a message there when a person is “on” or “off”.

The breaks

Breaks are especially important in the home office. Various researches have come to the conclusion that breaks are creative and efficient. After about 90 minutes our brain is exhausted and needs a short break. After about 4 hours, a longer break is recommended. The eyes are also grateful for a screen break. Don’t forget to move, another tip – all experts agree on this. Not only that especially people who are on the move in creative professions often describe the phenomenon, the best ideas would come in the shower, during sports or while sleeping. Every person has the natural need to move. With Working@Home and the maximum between the kitchen and bedroom, this can be clearly neglected. Little rituals can help here, such as stretching from the “desk” every time you get up or circling your shoulders after every “call”.

The Mental Hygiene

The right mindset is the key to success, experts today also agree on this. Especially in the home office, self-management, motivation and self-discipline are the decisive success factors. Here it comes again and again to overlapping of the different roles and areas of life. So it’s good to always be clear about what’s coming up and what’s not. What is allowed is what helps. Some people find 5 minutes of morning meditation helpful, others use visualizations, to-do lists or the handwritten marker on the kitchen door. It is recommended to take a short break to realign yourself and to reprioritize if necessary. And above all, to allow yourself to take time off from family and work at home, as well as “doing nothing” just for yourself.

The future of Working@Home

At present, no one can predict how Corona will change our working world. Digitization has already gained momentum. So has creativity, solidarity and openness to New Work. Steve Galveski describes five different stages of remote work on Medium.com. From stage 1 “Non-Deliberate Action” to stage 5 the “Nirvana”, in which the virtual office no longer tries to copy the physical office, but defines its own rules through clever use and thus becomes more productive. Well, we´ll see. In any case, it’s a good idea to take a look at how Working@Home works sustainably. From now on it is part of it.

 

17.04.2020

 

Countless studies show that companies in this country are lagging in digitisation. Above all, the development of digital skills for many people is not progressing as quickly as expected. What is needed now is a speed up. There is a solution: Hybrid Discovery (HD) Workshops from TCJG

There are many offers for the development of digital competence

 It cannot be said that there is a lack of initiatives and concepts or even measures to develop digital literacy. Never has the range of online and face-to-face training courses been as extensive as it is today. Obviously with a continuing upward trend. Today, private individuals can choose from a wide variety of learning formats. Meanwhile, e-learning is becoming more and more clever, with and without gamification elements, videos in explanatory or teaching mode, learning trips in peers with direct access to well-sorted content, hosted on platforms of varying attractiveness. In addition, there are in-house training courses of various kinds, in which digitalisation is still “trained” in live formats. Or one can find really great staged presence Future Learning Labs.

By the way: We have been looking around here and there over the last few months and are happy to share our experiences.

And yet CEOs of companies complain that a sustainable change in the behaviour of many people falls short of expectations and of necessity. In fact, knowledge in the field of digitization is often already available, but it is hardly ever applied.

Let’s think of Corona as an opportunity

The current challenge that is illustrated in connection with “Corona” makes it clear: it would be beneficial for people to be fit in and with digital forms of work. As a result of “Corona”, entire workforces may be forced to work from their home office at short notice. This can go well and minimize the expected economic damage. All that is required is that everyone is suitably qualified and motivated.

In this respect, we can also see “Corona” as an opportunity and driver in the development of digital competence. What could be postponed for a long time now creates a concrete pressure to act. Digital, networked collaboration.

In change management, one would say that the sense of urgency” is now becoming visible. This is one of the success factors for successful change. As a rule, digitalization is defined as a central strategic field in companies today. It can therefore be assumed that a pronounced digital competence also pays off on a powerful vision. A further success factor. Nothing stands in the way of change. Now it is simply a matter of doing the new.

Use the opportunity to speed up digital competence

The time is now to take the implementation of digital work seriously. From the current need to maintain more virtual than F2F contacts, the quick win can now emerge to strengthen the competence of digital working and learning through a targeted offer of suitable and inspiring formats. This initially includes the consistent implementation of well-structured conference calls via Skype, teams, WebEx, GoToMeting or zoom. And certainly, also the increased use of document sharing e.g. via SharePoint or GoogleDrive, should be mentioned here.

However, the TCJG format of the HD (Hybrid Discovery) workshops goes far beyond this. These are 0.5 – 2 day hybrid workshops in the area of Learning & Development. On various topics, such as communication, self-organization, sharing & collaboration and others. In these primarily virtual workshops, presence units are integrated into the participant’s workplace. This format provides for learning and collaboration in a virtual group, but at the same time ensures that social workspace learning takes place in real time. The basics of didactics (sensitization, information, practice/application and transfer) are considered as well as a high experience value and fun factor.

Really good reasons for HD (Hybrid Discovery) workshops

This format cleverly combines the introduction of people to digital tools and their natural application or use. In teams or alternative systems, people simply work. Playful moderation is achieved by changing various tools and these are immediately applied. Whether it is tandem work in a team call, small group work in the break out rooms of zoom or a joint brainstorming using a worksheet in OneNote. To name just a few examples of the MS Office 365 world. Then you don’t need your own MS Office 365 user training anymore. In the workshop the tools are simply used on an ongoing basis.

Not to forget your own mobile phone, which uses a (secure) messenger to control mini work phases or breaks, to deliver work orders or to play back work results from the workplace to the virtual group via audio/video recording.

And this is only the added value in the area of virtual media competence. Above all, it is also worth mentioning the development of the participants’ ability to work collaboratively and to share knowledge or experience at the workplace. By means of these workshops, a contribution can also be made to the development of cross-functional networks or new relationships can be created across silos. Participants are encouraged to set up a space at their workplace where they visualize the results of their work developed in the virtual group. This space remains available after the virtual workshop and serves as a tool for implementing the learning content.

Finally: without much thought or discussion, digital work becomes normal and self-evident with this format. An incidental speed up of digital competence.

What does it take? A laptop, a mobile device and a human being.

We do the rest, or we show you how to do it.

HD Workshops from TCJG – Speed up!

Please feel free to contact us.

 

Learning Journeys are a journey into the world of new learning. They comprehensively reform the personnel and organizational development process and combine many innovative and modern learning concepts of tomorrow – today. We have also embarked on a journey to take a look behind the scenes of the “Learning Journey” format: Come with us!

The first stage of the Learning Journey of learning

Everybody who has pressed the school desk, or the lecture hall knows this: One speaks monotonously and unagitated in the style of a frontally reader and the other listeners find it difficult to follow or even keep their eyes open. The frontal lecture was gradually replaced by a seminar, a workshop or interactive training. However, although interaction and direct participation made time pass faster, a sobering realization remained: only certain competences can be imparted through such formats, they cost a lot of resources and actually only make sense if the entire group of participants starts from scratch (or another common starting point).

In times of fast-moving change and constant adaptation, it was not far from the idea to digitise these formats because of the high commitment of resources. Webinars, podcasts or virtual classroom trainings were expected to increase efficiency in learning – after all, participants no longer had to travel to get in touch with learning. Unfortunately, these concepts soon reached their limits. A lack of individual consideration, external employment, of topic transfer and technical challenges added to the already known difficulties. The problem that curricular learning is only partially effective with heterogeneous levels of knowledge was not tackled in the first place. Not to mention the sustainability of learning.

The alternative route also had its pitfalls

At the same time, the realisation developed that knowledge content and skills in particular do not have to be acquired in presence or interpersonal interaction. e-Learning was born as a virtual brother to the good old textbook. Worldwide and at any time access to the learning content, learning on demand thus. And all you need is access to the internet. Many companies invested horrendous sums to implement their own e-learning concept in their in-house Learning Management System (LMS). Of course, with excitingly prepared and as interactive and multimedia as possible content.

The problem? The laboriously created content is always obsolete and outdated after a short time. In addition, it is often not so easy for employees to find “just in time” and “tailor-made” answers to everyday questions in the e-learning tools. Changes are usually time-consuming and costly, especially if an external service provider is involved. In addition, it quickly made the rounds that knowledge competences are only part of the necessary tools for people – primarily it is also about ability (application competences) and will (attitude competences, the much-quoted mindset). And that is where e-learning has its limits.

What is a Learning Journey now?

A smart combination of the two approaches, digital and analogue learning. And this on a temporary basis, from 12 weeks to 24 months or more, depending on the topic.

The topics can range from a limited field (e.g. “communication”) to a holistic program (e.g. “leadership development”). The concept of the Learning Journey makes it possible to design different learning architectures.

Learning Journeys solve the problem of previous learning by combining the advantages of individual successful formats and principles. These are workplace-based learning journeys that provide individual and multi-method learning nuggets and at the same time enable collaboration with other learners as well as experiential learning. They take into account interindividual differences in knowledge, ability and willingness and accompany learners on their individual learning path in a maximum of self-determination. Thus, they consider fundamental motivation principles.

 

Guide to the next stage of the Journey of Learning

Learning journeys of the current zeitgeist combine personnel and organisational development. What starts with an individual learning path and the development of individual employees can, of course, be rolled out to the entire organisation and has an influence on the working and learning climate, cooperation and networking within the organisation and, of course, on innovation and creativity. And last but not least, the added value of the entire company.

Such a journey follows clear principles. It is subject to a closed time frame, combines several formats in a blended learning approach and is set up as a workspace learning format. Employees should no longer learn instead of working; they should rather learn at work and in their own company. However, this also means being able to learn practical applications, knowledge and certain skills on demand. Learning in itself follows thereby the 70:20:10 principle, which proceeds from the assumption that in approximately

– 70% of our learning through own experiences through challenges and tasks

– 20% of our learning through exchange and collaboration and advice from others

– and 10% of our learning takes place through classical further education and training measures.

The different learning levels can be translated to different components of Learning Journeys. Jennings and Wargnier already suggested ways to apply this in their further development of the 70:20:10 approach.

These principles apply to the learning of the individual as well as to the learning of the organisation.

 

How exactly does a Learning Journey look like?

Ideally, a Learning Journey starts with a “kick-off” and ends with a “final event”. After all, achievements must be “celebrated”, online or offline. Within this framework, the development path for gaining learning experience at the workplace is accompanied by Community Learning as well as on- and off-site workshops. Collaborative learning takes place throughout the learning group and in peer groups. Virtual or live. Supported by small learning assignments and the provision of user-generated content. Learning experience is also acquired through e-learning content, practical projects at the workplace or, for example, excursions. Ideally, learners can decide for themselves which nuggets they want to work on and when. The individual learning experience can optionally be reflected by process-accompanying coaching. The duration of a Journey can be individually arranged. From 12 weeks with regular sprints, as is known from “Working out Loud“, to qualification trips lasting several years.

Especially compact journeys of 12 weeks have proven their worth.

And in “real” …

In theory, this sounds like a holistic and promising approach. But what can such learning journeys look like in practice?

Here are three examples:

Leadership & Management

The “Leadership & Management Programme” is an international qualification for middle management in stationary retail in the premium segment, which addresses classical and future competencies. It is a pioneer of new learning and working, which follows the principle 70:20:10 and shapes the development of a new learning culture by means of forward-looking learning formats.

Based on a competence analysis, an individual learning path (Learner Journey) is mapped for each participant, which essentially extends over approximately 24 months. Individual learning nuggets developed by the customer for this target group are available for the development of each competence. These can be worked on independently “on demand” and the acquisition of competence is proven promptly (mini test). Learning content is processed using innovative formats. These include community learning, virtual coaching, workspace learning (e-learning, practical projects), virtual classroom training and presence workshops. The Learning Journey starts with a future conference and a development centre, is mapped via a credit point system and ends with a graduation event. Each participant then remains a member of the leadership community, which functions as a supporting pillar of the Learning Organization.

Multipliers Fitness

Multipliers are people who pass on knowledge to others in the company. With their help all participants of a company can be reached when it comes to “Future Fitness”. But first the multipliers must achieve “Future Readiness”.

And this is how it works, for example:

The Community Learning Platform provides participants with initial information about the program. They then take part in a three-day on-site workshop, a discovery centre to determine their individual qualification needs, receive individual feedback and complete their first learning nuggets. The learners then embark on their individual learning path, which consists of self-directed learning units flanked by virtual classroom training and, on demand, on-site workshops. At the same time, each multiplier develops its own case with a qualification unit containing innovative media and formats and iterated with the peer group. The final part is a two-day future workshop with a deep dive into innovative qualification formats and a training centre in which the individual cases are “tested”.

What Learning Journeys can do

Learning Journeys can help to transform a company into a Learning Organization. They inspire collaboration and exchange as well as cross-departmental and interdisciplinary networking. They are clearly more than highly effective learning, development and qualification measures. The implementation of Learning Journeys lays the foundation for a new learning culture within the organization. They act as a grassroots movement of knowledge sharing through collaboration and user-generated content.

This enables the entire organisation to be innovative, creative and able to connect to the challenges of the future.

 

Virtual coaching claims an increasingly important role in the context of modern qualification concepts. Why is coaching so important in tomorrow’s learning? Does coaching over the telephone or the Internet have any effect and if so, how does it work?

The learning of the future – different formats and methods

The demands on modern and innovative learning concepts are enormous. A wide range of skills needs to be developed in a varied and efficient way. At best, the learning formats should be effective, sustainable and up-to-date. In addition to increasing knowledge, the focus is and will be on developing mindsets or attitudes and sustained learning transfer. Working on our own attitudes is rather difficult, as this requires actively working on some of our deep convictions.

Each learning format has a different focus. E-learning primarily addresses the development of knowledge competencies. Classical classroom workshops or trainings focus more on the application of knowledge. Community learning is intended to ensure that knowledge is shared more effectively within the group and that an exchange of experience and collegial supervision take place. It makes a significant contribution to ensuring the transfer and integration of what has been learned into everyday life.

Aim and effectiveness of e-Coaching

And what is the significance of (virtual) coaching? It is the ideal format to activate the volition of a learner. But it is about more than just motivation. Coaching can develop personality, stimulate self-reflection or encourage a change of attitude. It is also an excellent choice for flexible learning support.

As part of Future Learning , coaching usually takes place virtually, i.e. via telephone or video conference. Thus, compact coaching sessions offer a way to maintain an ongoing coaching schedule over time regardless of distance, eliminating the need to travel. This makes virtual coaching extremely time and cost efficient. This, in turn, facilitates real long-term support for any learner.

Is virtual coaching effective at all? We have known for some time that coaching in itself is effective (Grover & Furnham, 2016). Also virtual or telephone coaching has an effect. According to current studies, there are no significant deviations compared to live coaching (Jones, Woods & Guillaume, 2015).

So it is no small wonder that this qualification format is more and more en vogue.

Fields of application and effect mechanisms of online coaching

When can virtual coaching be used?

It is always the format of choice when the focus is on supporting qualification programmes that are designed for the longer term development of individual learners. As this case shows, the coach acts as a link between the learner and his learning progress. It is the go-to method when learner and coach are spatially separated and regular live sessions cannot be realised.

In principle, coaching, even in virtual format, can be applied to these topics:

  • Process monitoring and process reflection
  • Target definition and target-process evaluation
  • Self-reflection and reflection on content
  • Review of competences and learning objectives
  • Development of learning successes and fields of development
  • Introduction of, implementation of and support for exercises
  • Personality development
  • Mindset Change, work on attitude and volition

Virtual coaching has a similar effect as a face-to-face format. Through the working relationship, empathy, esteem and increasing trust, learners can usually get involved with the content and development steps can be experienced. Structuring the process, asking questions and discussing exercises, goals or own topics leads to reflection and a deeper processing. The resources of the learners are usually strengthened. In addition, positive effects on a variety of psychological factors such as self-efficacy can be demonstrated.

Virtual coaching has proven to be particularly beneficial when coach and coachèe meet in person at the beginning. Although this is not absolutely necessary for the success of the coaching, it is certainly an excellent support.

Of essential importance is that the coach is experienced or suitably qualified in virtual work. Implementing coaching effectively via computers is an art of its own that needs to be practiced. After all, two levels of communication are severely restricted, body language and mood/atmosphere. This means that the linguistic design of the process is of even greater importance, as is the case in coaching anyway.

Virtual coaching – the heart of Future Learning

The importance of coaching for FutureLlearning will certainly continue to grow as it supports learners in two different ways:

  • Continuous monitoring of the individual learning process: In regular “coach calls” learners can clarify questions, structure their individual development process or check competence development. In a digitalised programme, coaching takes over what digitalised tests, artificial intelligence or e-learning cannot yet do.
  • Personal accompaniment of the human being: However, in an optimally designed and efficient qualification programme, people usually seek personal relationships and contact. Reflection and appreciation can hardly be experienced through the web. This social part of the development work can only take place in a person to person connection.

Virtual coaching thus combines economy and efficiency with the human component in the learning of the future. Attitudes and mindsets can thus be successfully addressed and developed.

Also worth reading in this context could be our Blog Coaching – a powerful instrument of individual change.

This blog was written by Nicklas Kinder, who is currently writing his dissertation on the topic “Coaching” at the University of Salzburg.