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For some time now, the minds have been divided when we look into the future. Who or what will make the race? Machine or human? Or to put it better: if the machine, if digitalization takes its place – where will the human be? What remains of the human being? Where is his sweet spot?
Well, if human, then humane.

Digital determines the frame

The inspiration for this somewhat different case came from a recent experience. It was about a virtual pitch. A new external partner in the area of leadership development was to be acquired. In COVID 19 times such sessions are done remotely. And that has certainly its advantages. Especially in the scalability. More stakeholders can get an impression in less time. The decision is based on a broader data basis. A clear point win for digitization.

In the pitch, eight representatives from the client side were in the conference call. There were two of us: more participants seemed inappropriate for the short time frame. Everyone should have their own room – especially the potential customer.
A small window on the PC shared by ten people and a slide.

Remote and human

Meanwhile it is familiar to us, the calls with the 2-150 participants in their little windows. And yet these encounters are foreign to us as a result of our socialization. Especially in this new pitch application.
How should one behave there? When do you say what? What exactly do you say? What do you do when you don’t say anything?
First, you have to find your place in the machine. Until then, it is probably best to remain “neutral”.
With the conclusion: 10 static images meet. At the presenter a slide faces a human being. And 9 watch. Few people, a lot remote.

Communication in virtual space

One would not describe this as human. Something is missing. When communicating in virtual space, the atmosphere in the room is already missing due to the remote situation. If the communication channel “body language” is closed now, we are already quite close to machine language. And somehow it doesn’t really jump over. Nothing is created, except data transmission. In the case of a dialog, there may be mutual data transmission.

And the human being…

None of this really does justice to him. Deep down, he is insecure. He is missing something. The “nuances”, the reading of facial expressions and gestures and the interaction directed towards them. The magic that can arise from interaction and the appreciation that is felt when a reaction to self-expression takes place.
That would be human. According to the human being. If human, then humane. A member of the said pitch has done just that. Sometimes smiled, then pointed his thumb up or shook his head once. How wonderful. A feedback.

If human, then humane

The named pitch showed what characterizes our time. Indeed, this kind of interpersonal encounter cannot only be described in virtual space. There are several cases, also in direct contact, where we humans are next to each other instead of with each other. Where there is simply no reaction to emotional statements. Where neither body language nor the word is apparent.
That is digital, factual and neutral.

If it is to be alive, moving and emotional and thus human, which does justice to the human being, then it would be advisable to check and align your own mindset.

In which attitude do you enter into (virtual) contact with the other person? What is good for the other person/system? What promotes the development of the highest potential in the situation? What can one contribute oneself to make a spatially and/or objectively distanced process “human”? How can one’s own liveliness be expressed?

From the passive attendee to the active co-creator. This does justice to the human being. If human, then humane.

You shape the future.
With us it works well.
From person to person.

 

08.09.2020

New learning primarily challenges those that teach today.

As the OECD Pisa-Study 2018 concludes, students are only as good as their teachers. And in this case, what applies to teaching students can also be transferred to HR Learning & Development.

Internal qualification experts such as trainers and HR developers are a decisive target group. As multipliers they are effectively building the skills of staff while acting as guides for current changes.

Our case illustrates how to transform a conventional train-the-trainer programme into a modern, forward-looking qualification approach.

Neue New Teachers, New Learning
Formats

A premium automotive manufacturer finds itself confronted with various L&OD challenges. There is, for example, the central requirement to quickly prepare the workforce for the digital future.

Internal trainers and HR developers are experienced and well trained, but most of them still use the same methods as 20 years ago. They, themselves, have a considerable need for development when it comes to new learning.

At the same time, the outlined change creates an increasing learning pressure, requiring the timely implementation of new teachers and qualification format.

Obviously, the manufacturer is not alone in this challenge. Well-qualified trainers with experience in “future learning” are a rare find on the current market. Those that are newly recruited for this role therefore demonstrate a broad range of different skills and show a wide variety of development needs.

How “teaching” has been taught so far

Our client’s previous Train-the-Trainer programme was designed as a classic “one-size-fits-all” curriculum. Developed many years ago, it comprised several classroom modules and accompanying self-learning units in PDF format. The programme is representative for a traditional understanding of “blended learning” containing all things relevant for the qualification of this target group: brand, company, role, methodology, didactics and application.

Over the time, the programme had grown to twelve (12!) classroom days and has always been identical for each participant.

From curriculum to adaptive concept, from teacher to learning guide

The architecture for this contemporary “Train-the-Trainer” programme was influenced by two central considerations: How does a qualification concept for the future look which meets the above challenges and requirements in equal measure? And how is the role of the learning guide of the future defined?

It quickly became clear that a new version of the programme needed to be designed to adapt to individual qualification needs while considering a variety of prerequisites. It was therefore built as an adaptive qualification concept that can map individual learning paths. Content is segmented in micro-teaching units and can be accessed individually.

Of course, new learning is at the centre of meeting future qualification needs. Virtual learning modules, community learning, workspace learning and virtual learning support make up the majority of the programme. Where live training adds the highest value, classroom modules are complementing the course. Here, too, new designs and methods are used to strengthen learner’s self-efficacy.

We could also say: New Learning is learned through New Learning – by the new “trainer”. In the future, this trainer will be more of a learning companion who supports individual learning at the workplace and assists the learner in shaping his or her own learning path. This is fostered by feedback and by purposeful questions, or by individually arranged exercises.

In this way, learners develop into learning designers and co-moderators of their own qualification – and, thus, from trainer to enabler.

Qualification in tomorrow’s zeitgeist

The conception and coordination phase took place in several iteration loops with the customer and began with facing several pending decisions: Which competence model will be used and how will it be operationalized? Which resources are used to make implementation as lean as possible?

The overall concept follows the competence model of ability (transfer into application or action), knowledge and attitude (motivation/ mindset) and provides learning nuggets for the development of all competences. First, the learner explores his own learning fields in a development centre to then design his individual learner journey based on this experience.

Following the 70-20-10 approach of “Future Learning”, live workshops and small modularized knowledge bits are available virtually and on the job. Mandatory modules are combined with “on demand” offers. Throughout the programme, learners take part in community learning. Regular blogs and small tasks promote learning and exchange in different group sizes and compositions. They ensure learning transfer and enable the mutual exchange of experiences and support.

Specific skills, such as methodology and didactics, are taught in accompanying virtual classroom training sessions. With a learning guide as a sparring partner, the learner carries out an individual project enabling him to apply and test what he learned.

The good old “certification” at the end of the programme is a classroom event. It is somehow the tribute that is still “paid” to the old world. But that also makes sense – and certainly makes you proud. The event is combined with a future workshop and marks the final shift to new learning.

Because here, we are also talking about a change in learning culture …

Learners start with a virtual information phase before the actual start of the programme. This creates transparency in communication and an understanding of the new learning process. The participants get to know Community Learning right from the start.

This is the current status quo of the programme.

The first virtual tasks of the now following pre-phase make learners more familiar with this new learning format and prepare them for the live kick-off event.

Parallel to the information phase, details are currently being sketched out. Here, too, there is close coordination and iteration with the customer. So the journey has just begun.

Quite exciting.
Our customer is shaping the future – and we’re the right partner.