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Digital Disruption and the World of Learning and Development

05 Sep 09:00 by Fiona McKay

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Digital disruption has changed the way we work and learn. Technology moves forward so quickly – every eighteen months computers double their processing capabilities – and while it offers us unlimited opportunities to learn and develop within a business environment there are still some areas which need a more personal approach.


Digital disruption and learning

Digital disruption can stimulate learning and create new ways of thinking about value creation. It can offer us the opportunity to learn in new ways and create learning and development experiences which can be tailored to the individual’s learning style and desired outcomes. It is particularly effective for routine and frequently-occurring CPD learning such as Health and Safety or other legislative compliance requirements which can be delivered on an e-platform in a simple and accessible manner to offer accelerated and highly-effective learning.


Leadership training

Grasping the handle of the massive amount of digital disruption in today’s complex work environment means changing how we do business and create new jobs. The technology is there to assist us and create opportunities to prosper. However, some training, particularly leadership training, must be done face-to-face rather than via a portal in order to break down any unhealthy power dynamics that may exist in the workplace. 


Albert Einstein once said, “The only source of knowledge is experience”. This is particularly true in industry and commerce, where leadership training must be based on a solid foundation of experience. It’s essential that potential leaders, be they supervisors or line managers, learn within their role, not on a separate or virtual platform. This is where the opportunities to lead must be taken, whether that’s in finance, HR or some other vital function. And for those willing to seek out leadership opportunities, the experience they gain in their daily activities will stand them in good stead in the future.


For these reasons, leadership behaviour cannot be taught digitally. Iterative learning, in which participants are invited to reflect, revise and respond, is vital in order to understand the connection between the theory and the practical, but cannot be done online. In order to develop leadership behaviours such as the setting of strategies and priorities, the establishment of a corporate vision and mission and the creation of a customer-focused culture, leaders must engage with professional trainers on a personal basis.


The outcomes of such individualised training can include the capability to inspire and motivate others within the workplace, the potential to develop a strategic perspective, the opportunity to collaborate effectively to drive results and the courage to strive for honesty and integrity, none of which can be achieved via a screen.