Part 1: Failing spectacularly makes for rapid learning
Having recently read about the new Oxford University vaccine, it was deeply encouraging to learn how Britain’s wealthiest academic institution accidentally stumbled across their solution. Yes, rather than it being a fundamental part, of a meticulously planned scientific test, the vaccine appears to have been discovered by error. Good ol’ classic human error!
Whether it is a driving test (ahem a few times…shame emoji), or an exam, not giving up is a sign of incredible resilience. When I reflect on our learners today, be they K12 pupils, students in Higher Education, or reskilling adults and what they have been through this year, I can only salute and admire their tenacity and drive to keep on keeping on. Even in the grimmest of circumstances. A year when the word ‘social’, became synonymous with leper, and peer-based, or group-led, community-centred learning was confined behind pixels.
Speaking more broadly, one thing I admire about the Higher Education sector is its ability to embrace failure and adapt to learn. The academic sector's flexibility, and ongoing commitment to continuous improvement, using community-driven processes and peer-review methods.
So, as we all stumble out of 2020 like bedraggled Armageddon escapees, knackered but not defeated. The critical Human Factor for me has been resolve, or will, as it is commonly known. Once you crack the empowerment code, coupled with your desire to improve, it becomes imperative to get back on the horse, mule, or your public transportation vessel of choice. We must all now find the resolve to keep learning, keep improving and continue educating ourselves to grow, that is what this year has been all about.
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As much as I love Christmas, I hate January. For me, January is the most difficult month of the year – oh hi January blues, long time no see… Do you know that feeling? If not, then you can count yourself as lucky. January blues is a form of depression that some people feel after the magic of Christmas and holidays come to an end. Its secret ingredients: A lack of motivation, exhaustion, melancholy, and excess of melatonin.
How we live now
Regardless of the latest restrictions and the challenges that lie ahead, there is now light at the end of the tunnel. Albeit a light that comes in and out of focus for many. There is now a future where we can start to heal, to unite, renew and to plan for a more certain outlook. If 2020 taught us one thing, it was to expect the unexpected – to be prepared to change, adapt at a moment’s notice. A quality I am sure we did not know we needed to possess as critically as we do now. This has been equally applicable for organisations as it has for individuals – with business plans and personal goals alike upturned and forward planning a challenge. What has this, perhaps necessary, blip in the history of the world taught us? What do we want the post-COVID working world to feel like? Are there elements of how we live now, that we want to continue with?
Keeping it on the DL - Guest Speaker LPI Chairman Donald H Taylor
Shall we jump right in? Are L&D teams relevant anymore? Given the steer towards customised, personalised learning do you still need an L&D team. Well, we are walking into this vlog with a bang. It is a crucial question and the elephant in the room that we should all be asking ourselves. LPI Chairman and Guest Speaker for this month’s vlog Donald H Taylor cleverly approaches this question. So, the answer is yes and no. Unfortunately, you cannot measure learning, but most learning takes place outside what L&D does. We live in a world where people can increasingly access information themselves and there are so many options on the market that it is no longer sufficient to just rely on L&D functions. L&D needs to adjust to this new world and as we have experienced previously, they are not the sole gatekeepers to knowledge anymore. However, they can make themselves an essential cog in the machine. The scope of what L&D should be doing has increased and it needs to adapt so it can help individuals reach their potential. Let’s face facts, Covid-19 has given people the time and determination to take up learning on their own. Upskilling was already a huge priority pressing on people’s minds prior to 2020 and as we move to a remote world, online learning is not only essential but the default option.