Top Capabilities Trends in 2020

New technology and AI are changing the nature of work. Millennials are influencing working patterns and workplace development. Many businesses are investing more to upskill and reskill their people.

“Choose people for your team who are open to learning and measurement and who will choose to improve and evolve. Average is over.”

Michael Schrage

The top five trends in Learning & Development are…

1. Technology & AI investment supercharging learning.

AI is rapidly being adopted across many functions within businesses from intelligent forecasting systems in Supply Chain to text analytics in consumer insights for Marketing and AI recruitment screening in HR.

Opportunity for L&D.

        • New technologies for L&D are creating enhanced learning platforms, chat-bot coaching, Netflix-style content recommendations for learners, internal networking platforms, like mentoring app Ellen, and data-driven learning evaluation.
        • Increased need to upskill and reskill people to ensure businesses can make the most of their tech investments.

2. Create data literacy not data paralysis.

The explosion in the quantity and complexity of data available means people in all functions need to be comfortable using an overwhelming amount of data to make faster and better decisions and to understand the rules that govern it’s ethical use.

Opportunity for L&D.

        • Key skill will be storytelling with data, getting beyond the numbers to make more intelligent and creative decisions.
        • L&D teams are uniquely placed to explore their own people data and to identify the data talent gap in their business.
        • Investment in on and offline learning solutions is required to manage the data skills gap and to increase data literacy including in L&D teams.

3. Build human skills for machine collaboration.

The growth of workplace technology is creating a corresponding increase in demand for ‘uniquely human’ skills like dynamic creativity, critical thinking, communication skills, emotional intelligence and storytelling.

Opportunity for L&D.

        • Human skills require different learning solutions which include practice and reflection in order to build new capabilities at both an individual and organisational level.
        • Augmented and virtual reality training can create practice opportunities soft skills.
        • People are not just employees they have interests, expertise and talents beyond their role at work that can be developed.

4. Continuous learning- the new normal.

The speed of change today means that employers need to create a culture of continuous learning, upskilling and reskilling people to prepare them for the future.

Opportunity for L&D.

        • Create a positive learning culture within their organisations that focuses on a growth mindset and a holistic approach to personal and professional development.
        • A business’s commitment to continuous learning and self development can play a strong role in the recruitment and retention of key talent.
        • Senior teams need to be invested in on-going learning and actively supporting people throughout their learning journeys.

5. Bend to the need of the flexible workforce.

One third of the US workforce is now freelance, two fifths of people in the UK have a ‘side hustle’ and a survey in the UK found 92% of millennials say flexibility is a top priority when looking for a new job. This new workforce wants to work in different ways and values personal development more highly than previous generations.

Opportunity for L&D.

        • Fast-format on-demand learning is natural for digital natives who have grown up using YouTube and other platforms to learn new things.
        • With more deskless and remote workers there is less access to social learning (the important 20 in the 70/20/10 learning model) i.e. learning from peers and mentors. New platforms like Ellen and Kronos from IBM create networks for mentors inside and outside their organisations.