Looking for the AND: Support the Learners of Today OR Tomorrow

Lately, I find myself in many conversations that lead to two choices. The natural response is that you must choose one OR the other. Neither choice by itself seem to completely solve the problem and I've been left feeling perplexed. I find myself challenging the choices before me and have been exploring the AND.

Most recently, I've been engaged with several learning professionals as we explore solutions to meet the needs of their firm. Their current population is very diverse in culture, skill set, age and experience. We find ourselves in a time where workplace learning is shifting and is impacted by the transformation of technology and cultural shifts. Constant innovation and disruption are now the new normal and I don’t anticipate this will stop anytime soon. We serve a population of both digital natives and digital immigrants with workflows that are quickly evolving and the emphasis on efficiencies is more important than ever. Law firms are beginning to realize the importance of establishing a culture of learning and leadership recognizes that learning is a key competitive advantage.

Consider the technological and cultural shifts of the past few years:

  • Swift adoption of mobile devices facilitate access to information needed quickly, often outside of training involvement.
  • Software as a Service (SAAS) empowers ease of collaboration outside of the workplace since many applications and services are housed in the cloud.
  • Learner-centric systems like Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) promote the sharing of knowledge, content, and ideas making it easier to get the answers needed.
  • Learning as an intervention is inadequate is now being realized by training departments.
  • Informal learning is vital and learning professionals realize it should be promoted.

With these dramatic changes, we recognize traditional legal learning programs are ineffective and must be revamped to accommodate for the changing world around us. In doing so, we must be sensitive to the very diverse needs of those we support. This leads me to the question, "How do we design a legal learning program that meets the needs of learners today AND supports the learning needs of tomorrow?"

I would love to hear your perspective on this topic. Feel free to leave comments below or email me directly. Looking for the AND… Eileen

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