Training Magazine Middle East Q3 2015 - Page 26

BY DEBBIE NICOL

THE NEW GENERATION'S

LEARNING AGENDA

COLUMN - Spotlight On Change

Change is successful when people behave or work differently. Much learning is about creating and measuring a desired change in behavior, an agenda often reserved for learners. So why should this only apply to learners? If it’s good for the goose, shouldn’t it be good for the gander also? A new generation of learners certainly thinks so, and even has some criteria in mind for the learning and training profession to apply.

Learning in general

The new generation demand relative freedom when it comes to learning. To ensure the over-used Gen X and Y argument does not rear its head again, the words ‘relative freedom’ must be clarified here. It refers to:

Differentiation between compliance and developmental learning

The new generation do not have a bad attitude to learning. When reasons are clear for the need for ‘one way and one way only’ to behave, which often applies to issues of safety and security, the new generation will understand and willingly comply. It is possible that they would like to receive the rules in new formats that can be referred to at any time anywhere, in bite-size chunks, yet they will accept to interact with the stringent and lifeless content. They do however prioritize relative freedom with all other training and development areas.

Individual application of relevance

The new generation are masters of their own destiny; they see things in ways that many experienced in the facilitation of learning do not. They make meaning by trialling content and techniques in differing contexts and environments. They resist when informed no to do so, as the freedom of application itself has breadth and depth in their mind. Relevance will only be relevant if they deem so.

Connection with the mode

The new generation of learners must feel connected before they believe, and measure this connection against an ever-evolving set of criteria. They must feel connected to the modes. One may be a person who facilitates – if credibility doesn’t exist, engagement won't happen; they’ll simply walk away to discover another in the quest for better learning. The mode may be an electronic format; when a better, faster, more relevant mode emerges and bridges more appropriate outcomes, they will migrate with ease. The mode may be the framework or context that surrounds the learning. If this is unstable, inflexible or deemed to serve old ways of learning, the new generation will find it difficult to commit! Contrary to public opinion, they do value experience, yet find ways to translate it into today’s needs rather than use it as a foundation.

26 | TRAINING MAGAZINE MIDDLE EAST Q3 2015