Modern Learning: What it means for L&D

This page lists 10 key aspects of Modern Learning and their implications for L&D. Links are provided to further pages and chapters in this book which discuss them in more depth.

1 –  Build a continuous learning mindset or culture

Continuous learning is a business imperative, so L&D will need to work with senior managers to help them understand what this means – i.e. not just providing continuous training, but by enabling supporting new two ways of learning: Learning by Working and Continuous Self-Learning.

2 – Help managers be more like coaches than bosses and help individuals “manage up”

The key to continuous learning lies with managers, and the first thing they need to ensure is that they have a supportive working relationship with their team members building a growth mindset and providing useful regular feedback. But effective relationships are a two-way street, so individuals will also need to manage their bosses! [See section: Build effective relationships at work]

3 – Help managers promote and support individual and collective reflection

We don’t learn from experience but by reflecting on experience. Individuals need to take some time to reflect on their daily work experiences and what they have learned from them (in the way that suits them best) but managers need to provide the opportunity and space to share key learning experiences with other members of their team, [See section Support reflective practices at work]

4 – Help managers build a knowledge sharing culture

In fact, sharing resources and experiences needs to be an integral part of daily work. Whilst much of this might take place through conversations and other informal settings, a social collaboration platform (like Slack or MS Teams) is very useful as a way of underpinning team knowledge sharing. Effective use of such a platform takes time to develop. [See section Help managers build a knowledge sharing culture]

5 – Help managers provide developmental activities on the job

Learning by doing is not just about doing the day job, but coming out of one’s comfort zone and taking on assignments that stretch an individual and help them to acquire new skills and knowledge. Managers can help provide such projects as well as conduct their own on-the-job and team building activities [See chapter Help managers develop their own people]

6 – Help managers promote self-learning

In order to demonstrate the importance of continuous learning, managers need to role model the behaviour that they expect of their team members, they need to foster “learnability” or “learning agility”, and they need to provide the time and space for individuals to self-learn. [See chapter: Help managers enable self-learning]

7 – Help individuals become self-reliant and self-sufficient

Individuals need to understand the rationale for taking charge of their own continuous self-improvement and self-development and not be reliant on being spoon-fed everything they need. [See page What continuous learning means for individuals] For those who are self-sufficient, managers and L&D need to get out of their way and simply provide support when they ask for it, perhaps in the form of a Learning Concierge service [see page A Learning Concierge service]

8 – Help Individuals establish a daily self-learning habit

Some individuals will need help organising and managing their self-learning. They may need help to identify what they need to do to self-improve and/or self-develop, and how they might do this in the most appropriate way for them, how to keep track of what they learn, and evidence their achievements. [See section: Encourage daily learning]

9 – Help individuals discover the wide world of learning that is open to them

Rather than just promoting company learning resources, individuals should be exposed to the wider opportunities available to them on the Web and other places outside the organisation [See  Encourage daily learning]

10 – Help individuals acquire modern learning skills

A key aspect of establishing a daily self-learning habit will be developing modern learning skills, like avoiding information overload and FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), as well as “connecting the dots” of what has been found. [See Encourage daily learning]

L&D role

L&D’s role here is as a Modern Learning Advisor. This role does not involve designing, delivering and managing training content  but is a wider role empowering, enabling and supporting learning in all its forms. It is a supportive, advisorial and consultative role in the organisation. On the next page we look at the 3 stages of this role.


> Role of the Modern Learning Advisor

Last updated: June 13, 2019 at 7:28 am