Two days in London to meet people interested in the influence of technology on learning, work and live. I was very much looking forward to it. Curious who to meet and… What new stories to hear?

Peer to peer learning will become more and more effective in organisations. We should connect people ready to teach with people ready to learn. This is where the buzz will happen. This requires a coaching and curator role for L&D.

Jeff Tumer works for Facebook..

Jeff has 1376 friends: “most of my facebook friends are my colleagues. Lots of people keep work and private separate. I would like to challenge that.”

Core principes within Facebook as a company:

  • Everything is about impact
  • Move fast
  • Be bold, make mistakes
  • Be open, open to feedback, to new things
  • Build social value and trust; help people to make a difference

One of the core principles is authenticity: the ability to be your authentic self. This is what Facebook offers, according to Jeff.


What makes teams effective?

How does your company deal with change? Succesful teams see constant change as a challenge and the opportunity to learn. These teams are constantly failing. This lead to conflicts, which made these teams constantly think about new steps, solutions.  Effective teams were rather diverse, but the team members shared common values. Although they found it difficult to make these values explicit. All teams talked about strengths: what are you passionate about? Then the magic can happen. And the big one.. “I trusted you!!”. The bottom foundation is trust: they shared goals, although these goals were changing constantly. And the last principle that made these teams work is the ability to adapt itself.

And of course.. Jeff believes in the value of Facebook, the product 🙂 He says “I know how people feel, what is happening in their lives, and I take that with my in collaborating with my colleagues.” This is about ‘network performance’. And I do join him in this idea. Whether it is facebook or another social platform.. I do think that our collaboration becomes more succesful when we are connected in different way. Not only on the content, but also on the personal side.

What does this all mean for the future of L&D?

What do we have ahead? Big Data, Learning Analytics, uber-isation, machine learning, virtual reality. What would it be like in 5 years time? Do we still need offices? We can ‘meet’ everywhere we want. You can just meet on the beach 🙂

And we need more meta level capabilties: authenticity, learning agility, ability to deal with ambiguity.

The problem is our silo’s: HR, talent, L&D, Knowledge Management. We think in terms of functionality and not in terms of problems to be solved.

My reflection..

I do think they touch a good point by mentioning the silo’s. To make a move and really develop ourselves we need to collaborate and join expertise and talents. But do we have enough ‘materials’ by hand to be able to think about the future and prepare ourselves? To create a dream that will help us to make steps? We need room for experimenting, trying things out. And might we not need a bit more ground for what we mean by L&D? Is this the function? Are we looking for new ways of organising? Business models? Position in the organisation? Is this discussion about the curator role and how to design this role? Or about our new focus from a content point of view: what support does the organisation need from a 2020 perspective? Or all of this?

I like to think about the idea that, in future, we will reach a stage in which we won’t have a L&D function anymore. Work and Learning are so connected, that we together take care of our learning. We work agile, we have our networks, are able to create a powerful learning environment for ourselves….

What do you think? Will a specific ‘L&D function’ be needed in future as well, may it be in another form?

Reading suggestion:

Curt Coffman: Culture eats strategy for lunch.