The DNA of Learning and Development… now and in the immediate future

Putting DNA under a microscope is crucial to understand how something ticks… so what is the DNA of the learning and development now and in the immediate future?

The DNA of Learning and Development… now and in the immediate future 

When the world locked down due to COVID-19, McKinsey observed that “roughly one-half of in-person programs through June 30, 2020, have been postponed or cancelled in North America; in parts of Asia and Europe, the figure is closer to 100 percent”.

But then… suddenly, the spotlight was turned on learning and development! 

LinkedIn Learning reported some massive figures related to Learning and Development during COVID-19:

  • Employees are spending 130% more time learning, based on LinkedIn Learning data (January/February 2020 vs March/April 2020)
  • 64% of L&D pros said reskilling the current workforce to fill skills gaps is more of a priority than ever before
  • L&D pros globally reported a 159% increase in CEOs championing learning and development in their organizations

This spotlight on learning and development gives us a great opportunity to re-evaluate how we approach learning and development and how we can transform our existing learning and development offerings. It gives us a rare chance to redefine the DNA of learning and development now and in the immediate future

Is your L&D offering DOWNSIZED?

We don’t mean is there less of it… we mean is it bite-size, focused and meaningful?

The easy (read: lazy!) thing to do in these times is to try to replicate classroom experiences online – sticking learners in a zoom meeting and running your existing day-long modules online.

This approach brings with it a long list of problems: 

  • Zoom Fatigue!
  • Learners getting distracted by their day-to-day jobs running in the background 
  • Learners getting bored and switching off 

Rather than simply trying to replicate a day-long module in a virtual classroom, we need change our approach. We need to make sure the learning meets the needs of our learners in their current reality and environment.

Let’s ask Critical questions: 

  • What do we really want to achieve through our learning and development modules?
  • How can we leverage the “10% formal training, 20% coaching and informal training, 70% on the job experience model” when working remotely?
  • How can we put ownership for learning back in the learners hands?

Is your L&D offering have a NARRATIVE?

There has been quite a shift from content creation to content curation in learning and development – between YouTube, Ted Talks and LinkedIn Learning, there are literally 1000s of hours of learning that learners can access. 

But equally… 1000s of hours could be wasted if learners are not accessing the right of learning. 

And… if that learning is ad hoc and not sequenced in the right way, learners end up far worse than they began!

Therefore, it’s key that supervisors, managers and team leaders, and learning and development coordinators and directors, are having coaching conversations with team members to help navigate their learning journey, areas of strength and development need to be identified in order to discover how to make those strengths stronger and start to  make some progress on their areas of development or gaps.  

Coincidentally, these supervisors, managers and team leaders may need help with how to have effective coaching conversations, and thus the need for a comprehensive learning and development narrative starts to take shape – a series of navigated interconnected routes of learning, that have direct links to strategic and business results.

Is your L&D offering ACCESSIBLE?

What is aiding this learning and development revolution? Technology

From mobile learning to eLearning to virtual classrooms, the importance of technology to enable learners to access learning remotely and in a way that suits them and their context can’t be ignored! 

  • Mobile learning is helping learners getting in the moment help in bite-size chunks 
  • eLearning is helping organizations retrain their employees and fill gaps left by COVID-19
  • Virtual classrooms are allowing learners to connect, share and collaborate

The trick here is choosing the right platform for the right learning need.

So while we wait for the dynamism of face-to-face classroom to return, we have an amazing opportunity to keep learners engaged by redefining the DNA of learning and development. We have the chance to downsize it learning to make it bite-size, focused and more meaningful, the chance to coach and navigate through the learning content, and the chance to make it accessible in a format that suits the learning’s purpose.

Do you need help with your learning and development? Why not check out our NKD Player and NKD Virtual Classrooms solutions… or even better, get in touch with us at