One of the many interesting ways that digital transformation shows up is in the patterns and paradigms we’re all used to.
By way of example, how many times have we all heard, in response to news of an evolving situation, the call for training? Probably often enough that the word has lost much of its punch (and don’t forget the nickels).
As we become more immersed in, fluent in, and impacted by, the world of digital transformation, it’s worth calling out the need to make sense of those experiences for ourselves, our organizations, our clients, and our colleagues.
Continuous Learning and Organizational Culture
We’ve all been in and around learning our whole lives. We call it by many names (Training, L&D, Skills Development, Knowledge Transfer). A learning exercise is very simple at its heart: a gap exists. Behavior needs to change to address that gap. Learning leads to behavior change.
A Digital Transformation lens stretches that metaphor but not in a bad way. In fact, it gives us an additional layer of rigor by which to evaluate the gap we’re facing:
- Is this a gap that can be addressed within a Transformation framework?
- And, if so, what are the behavior changes we can associate with that framework?
- And ultimately, what sort of learning and development initiatives can we bring to bear to facilitate these solutions?
Transformation implicitly implies the need to change. Organizations that support the change with the right tools are primed to succeed.
Research tells us that an organization dedicated to Continuous Learning is more successful in terms of change outcomes, business readiness, employee satisfaction, and more. This is a business win, powered by a cultural approach. After all, Culture Eats Strategy for lunch, right? Execution on a strategic level requires the language, behaviors, and values to allow that execution to take shape. This is culture in action.
A continuous learning organization is one where, on a strategic level, the approach to learning and development is given as much weight as, say, the approach to recruiting.
As organizations continue to digitally transform, it’s clear that identifying and adhering to a model of continuous learning is critical. This shows up as reduction in speed to adoption. It creates pathways to adapt quickly in the face of rapid and agile development. Leaders who embrace L&D as a strategic input to digital transformation are creating a competitive advantage – one that scales beyond digital transformation itself into overall organizational strategy.
At Inspire11, we’re on our own transformational journey as a learning organization. In five years, we’ve grown from a handful of consultants to a robust firm of over 300. This requires a transformative mindset that is deeply rooted in the idea of continuous improvement through learning and development.
We continue to explore ways to bring this vision to our people and our clients. As we work with companies to guide their Product Mindset, for example, or help find the North Star, we’re mindful of the role that a strong learning culture plays and how it requires intentional strategic support.