Our Network and Learn event: what you missed

Our first UK Netex event, Network and Learn, was a great success. We wanted to provide a space for L&D professionals to hear from industry experts and get together to share and discuss current trends, challenges, and insights, and get involved in engaging, likely conversations. We’re pleased to say that is exactly what happened!

Located at The Terrace, Wellington Place, a new office building in the rapidly expanding business-district of Leeds, it was the perfect location for the forward-thinking L&D industry. Set in a room overlooking the gorgeous high-rise buildings, with a ‘cabaret’ style layout of tables, it was buzzing with conversations and discussions.

So, what did you miss?

L&D in the 21st century workplace

Donald H Taylor – well known for his annual global sentiment survey, as well as being chairman of the Learning Technologies event – kicked off the event.

His focus was the rapid change in the workplace, and the knock-on effect that is having. Describing the move from tangible to intangible output, and the scary discovery that a computer he used in his early career in the 80s now features in a museum, he painted quite a picture of how quickly things are changing.

When it comes to L&D, his key takeaway was to think beyond training, acknowledging that as great as courses are, they might not always be the right answer. He believes we need to change our mindset, and move away from focusing on the solution first. Instead, we need to focus on building trust and rapport with our employees, then we’ll be in a position to get to the roots of the problems they need to solve. Only then can we think about the right solution.

Food for thought: Has the revolution of AI actually happened yet? Donald argued no, the best is still to come. As useful as it is right now, it’s only helping us do old tasks better. Using the way we listen to music as an analogy, he says it’s the equivalent of the Walkman replacing the boom box (which replaced the portable radio). He believes AI will be classed as revolutionary when our behaviours have changed enough to be ready for it. (Think the iPod changing the face of music and how behaviours had changed a lot, such as the way we buy it, listen to it, share it.) But what will this AI revolution look like? What will it help us do? That we don’t know yet.

How to deliver a more engaged learner experience

Jez Anderson, an L&D Consultant at Netex, showed us how a global online retail giant transformed their training programme to improve their employee’s learning journey.

He described the challenge our client had, a common challenge a lot of us will be familiar with: an overwhelming library of learning, housed on a platform that doesn’t allow learners to easily search or find what they need when they need it.

The answer? Jez argues that the key is the technology and the way you use it.

He explained how this online giant used our technologies, Learning Cloud (our LMS) and Author (our content creation tool), to help improve and transform this learner journey; Author has been able to deliver and create effective content with ease and at scale, and Learning Cloud creates a user experience empowers the learner, allowing them to actually access content as and when they need it.

The outcome? A programme that empowers and engages the learners.

Engaging conversations

Our two personable speakers helped foster engaging and lively discussions, and Donald and Jez became a great double act, bouncing and swapping ideas as they answered the attendees’ questions. As one of the attendees said, it was the kind of spontaneous and dynamic discussion which you rarely see at these events.

As a nod to Netex’s two locations, Yorkshire and Spain, we ended with Yorkshire tapas (yes, it’s a thing. Delicious too.) and Spanish beer and wine, and we were thrilled how everyone lingered, talking, discussing and sharing ideas.

If you attended, thanks so much for being there, you helped make it the success it was. If you missed it? Don’t worry, make sure to catch the next one. We hope to see you there!

What’s coming up next? Join us at our next webinar, where we’ll be exploring the benefits of social learning, and how our tool social learning tool Share might just be what you need. Click here to register.

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