Free Play


I had a very interesting conversation this week with Ton Baan from the company Emplayment. He is the once developer of one of the first gamified apps for learning kids how to write (LetterSchool). He has always been interested in gamification, playfulness and its power for learning. We often have semi-phylosophic conversations on all things related to organisational learning and in one of our last encounters he asked me for feedback on an idea he is working on. It turns out he really made me think about the power of free play and what it can mean for organisations. 

Let’s start with some general observations.

  • There is a marked decrease in time spent on outdoor play by children. Time spent behind the computer or mobile device has increased dramatically, even compared to watching tv in the ’90s and ’00s; 
  • There is increasing evidence that computer use, social media, busy social life (clubs, sports), school and part time jobs have a detrimental impact on the (mental) health of children in Western societies. Stress and burnout ar on the rise in all age groups (see this article on decorrespondent – in Dutch;
  • Advances in robotics and AI lead to an increased importance of typically human traits such as creativity, complex problem solving, empathy and communication skills (check out Steven van Belleghem’s interaction with Gary Vaynerchuck;
  • Innovation calls for people who can dream and think outside the box. It requires people with a growth mindset; willing to experiment, fail and learn;
  • Many organisations strive to become an agile, innovative organisation that stands apart from their competitors.

This list alone already leads to the conclusion that we have a real challenge, both in society at large as within incumbant organisations. Within Rabobank we have recently started focussing on craftsmanship/productivity, vitality and change agility as the bedrock for creating a population of employees who are resilient enough to meet the challenges of the future. Whether inside or outside our organisation. I think we desperately need this focus, not just in my organisation but within our industry and beyond. I also think it is not enough. We also have to work on the context in which people work. Because even people who have these strong skills and competencies, having them working in a context that is not conductive to change and innovation will lead to even more frustration than before. 

Ton and I have a hunch that the absence of free play is an important factor here. But before we go into what I think is needed; what is free play anyway? It is not gamification. I love gamification. But it is still designed to create a very specific environment that adheres to strict rules and  patterns designed to reach a specific goal. In many environments using gamification can greatly increase learning or productivity. Free play on the other hand is absolutely free of rules. You can be and do anything you dream of. It is your kids on vacation in the woods picking up a stick and pretending it is a magic wand that they use to conjure a world of their own. They get totally immersed and creative, transported to a different reality. 

Do we encounter situations like that at work? In fact, do we encounter situations like that in our lives? Few and far between. The closest I get is management free hackathons or observing my kids play outside or in the open version of Minecraft. Maybe the best example was last year, when my kids and I decided to throw a children’s party at a venue that allows kids to freely create their own diy city. A safe and open space, with generic tools and materials, that allow kids to be as creative as they want to be. Importantly – engaging in physical free play.  

As a result of this absence traditional organisations are having great troubles in truly thinking outside the box. Even in situations where we have a licence to innovate we seem to be restricted and dream up the same type of solutions to our client’s needs. We might even have problems working together effectively. What we need is to start creating free play space. We need to understand free play and decide on ways in which we can improve this. We need to think about ways in which we can ‘teach’ people to rekindle their free play spirit and use it to benefit our clients, our organisation and our own productivity, change agility and vitality. 

Let’s play !

Rabobank Publishes L&D Trend Report

Trendwiel Rabobank LD 1Rabobank has just released their new L&D trend report. This time the analysis was conducted in cooperation with preferred suppliers (a list of highly regarded and influential companies in the Dutch and international marketplace). The report presents a new model for managing innovation within the L&D domain and contains a multitude of examples from Rabobank and it’s suppliers. To improve access to the content the main editors (your’s truly and Marieke Rutten, a Master Student of Innovation at Eindhoven Tech) decided to create an interactive pdf document and distribution based on Creative Commons.

It has been two years since Rabobank published it’s first L&D Trend Report. Time for an update….

lees meer Rabobank Publishes L&D Trend Report

Front end of innovation; need(s) some disruption?

FEIEMEA is a conference about the Front-end of innovation. The easiest way to understand the scope is to look at the innovation funnel en focus on the first stage of the model. Participants are mainly based in Europe (in particular the north west), with around 150 delegates from multinational companies, R&D companies, Innovation management companies, etcetera. I was the lucky innovation manager from Rabobank who got the opportunity this year to attend.
I will pass on my notes below, but keep in mind; this is just a selection of the sessions (there were two parallel tracks and a site visit). I have not included the names of the people I met during the sessions. Some of them have relationships with Rabobank, but the most interesting ones were the other companies’ delegates. It was a true pleasure meeting them.

Day 1 11-3-2015

It was a bit of a disappointing first day. Met a lot of nice and interesting people, but the workshop by Peter Koen was not what I had expected and the presentations of Disney and Google were ok at best. No, let me rephrase; the Disney presentation was ok, the Google presentation was dramatically bad.

Workshop by Peter Koen

Still, there were a couple of good moments. Peter Koen started off well in his workshop. He presented a couple of useful models and overviews that we can use at Rabobank. It is important to note that all his work is evidence based. In other words, there is sound science backing up the models and insights.
Peter’s definition of innovation is ‘revenue from an idea’. I discussed the revenue bit from an internal perspective and Peter seems to be fine with extending this to ‘delivering a business case’ as well.
Front end of innovation is defined by ‘activities that come before the formal and well structured new product development portion of the innovation funnel
Peter introduced the ‘New Concept Development Model’

NCD model from Peter Koen

Based on his research, Peter concludes that focusing your energy on opportunities (in stead of ideas or concepts) has the main impact and discriminates successful companies from non-successful ones.
Trend watching is a very important element. You need to understand ’the sandbox you want to play in’. Search for the opportunity space we are currently not addressing.
Some other important insights from his research:
  • Senior management commitment (vision, strategy, resources and culture) to the front end is the single most important variable
  • Effective networked teams and their leaders are more important than any tools and techniques
  • Incremental and breakthrough projects require fundamentally different innovation management practices.
One more helpful overview. This describes the engine of innovation. In my view, this is what the innovation board needs to have as a toolset for making decisions on innovation.
Engine for innovation in NCD

Engine of innovation

Some quotes on breakthrough innovation:
  • Leaders will make significant investments in breakthrough, but will force the solution into the sustaining business model
  • Sustaining businesses execute a business model, breakthrough innovations need to search for one
  • The true product of the breakthrough innovation is the business model, not the solution
  • Stop worshipping the church of new finance
  • Embrace financial uncertainty and slow diffusion rates
  • Organizations require ambidextrous leaders. They understand the difference between managing sustaining and breakthrough and act accordingly
  • Lean startup is the new way of working. It uses a business model as a converging tool for brainstorming for breakthrough innovation business hypothesis
Peter actually uses an adapted format of the business model canvas to support the FEI stage.
FEI canvas Innosight LLC and Peter Koen
 A great thing about Peter is that he shares all his materials from workshops. So here is his library of documents. Some great stuff
Tweets of FEIEMEA

Plenairy presentations by Disney and Google

Some quotes from the Disney presentation
‘Dream it and then do it’
‘Money is not a purpose, it is a result’
‘Innovation should be a little scary’
‘Behaviors eat process for breakfast’
Center speaker sketchInteresting approach in the Google presentation: project X is about moonshot campaigns. They are targeted at 10X better. In all honesty, the rest of the presentation was a machine-gun firing of ‘check-out-how-great-we-are-at-Google’ type of details that had little or no connection to the front end of innovation. My mind drifted off in designing a new center speaker based on 3D printing techniques.

Notes Day 2

Day 2 was a mixture of presentations and workshops. Peter Koen kicked off with Lean Startup, but having been in his somewhat disappointing workshop the day before I really did not feel it was worth my time. Bas Verhart was next. A serial entrepreneur and founder of THNK academy he took us in evaluating our ideas based on the attributes of great breakthrough innovations. The morning session was concluded with a workshop on visual thinking. Being focused on visualization in lieu of capturing ideas I have only limited notes in words. I did get a great list of interesting apps and saw some struggling with ipad and apple tv as part of the infrastructure. The afternoon saw two interesting workshops; one by Gavin Suss (Keter, MIT) and one by Bombardier (Mike Hatrick & Rebecca Walsh) on the role of the Innovation Manager.

Bas Verhart (THNK) – Rethinking business as usual: the art of thinking differently

Bas took us through a list of attributes he thinks are important to understand in relationship to the concept you have in mind to develop. An interesting quote in his introduction…’it’s the responsibility of managers to protect the dreamers’.
Unfortunately, I was a bit late arriving and did not have a chance to make a photo of the total list. Here are most of his attributes.
  • Vision of the future. Try to state it wrt your idea; a possible beter future that I want to make happen through the following enterprise concept… This calls for an explorative mindset, passion & purpose, envisioning a beter future.
  • Why?
  • What?
  • Smart execution?
  • Reframed perspective – are we talking about a new category?
  • Is the timing right? An important element that calls for both business sense ánd collective memory. Bas discusses a lack of collective memory – don’t fully agree on that. It’s not a lack of collective memory, it’s a lack of collective learning that seems to hamper most organizations. Sustaining an existing system is easy. We have a great memory for that.
  • iconic name
  • what takes it to the next level?
  • Visionary in visualisation.
  • What is the edge?
  • Elegant
  • Does it give a true advantage?
  • Unexpected
  • Embedded intelligence
  • Tail wind
I tried applying his list on Banking for food. I concluded that this might not be the proper level of analysis. Banking for food is an opportunity space, not an idea or concept. It will spark them, hopefully. So what is the concept? Do we have one of more? We are not there yet (or I don’t  know them). Maybe we need concepts.
An interesting area to use the list on is the Big data for Performance Improvement project we are working on.

Education innovation leadership (Keter presentation by Gavin Suss)

Suss is a hyperactive teacher, entertainer and scholar. Fun workshop with lots of laughs. He had us on our toes. Some notes on how they get people at Keter more innovation minded and their processes more effective for the frontend…
  • The boss HAS to be on board
  • Try out stuff, simulate, brainstorm
  • Hands on experience with excellent mentors (get practical)
  • Use actual teachers, not a professional.
  • Enrichment courses (arts) to create a new state of mind
  • Round table sessions
  • professional and international tours
  • Teamwork (heterogenous)
  • Reframe problems
  • children are not creative – they just don’t know boundaries
  • Rule 1: your first anwer is usually not the best one
  • Pro-active approach
Suss further discusss some techniques to improve thinking.
  • no assumptions technique
  • reduction
  • a different friend
  • radicalization

Explore the role of innovation manager: An experiential workshop

Mike and Rebecca had a nice, hands-on session in store for us. Based around their actual work at Bombardier, they took us in groups through their cases and asked us to actually act out the role. This simulation exercise was great at getting us talking about the field and practices. One of the elements that we find lacking in many FEI situations is a good understanding of the problem definition (but this was by no means Mike and Rebecca’s fault).

Day 3

Day 3 basically consisted of two main presentations with room for further discussion. The first presentation was from world renowned conductor and producer Christian Gansch. Mr. Gansch held a swooping presentation on the team dynamics and management practices of world class orchestras. Interesting and entertaining, but.. nothing on the frontend of innovation. My question in the Q&A session on disruption in music business was shrugged off with a tirade on mp3 and bad sound quality, but no insights on how he, a producer of classical music, actually deals with this disruption in the industry. Of more interest was the presentation of prof emeritus J.Ph. Deschamps (former IMD), of which more below.
Prof. J. Ph. Deschamps on Innovation Governance
Innovation Leader can be compared to a conductor. It calls for individual leadership + organizational leadership
Governance is beyond management: Long term strategic choices, sense of direction, all types of innovation, ceo & top management, insight & foresight, a dream with deadlines, reacting to disruptive trends/technologies
‘prescience errors’ = missing a novelty threat (check Ravi Arora, making innovation happen)
check doblin organisation model. For across the board information. Beyond technology and product.
CEO – propose innovation steering guideliness
  1. why do we innovate?
  2. Where do we innovate?
  3. How much? (money, risk, type)
  4. How?
  5. With whom?
  6. Who?
Make this explicit in an innovation charter
A lot of companies have adopted a chief innovation officer. According to Deschamps, there seems to be only one really sensible model for Innovation Governance; the Innovation Board. Include different functions of the organization, e.g. marketing and especially HR (!).
Interesting model in which some organizations include two innovation boards; 1 for disruptive/breakthrough and 1 for sustaining innovations.
critical successfactor = personal engagement and commitment of the CEO. Tolerance for failure and focus on learning. Shepherd.
  • Top team should be strongly behind it
  • you need a few dedicated people for the front end
  • handover between front and backend should be seamless (creativity and discipline)
Three innovation killers
  • arrogance
  • complacency
  • greed
I was allowed to quote J.Ph. on this one ‘Innovation management in banks is very hard. Being an innovation manager is a very though job, anyway. But the toughest of all jobs is for HR innovation managers.’
Got it.

Reflections on HR Tech Europe in Amsterdam

HR Tech Europe AmsterdamLast couple of days saw the HR Tech team pull into Amsterdam with a packed program. 2147 delegates, 156 speakers and a host of suppliers (including 20 startups) got together in the RAI convention centre to meet and share. I was asked to join as speaker on behalf of Rabobank and had a 25 minute talk on our ecology of learning services. I will be coming back to that presentation in a separate post. First some observations from the two days I spent listening to speeches and talking to people in the industry.

A who-is-who of HR Technology

The Amsterdam event was packed with amazing people. Keynotes by Yves Morieux of BCG, David McCandles on the beauty of information, Robert Hohman of Glassdoor, Ray Wang of Constellation Research and Gary Hamel (who I had to miss unfortunately) and many others. Breakout sessions galore, with demo’s of all the major vendors and thought leaders. You could run into Josh Bersin, Charles Jennings, Dan Pontrefact and many other big names in the industry. Press coverage was done by a selection of some fine bloggers in the field, so expect to see more details from your favorite bloggers (check Frederic Williquet‘s great visual impressions).

Although the subject is broader than the ASTD, HR Tech has the same vibe. Pretty impressive after just three years! I was surprised at the investment vendors had made in creating their elaborate booths. Workday, Successfactors, Saba, IBM, Cornerstone and Oracle all had big booths and generated huge traffic. Google build a mini-house and was also present on stage. The only big absentee was Microsoft. A missed opportunity in my view, because I saw a demo of their Delve technology the other day and was really impressed. Especially on the impact they could have in informal and social learning.

We’re all confused

Confusion. I think that is the main feeling radiating throughout the conference. Changes are happening at an alarming pace. Economic fluctuation, 5 generations in the workplace, social unrest. One thing is for sure; doing HR the way we have always done will not cut it. Employee engagement is plummeting, to the point that ‘active disengagement’ within companies can reach 20%. Think about it; 1 in 5 employees is actively doing things that are contrary to the company’s interest… How is that for alarming news! It doesn’t help either that the discussion is on generations within your organisation. The idea that digital natives reside only in the generations now entering the workplace is a fallacy. Everybody is looking for answers. No magic bullets exist. And even the keynote speakers have only hints and ideas.Vendors seem to have two strategies to increase speed of change; either by moving all their functionality to the cloud (the big firms that have all functionality available), or to generate simple, often mobile solutions (the startups). A classic tale of an industry ready for disruption.

Now don’t get me wrong. Personally I am not alarmed by this. It just increases the energy to come up with novel solutions and allows for experiments. HR is on the page of the biggest challenges of most CEO’s. Those with an open mindset ran around the conference feeling there was so much to do and so many new possibilities. Especially the use of big data opens up many new ways to use technology to tackle the rapidly changing demands in the HR realm. Exciting times!

Bersin by Deloite and eLearnity radar images of the foreseeable future

In all honesty, I haven’t heard that much new information. Reading blogs and news sites on the industry will provide you with most of the insights. I was impressed though by the insights of both Josh Bersin and his colleagues and the eLearnity team. They try to see beyond the hypes and use sound data to base their insights on. Josh has recently written a great blog and whitepaper on the HR trends you need to be aware of (ignore them at your own peril!). The bottom line of Bersin’s insights; ‘tomorrow’s HR solutions will be radically different’. ‘Winning vendors will likely embrace these disruptions and deliver products that feel like consumer apps, yet have the data analysis, network integration, and compelling user experiences of Apple, for example.’ I fully agree on Bersin’s assessment, although – as I discussed with Bersin’s staff – I disagree with the role of xAPI in all of this. I believe it’s hype will be shortlived and superceded by next generation analytics based on big, informal datasets. This is because I do not believe employees will be persuaded by going through lists of activities to select those they can mark as learning points if there are services available that do this for them. A radical new way of designing and developing HR services is needed.

This is also voiced by eLearnity. In David Wilson‘s presentation he presented the atrocious figures in their European research. Employees in their research think HR systems stink. HR as a department is oldschool thinking and should be replaced by hr services that are useful and damn right sexy. The reputation of HR is as bad as IT departments. Which is probably even worse for HR Tech.

Cool, smart stuff is the demand. At hand when we need it on our mobile devices, making things easy that are now hard. This is not what most booths on the show presented. There is much to do.

[note: check out this great overview of key learnings by @majamaastricht]

NTI interviewt Wilfred Rubens en Jan Nieuweboer over blended learning

Rabobank organiseert elke eerste werkdag van de maand een kennislunch op het gebied van learning & development. Woensdag 1 oktober was een bijzondere sessie waarin de directeur van Hogeschool NTI, Jeffrey van Zaalen, Wilfred Rubens en mijzelf interviewde over Blended Learning. Wilfred behoeft geen introductie en bracht vanuit zijn rol binnen de OU wetenschappelijke kennis en praktische voorbeelden. Ik heb die zelf aangevuld met ervaringen binnen de Rabobank. De sessie hebben we gefilmd en kun je hieronder bekijken.

Learning Everywhere – Exit onderwijskundige?

Chad Udell heeft onlangs een boek geschreven over mobile content strategies: “Learning everywhere. How mobile content strategies are transforming training”

Toen ik vandaag aansloot bij een online seminar (eLearningGuild) over mLearning, stond opeens deze zelfde auteur daar op het programma. En hij slaat wat mij betreft de spijker op zijn kop.

Van de onderwijskundige wordt een ander gezichtspunt verwacht. Ik en mijn collega’s worden uitgedaagd een volgens hem noodzakelijke paradigmaverschuiving onder ogen te zien: van aandacht voor leerdoelen, volledigheid, resultaatgerichtheid, naar aandacht voor gebruikerservaring, efficiëntie, functionaliteit.

Van verveling naar ervaring

Chad zegt: “mLearning gaat niet over weer een andere manier van je materiaal presenteren, gebruik maken van die mobiele apparaten. Het gaat er niet om je publiek via een ander kanaal verveling en irritatie te brengen.” (hierbij refererend aan de gemiddelde kwaliteit van e-learning modules). Het gaat erom dat je goed kijkt naar hoe wij omgaan met ons mobieltje of table. Kijk eens naar waar het mobieltje ons toe verleid, uitnodigd, wat het mogelijk maakt, dag in, dag uit.

De auteur komt uit de wereld van web-design, en daar ziet hij iets heel interessants: onder e-learning experts is de aandacht heel sterk gericht op de tooling: welke tools heb je nodig om iets moois te kunnen maken. In de wereld ‘daar buiten’, waar het gaat om web-design, mobiele toepassingen, is de aandacht primair gericht op experience, gebruikerservaring.

Hij zegt het heel helder: “it’s not the training that helps the marketing, sales, or leadership staff to perform better. It is the learner’s experience on the job .”

Van volledigheid en helderheid naar laagdrempelig ontsluiten

Wij onderwijskundigen zijn gewend materiaal didactisch in te pakken, uit te leggen, structuur te geven, mooi te maken, toegankelijk te maken. We streven volledigheid na, in ons streven om de lerende tegemoet te komen.

Maar de vraag die je je moet stellen is: heeft de doelgroep, de eindgebruiker, al die context nodig? Is al die toelichting en uitleg wel nodig? Vraag je eens af wat je doet als je wil weten of de trein op tijd vertrekt? Wat doe je als je het laatste nieuws wilt weten? Wat verwacht je als je wilt weten of je op de goede weg bent? Juist: je zet je apparaat aan, klikt één, misschien twee keer, en je hebt je antwoord. In een paar seconden.

Chad Udell stelt:

It’s not about cognitive artefacts, so that they can learn, it’s about providing access to the information they need.

Exit onderwijskundige?

Competentieprofiel van een Adviseur Technology Enhanced Learning

Onlangs zijn we vanuit LearningWave een Masterclass gestart rond Technology Enhanced Learning. We hebben er bewust voor gekozen om dit traject in te vullen op basis van een Virtual Action Learning aanpak. Een startpunt in zo’n traject is dat je een gedeeld beeld creëert van het competentieprofiel dat je wilt bereiken. Naar aanleiding van twee cases hebben we de deelnemers gevraagd om te reflecteren op de kerntaken en competenties van een (senior) adviseur Technology Enhanced Learning. Daaruit kwam het volgende overzicht:

TEL MapKerntaken:

1. (Opleidings)visie (mee)formuleren/onderzoeken.
2. Opleidingsvisie vertalen in ICT&L (ICT voor Leren) visie.
3. ICT visie vertalen in requirements.
4. Gesprekspartner/adviseur zijn voor business (opdrachtgever, management, …) én IT (ICT afdeling, architecten, beheerders, leveranciers)

En wat moet je daarvoor kunnen…

  • Analyseren en abstraheren van complexe systemen tot oplossingsrichtingen die bijdragen aan de doelstellingen van de organisatie (systeemdenken)
  • Situational awareness ten aanzien van ontwikkelingen binnen het vakgebied en de toepasbaarheid binnen de context van de klant (situational awareness ten aanzien van mensen, de omgeving/cultuur en hoe er te komen)
  • Formuleren van eisen en wensen van de klanten naar de taal van de (ICT) organisatie
  • Veranderingspotentieel inschatten en kansen en bedreigingen onderkennen om de organisatie mee te helpen sturen op de veranderingen
  • Brug tussen visie op opleiden en ICT afdeling (2 talen spreken)
  • Voldoende kennis om serieuze gesprekspartner te zijn voor ICT
  • Inventariseren en beoordelen van systemen
  • Juiste bronnen weten te raadplegen om bij te blijven met de ontwikkelingen rondom ICT en daar de hoofdlijn in vast te kunnen houden.
  • Socratisch dialoog aan kunnen gaan.
  • Vertaalslag van hoe mensen leren en functioneren/presteren en invloed van organisatiecultuur hierop
  • Mensen motiveren/mensen meekrijgen
  • Resources creëren/mogelijk maken
  • Eigenwijs zijn (vasthoudend)
  • Geduldig
  • Resultaatgericht
  • Projectmatig werken (en waar nodig afwijken)
  • De vraag achter de vraag onderzoeken/vragen stellen/weten welke vragen te stellen
  • Zelf het goede voorbeeld geven door

Back online!

We zijn terug! Het heeft even geduurd, maar recentelijk hebben we onze site weer in de lucht gekregen op een nieuwe server. Tijd om weer regelmatig van ons te laten horen. Een mooie aanleiding is de Masterclass Technology Enhanced Learning, die we vanuit LearningWave gestart zijn. Stay tuned!

Four Technology Trends for Corporate Learning

One of the great advantages of working for a large multinational; access to resources. During the first half of 2011 we invited several leading technology firms at Rabobank. Our aim? To identify the main trends in technologies that will have a major impact on learning in the corporate learning domain. We specifically chose mainstream technology organizations, trying to steer free from self fulfilling prophecies. The companies were Microsoft, Google, IBM and SAP. The exception was an international learning technology provider that we chose because of their vision on learning and technology (CrossKnowledge). A pretty clear picture emerged.

There are four main trends for using technology in learning:

  • More social technologies
  • More portability
  • More immersion
  • Better use of big data

More social technologies

Although Web2.0 is a term that has been around for quite some time, the adoption of social learning in corporate learning is still in its infancy. Many organizations struggle with leaving behind the old teacher centric model. Technologies are there and have become so easy to use and freely accessible that disruptive innovation can start happening. There are many advances to be made in this field.

More portability

The huge push towards smartphones and tablets shakes the whole hardware industry. The new paradigm is ‘mobile’. Most companies saw this as only a first step in allowing your technology supported activities to become even more portable. The idea here is that it no longer matters which device you like to use. You can easily move your work (a.k.a. learning) from your desktop, to your smartphone for in transit activities, onto your TV at home for a video chat with your colleagues, and swipe nighttime reading materials from your TV to a tablet. Cloud technologies and new kinetic-style interfaces make this even more intuitive.

More immersion

We struggled a little with this one. It was clear that serious gaming, virtual reality and augmented reality were all part of the vision of the future of most companies we invited. Also, new types of interfaces (kinetic and multi-layered) were mentioned as part of the gamers subculture, a more dominant part of the taskforce in years to come. What these technologies have in common is that they all strive to immerse the participant in realities that are close to, but not quite the same as the day-to-day reality. The advances in this area are enormous; rendering techniques, open-source game engines, 3D technology and the likes are becoming mainstream tools. This opens op a new wave of possibilities for companies to use mockup realities, serious games and augmented reality as a means for learning. It took an huge amount of effort to design and develop a VR game for teller training. In the future it will be very easy to try-out how to cross-sell an insurance product.

Another area were we expect great advances is in using game rules to enrich the working environment, triggering personnel to go a level deeper in their understanding of their work processes and pushing for benchmark performance in creating products. Rule engines will be standard functionality in enterprise portal technologies.

Better use of big data

Users generate vast amounts of data. We are all familiar with how Google, Facebook and Amazon use this data for commercial purposes. In learning though, there are very few examples, if any, in which big data is being used. This might be due to the teacher centric nature of corporate learning that still lingers, and it might be due to the silo-approach of many Learning Management Systems of old. Looking at the future, where social learning is much more pervasive and learning systems will be much more integrated in the digital working environment, big data will become much more interesting. Aggregation and curation services will become mainstream. Helping the employee to do their jobs in the best way possible, suggesting others to work with on learning assignments, and prompting for interesting discussions or documents that are relevant for a learning objective you have just posted in your performance management system.

Mixing and matching

The four trends individually have vast potential for learning. Where it really gets interesting is in the combination of the trends. Portable, social learning, backed-up by ‘smart data’ would allow for ‘ubiquitous’ learning. Does this sound far off? Not necessarily; we are already trying out drill-and-practice knowledge questions that are socially generated on mobile devices to improve our employees basic knowledge levels within our regulated market. We are designing a community of practice for innovation that uses game rules and web3.0 concepts to improve are innovation funnel and build Rabobank’s innovation competencies. The technologies are there. It is our creativity and guts that is needed to use them for learning.

And what about informal learning?

All of the companies in this review mentioned the vast potential for improving informal learning. So why did it not make it to the trends in our list? The point is; informal learning cannot be designed, developed and managed. For it to work, you have to allow people to move freely into areas of their interest. But you can help out. Companies can boost the potential for informal learning by implementing the trends described above. The application of the ideas behind the trends is not only to design and develop ‘interventions’, but also to create rich, smart, immersive and portable environments. Environments that allow chance meetings, serendipity and reflection.

Vraagt het nieuwe werken om het nieuwe leren?

In het kort is mijn antwoord op mijn zelfgestelde vraag; ‘ja’. Bij het introduceren van het Nieuwe Werken in een organisatie als de Rabobank is het Nieuwe Leren een logische en wenselijke invulling van de leervraag. Zo’n antwoord had u vast verwacht (zeker als u mijn kolom in de TvOO heeft gelezen). Waarom dit zo is en tegen welke dilemma’s we aan gaan lopen? Lees verder.

Rabobank Nieuwe Werkomgeving

De introductie van het nieuwe werken binnen de Rabobank heeft de programmanaam Unplugged gekregen. Een aantal afdeling is er al flink mee aan de slag. Tot mijn genoegen is Human Resources daarin een voorloper. Geen vaste werkplekken is misschien de meest zichtbare verandering, maar het doel ligt op een veel dieper niveau. Het gaat dan om accountability voor je werk, het op de meest effectieve en efficiente manier invullen van je werkzaamheden om zo je klant de optimale ondersteuning te bieden. Dat vraagt om regie op je werkzaamheden, doelen stellen en reflecteren op je resultaten, werken aan continu verbeteren. Waar je werk doet, wanneer, hoe en met wie bepaal je voor een (soms groot) deel zelf. lees meer Vraagt het nieuwe werken om het nieuwe leren?