3 Views On Why and How the Training Industry Is In Need of Change

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Jul 29, 2019

Nowadays, when the pace of innovation is almost untraceable, one of the keys to business success is how we are able to react to changes; how we adapt. Can the training industry be an exception to this rule?

It’s worth observing that while a few years ago we would read detailed user manuals when purchasing some technological tool, we don’t have this patience anymore. We want to own and use these devices immediately, and we expect them to teach us everything while using them.

I do believe this change is also shaping human thinking in other areas of life, that this approach is moving into workplaces as well; where employees don’t want to wait for the start of an onboarding program, or for receiving the necessary training to start their work. They want to start their job instantly, here and now, without waiting, and they expect an as much personalized, flexible, and experience-based process as possible. They expect their organization to create these conditions, and to provide the information needed for their work and development in a proper structure and schedule.

The question is given: Why should the training industry change?

I asked three of my professional colleagues how they see the answer to this question.

Laszlo Kovacs

Kovacs is CEO of the Austrian training firm, ipcenter.

As one of the leading education providers in Austria, I firmly believe that the training sector is about to face considerable change.

Training institutes need to adjust to new, challenging parameters when it comes to when, where and how learning content is transmitted. Those who don’t adapt to the new surroundings will risk [failing].

Training 4.0 involves innovative concepts that focus on the learners’ individual needs. And it enables and motivates leaders to spread vital information within the organisation in due time and quality – in the most flexible way.

Thus, it is not the question of why the training industry should change. It is a question of the consequences that arise, if we don’t take action now!

Anett Mádi-Nátor

Anett Mádi-Nátor is Director of International Operations at Cyber Services in Hungary. She has more than a decade of experience in strategic and administrative layers of information security and cyber defence both as a private sector subject matter expert and as a government representative. Up to the summer of 2015 Anett was the appointed primary policy and administrative contact point for Hungary in the Memorandum of Understanding in Cyber Defence between NATO and Hungary. (Source: European Cybersecurity Forum)

The training industry is not in an easy position. Currently, it should follow at least two opposite trends. On one hand, the training process should fit the expectations of employers, which indicate periodic, but short learning spans. It should also immediately be practical and offer a fully usable knowledge material. However, on the side of the user, there is a need for complex, well-structured training content that maximally adjusts to the personal abilities and acquired knowledge of the individuals. Closing this “gap” is possible only with a dynamic, yet modularly built personalized training methodology.

If we are lucky, and all the above-mentioned conditions are already in practice, then it is worth to take a look at the importance of user experience in association with visuality. The present, everyday digitalization has brought one, unexpected consequence. When the professional users – as private users – use Facebook or any other social applications to order lunch, call a social cab, book a hotel or manage their daily financial tasks, and they are used to the operating model of these applications, it is not hard to figure out that they will search for this kind of, 21st century-like user experience in the training applications as well.

Those, who can fully meet these challenges, have won.

Mario Morelli

Morelli is managing director at Excellence Education, the Italian change management company of Excellence Consulting. The firm specializes in strategic training activities for top tier financial institutions to aim their workforces in adopt new business and commercial models.

According to Il Sole 24 Ore, learning is nowadays becoming more and more “customisable and available on the move, interactive, flexible and with shorter schedules if compared to the past.” New trends are reflecting a society where the delivery time for products and services is reduced to the minimum. When you shop online, goods are delivered to your doorstep in just one hour. Contents are becoming available anytime, anywhere. These kinds of interactions are influencing the way we learn and communicate as we prefer more direct communication: Short sentences that allow readers to focus on the information they are looking for. This reflects onto another challenge: catch our audience attention.

Learning is changing. Content [is] more and more attractive so as to catch a more versatile audience — customised and always available, for people used to studying [when they want].

This is why learning materials are being digitised: since 2000 the industry has been growing at a +900% rate. Data demonstrates how learning online requires less time, averagely between 40% to 60% less than in house learning.

For how important content digitisation is, we cannot avoid face-to-face coaching: participants need forms of interaction and knowledge sharing, together with activities dedicated to a team building approach, which is highly fundamental.

In order to grant a more efficient communication, all the bits of information need to be easy to digest, endearing, direct and blended: a mix of virtual and live courses to augment efficiency. Even in the web era, being physically there makes the difference.