There has never been a greater need to disrupt the traditional approaches to learning and leadership development than there is now. With the market explosion of learning experience platforms and high-quality digital learning content providers, at Aurecon– an international engineering, design and advisory company– our purpose as learning professionals has dramatically shifted. Our profession now calls for architects of learning ecosystems, designing, sourcing, curating, and enabling access to world-class learning. Specifically, learning that;

• is prioritized and curated to align to organizational strategy,

• continuously prepares the organization for the ever-changing and uncertain future, and

• enables an increase in the scale and speed in building individual and organizational capabilities for the organization to adapt and thrive

This means developing a learning ecosystem that includes a mix of content and development opportunities focused on Aurecon employees’ career development and performance and closing skill gaps to meet the needs of the business and workforce of the future. To do this, we must be agile enough to develop skills at scale, faster, on-demand, and across multiple locations in the most cost-effective way. Exciting new technology like SkillsCloud by Workday enables organizations to create a ‘skills ontology’ that discovers the skills and skill gaps within the workforce. It’s still early days, but it is clear that Skills Cloud has the potential to drive the evaluation, measurement, and enhancement of capabilities within an organization in the future.

When it comes to leadership development, specifically, the market is also quickly shifting from traditional faceto-face business school providers to blended learning approaches. Some business schools are evolving, and sadly, some are not. These new blended learning experiences enable organisations to build the capabilities of leadership cohorts across multiple regions by bringing the ‘guru’ to the leader. The quality of digital learning is stunning, with some providers engaging ‘Hollywood producers’ to develop the modules using advanced AR & VR. These programs are also generally powered by AI to give the individual a customized learning journey and enable the integration of learning into the flow of day to day work.

Exciting new technology like SkillsCloud by Workday enables organizations to create a ‘skills ontology’ that discovers the skills and skill gaps within the workforce

Another exciting example of emerging technology in the leadership development, space is Adeption, created by a team of leadership development experts, Adeption is a behavioral science-led approach to coaching leaders. Think back to a key developmental moment in your career. What was it that shaped you? Most likely, it involved one or more of the following: a stretch experience, exposure to new ways of thinking, someone believing in you, challenging you, and providing you feedback that forced you to reflect. These are the things that truly develop leaders, and this is what Adeption does at scale. Adeption is a leadership coaching platform, accessed via the web or mobile, that combines behavioral change science, AI, expert coaches, and an iterative agile approach to develop leaders at scale. Both Workday Learning and Adeption use predictive analytics to recommend learning based on individual interests and what peers are also learning, adding to the personalized experience for the learner.

As learning professionals (not unlike most professions), we are being called to ‘self-disrupt’ our mindset and habitual learning and development approaches and look to learning technologies for solutions. The irony is not lost on me. As learning professionals, we need to be experimenting with technology and continuously learning in order to do what we do best–develop others. This is an exciting time for the learning profession and one that I’m personally embracing fully. As an educator, I am inspired by the thought that technology ultimately enables the democratization of learning for all.