How learning cultures enable innovation to future-proof your business

If the year 2020 has taught us anything, it is that modern businesses must create a culture of continuous learning if they want to continue to innovate and grow. Besides the disruption caused by a global pandemic, machine learning, the internet of things and consistent technological advancement will continue to change how and when we work, what jobs we do and how we do business, which means that your people must be flexible and continue to develop their skill sets to keep up with the evolution of the future of work.

man's hand holding a brain shaped light, with the words:  'stay ahead of the curve'

Many leaders have realised that implementing a learning culture is the only way to move their business forward and continue to innovate especially during times of crisis, but this could require a fundamental shift in mindset and workflow, which can be a challenging process to undertake alone without the support of experts who can help you stay ahead of the curve.

Peer to Peer Learning is vital as We Shift Towards Project-Based Work

Results from a survey by Accenture (2017) found that 80% of executives agree that the future of work will be project-based rather than the traditional role-based waterfall model. This allows greater knowledge transfer across organisations as people use their transferable assets within different project teams rather than operating under the traditional silo system thus increasing the opportunity for peer to peer learning in the organisation. This allows for greater innovation through brainstorming and creative problem solving by people from diverse experiences and backgrounds working towards shared deliverables. This shift may take some team members out of their comfort zone as they learn to work with people outside of their silo and so to prepare for this, leaders must consider the value in developing staff resilience and flexibility.

Building Resilient and Flexible Teams   

According to an article in Forbes (2020), modern businesses require modern strategies and that involves creating an agile, resilient and flexible workforce. In their report entitled ‘Shaping an Agile Workforce’, Accenture highlights the importance of building a flexible and resilient team based on insights, expanding the concept of a workforce beyond the standard 9-to-5 and bricks and mortar setting (which we were globally forced to do this year) and preparing your workforce for the digital future. Technological advancement will continue at pace and that means there will be constant change and that can be difficult for less resilient people to cope with. If you build resilient teams they will thrive and view challenges as opportunities to get creative, innovate and help your company grow. Resilient people tend to have a growth mindset; they see failure as a learning opportunity and are naturally more reflective in their praxis.

Encourage a Growth Mindset

When it comes to problem solving, a growth mindset allows you to focus on solutions rather than problems. People with a growth mindset embrace challenges, persist when there are setbacks, see effort as the pathway to mastery, welcome criticism as a learning opportunity and find lessons and inspiration in the success of others. They enjoy collaboration and believe that there is always a way to improve. These are valuable traits in the workforce of the future and should be something that business leaders champion and nurture in their people today. Fortunately, a growth mindset can be developed and nurtured in people over time and so this should form part of the learning and development strategy to future proof the business.     

An Example of Imbedding a Strong Learning Culture During Times of Crisis  

The CEO of global advertising agency BBDO recognised that people tend to absorb a lot of knowledge from working with other people and that remote working made that learning stop overnight. So, unlike other companies who cut their L&D budgets to save money during lockdown, BBDO doubled theirs and made staff training a priority. They worked with companies like Facebook to create custom syllabi including an exam based on their Blueprint training programme for advertisers. So far, 1,000 BBDO employees have successfully completed the course, making BBDO the first globally certified Blueprint network.

The training programmes they implemented not only increased their workers' skill sets but it also boosted morale during a very challenging time. By investing in their people, BBDO was ahead of the curve and they continue to grow, future proofing their business during a time of crisis. One lesson that BBDO learned was that online delivery was key to ensuring that people stayed engaged. The quality of the course material and the method of delivery was carefully designed with the help of experts such as Google and Facebook to ensure the best outcomes for their workforce.

How Marshall Centre Can Help

Marshall Centre helps companies to future-proof by developing and implementing agile strategies with imbedded learning cultures to support wellbeing, greater innovation and growth. If you would like to discover how we can help your business thrive, we invite you to book a 30-min phone consultation with one of our growth experts.

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