L&D Symposium 2021

5 minutes

Melitta Hardenberg,
Learning and Development Manager,

5 minutes with Melitta Hardenberg

Q: What, in your opinion, are some emerging trends around reskilling and upskilling post-COVID?
A: As technology advances and more tasks become automated much of the literature and conversations within organisations is moving to suggest the skills of the future that will be required are the skills of being deeply human.

The world is not getting less complex, and there is no limit on the number of worthwhile problems to be solved that can only be solved by humans. The skills of the future will need to be anchored to these human skills, creativity & innovation – the ability to create novel solutions to complex problems, judgement & decision making – the ability to balance tensions and trade-offs and make decisions in the face of ambiguity, resilience and adaptability – maintaining energy, wellbeing and motivation in the face of prolonged disruption and change, and connection & emotional intelligence – staying even more connected at a time there’s never been more distance.

Whilst organisations are thinking about reskilling and upskilling, some organisation are also making a more subtle but important shift in how they need to evolve for the future. As Gary Hamel puts it in his book Humanocracy – some organisations are shifting from “how do we get human beings to better serve the organisation” to “what sort of organisation elicits and merits the best that human beings can give.” It’s a subtle, but important shift. 

Q: As a learning leader, what are your top priorities in navigating the ongoing disruption?
A: Like many companies, at SEEK we are focused on how to support our leaders not just endure this disruption but evolve with it. We are really focused on supporting our people through change and ongoing disruption, managing and supporting wellbeing, not just to survive this, but to still thrive. Burnout is a very real risk in the face of enduring lockdowns and that’s even before you throw in ambitious business goals. And of course, supporting the human skills needed as we continue to move to more digital and automated ways of working.

Q: What impact do you believe technology and data will have on the future of learning?
A: I think the exciting impact of intelligent technology and data in Learning & Development is personalised learning. We are moving to a world of micro credentials and rapid reskilling where context is key. People no longer have the time to engage in learning before they need it. The future of learning will be just-in-time, steeped in context, and delivered in a way that is personalised and hyper relevant for the learner.

Q: How is the role of L&D professionals evolving?
A: I think the biggest shift in Learning & Development is moving from designing for the classroom experience to designing for the entire learning experience. Again, it is subtle but important shift. One that requires learning functions to be hyper connected to the business, work in the context of a whole ecosystem and think very deeply about is really required to make subtle but important shifts in behaviours and habits of people within the organisation.  

In a world where information is readily accessible, no long is it the role of L&D to provide information. The best learning functions are experts in closing the knowing-doing gap. 

Q: In your opinion, has the pandemic highlighted the need to invest in L&D?
A: I think many executives turned to Learning & Development to support through the pandemic, in particular to help team’s re-skill and re-learn how to connect and stay productive in the face of such rapid disruption. In the literature and also on the ground here at SEEK we continue to seek the role of L&D as important as ever in supporting individuals, teams and leaders at their most pressing time of need for today, and beyond.

Q: What are you most looking forward to at the L&D Symposium?
A: There’s an incredible line of people attending and I can’t wait to pick the brains of all of them. Oh, and good wine also helps!

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Tim Stuart-Harris
Tim Stuart-Harris

Commercial Director, Ashton Media

Ph: +61 (0)402 567 117