L&D Symposium 2021

An L&D conversation

Johannes Lystbæk, L&D Manager
The LEGO Group (Denmark)


Stacey Goater, Portfolio Director
Ashton Media

An L&D conversation

An L&D conversation with… series will feature video interviews with leaders in Learning & Development, sharing insights, trends and challenges from some of the region’s leading organisations.

Stacey: Hi, I’m Stacey Goater, Portfolio and Content Director, Ashton Media, the organiser of the L&D symposium, which will bring together senior L&D leaders on the 25th and 26th of November in the glorious Hunter Valley. If you aren’t already coming along, you should definitely check it out, because you’ll get to hear from the amazing Johannes Lystbæk, L&D Manager of the LEGO Group based in Denmark, who will be delivering our international keynote at the event. Now Johannes will be joining us to explore how we can better use technology to boost learner engagement and development and wellbeing, while also ensuring that your technology selection is cost effective, aligned with your unique learning and organisational goals and generates a positive return on investment. So it should be a brilliant and very informative session. I’m thrilled to have your hands with me here today, albeit virtually, though that is the norm these days. And Johannes, thanks so much for joining me.

Johannes: Happy to be here.

S: It would be great to hear a little bit more about what you and your team are working on and what you’re focused on at the minute.

J: My focus at the moment is very much on our technology infrastructure. So having that in place to make sure that we can bring the right content to the right people at the right point in time, the right place. Also very much focused on our comms engagement. So making sure that people are aware of the things that we offering. And then also some programme learning experience development for our, call it our signature learning opportunities we have here at the LEGO Group. So very much focused on learning and culture work here in the learning and development.

S: There’s a lot of talk in the industry and a lot of work that businesses are doing to champion that learning culture internally to make sure that employees are leveraging the learning opportunities available to them in the flow of work. How are you and the Lego Group working to help foster that learning culture internally?

J: I think if I look back three years ago, we introduced something we call the Leadership playground, which is basically something that was created together with the organisation. And it’s a working philosophy and a concept for how we define leadership. So how does that then connect to our learning culture? In a leadership playground, everyone is a leader. So we all have responsibility to lead ourselves and each other, it doesn’t mean that we all have the formal leadership. But, and to be a good leader, we have to be curious, focused and brave. So especially in this curiosity thing, that we preach here at the LEGO Group that all of us needs to be curious, in order to lead ourselves. So I think it’s very at the, at the foundation of who we are, and our working philosophy. And it might sound like something that only exists on paper, but it’s really we use this values and the promises everyday here at the LEGO Group. And it’s not only a Learning and Development initiative, it’s bigger than that. And it’s what we are building on, so it’s not only us in the in learning and development, we’re building learning culture, it’s the whole people function and our corporate communications as well.

S: It definitely feels like a really interesting time for the L&D professional, we see a lot has changed over the past 18 months of how we live and work being, you know, shifted quite dramatically. What would you say are some of the most pressing issues facing l&d leaders at the minute?

J: I think I can speak for sort of the the pinpoints that we’re having at the moment that we have, we have touched we have focused a lot of content for for some time now. And content may be king, but yet people are yet to some extent drowning in it. So it’s this issue about getting the right learning content to the right people. So that will develop the skills that our company needs to stay competitive. In figuring out what are the skills? So there’s this, referred to as the global skills crisis. So right, scaling our organisation, figuring out, what are the skills that we should be emphasising? And on what basis? Maybe creating a new skills framework? Or should we go with something that is pre existing question marks.

And because I’m also heavily involved in, in technology, I think it’s, it’s an issue for so for us to navigate, call it the the L&D technology landscape, maybe also the whole HR technology landscape, a lot of new things emerging in the market, going from your learning management systems to learning experience that forms to employee experience platforms. And so if we’re having issues navigating that landscape, then basically it also means that our employee might be struggling a bit there. Other than that, also, by adopting the Agile ways of working to be more flexible, to and adapt to change. Finally, with that, also being able to prove business impact. So the investments that we put in our to our content and our learning programmes. It’s okay to prove that people enjoy the programmes, but can we actually prove some kind of business impact as well? I think that’s that’s what our top of our heads at the moment.

S: There’s almost an overwhelming array of tools and technologies that L&D leaders can use now to engage their wider teams and in learning initiatives, and what impact do you think technology and data will have on the future of learning looking forward?

J: That’s the million dollar question. I wish that I had the sheet answer for that. But I guess in my perspective, if we look at 5-10 years down the line I don’t think there will be a big change in in how we learn, I don’t think that’s changing. So if you look at some of the cognitive science and all that I think that’s how we put together but what will change is the, what we need to learn because technology and data work is going to change then obviously people need other skills. So hopefully technology will help us be able to predict what skills are needed now in the in the future. And give us better ways of building the skills.

I think there’ll be more focus on behavioural skills. The role, human skills, if you can call it that, I think with automation and AI, that you could say that the machines are coming. But I think that to some extent that, that we will need more stuff like critical thinking, design, thinking, communication, business acumen, stuff like that. There’s some of the skills that we need to make sure that everyone has. And then the personality function, I think it’d be less about which it’s all it’s already like that, it’s less about delivering training, was more about the delivery of information in the right time, place and format. So if you take a Lego example, for instance, then in our production facilities, it will be less about providing some training upfront, to make sure that people really know every steps from A to Z set. Because you will at some point in time, put on your AR glasses, and you will just have a head up display of of all the things that you need to do and what order. Obviously there will be still training needs, whether it’s safety, quality, and stuff like that. But I think very much about delivering the right information at the right point in time.

S: What’s the best piece of advice that you’d say you’d say you’ve received?

J: I was once told by my guitar teacher, that I shouldn’t be afraid to do something that I’m good at. So being someone who suffered a bit from stage fright, that for some reason, it really stuck with me. And it’s been stuck with me ever since. In some way, moulding me, motivating me to get to keep learning to sharpen the soul, and be really good at what I’m doing. And that can give me confidence to deliver great results. So that’s the first thing I thought of when you asked that question.

S: Thank you so much, Johannes. I really appreciate you joining me for this chat today. And I can’t wait to hear your session at the L&D symposium in November. Thank you so much.

J: Happy to be here. Looking forward to presenting more stuff later.

The L&D Symposium, 25-26 November, will safely bring together 150+ enterprise L&D Leaders in the beautiful Hunter Valley.

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Tim Stuart-Harris
Tim Stuart-Harris

Commercial Director, Ashton Media

Ph: +61 (0)402 567 117