What if learning was meant to be an empowering spell not a muggle certificate?
Written by Liz Timoney, May 2018
Learning has undergone a massive transformation in the last 20 years. When I started out doing end user training for Microsoft and Lotus Notes; organisations could not get enough of it and management and leadership training at the same time was pretty dull in comparison - many of the greats resorting to taped videos of themselves which their 'accredited trainers' would simple insert into the video player! Online didn't exist and phones were something found connected to a wall that you called people on.

Now if you want to know how to use software you look on YouTube or just Google it and much of the fundamentals in management and leadership training has gone onto blogs or FaceBook groups of the gurus. MindValley and others have sprung up to offer some of the classic personal development alongside the blossoming world of spiritual and energy techniques as online courses with 'masters.' The magic is starting to return...

Organisations still value qualifications but mainly as a process for culling numbers rather than as any great predictor of skill or knowledge. Even some of the big institutions like EY (one of the top 4 auditors globally) are turning their backs on degrees as a standard requirement. Still my peers love a qualification and many I see who are stuck, think that a better qualification is their route to greater things. Sadly, the reverse is true. They get added academic work to add onto their usually already full professional and personal plates. Worse, they get very few profound insights that help them personally or professionally and they remain stuck and indebted morally to the organisation that paid for it with no new options. Sadly, they took the programme for the imagined options and are left curiously empty when it all ends.

The biggest lie that seems to still be doing the rounds in corporate learning is the 70:20:10 philosophy. (We spend 70% of our learning in informal learning, 20% in online / self directed methods and 10% in classroom - or some variation thereof.)

So many clients earnestly tell me they are doing this and very few had any way of working out what they were doing in the 70%, never mind how to measure it or the value it was adding. In fact most admitted that it was a thinly disguised way of saying 70% of the budget was cut for learning.

I am not saying informal learning is not valuable - quite the reverse - I think it is the main way we learn. Just like the placebo effect (placebo effect =brilliant truth about our power to heal ourselves through belief but derided as 'fake medicine.') Informal Learning is our power to transform ourselves by seeing someone we value do what we want to do, and then copying them until we master it; when we can then make the new skill our own. It is derided as 'non-learning' or 'on the job learning' without any knowledge of the power that is hidden here - beliefs are again a key part.

My belief is that the market is swinging towards individuals of worth starting to own their own learning, more and more 'normal' people are regularly paying between a few hundred to several thousands of money to learn from people that inspire them - be it through video channels, online courses or coaching - and the mastermind and subscription markets are booming. Serious money is being exchanged there - £10-50k monthly (yes, you read that right) just to be a part of a group who is going somewhere - so powerful is the social role modelling in learning. So impactful is the outcome gained, that some programmes really are becoming tickets to a new life.

So, just as with any good piece of learning - ask yourself: 'so what?' 'What does this change for me' and mainly 'what am I going to do about it?'

Liz Timoney


Liz Timoney helps leaders with an itch for 'something more' in their work and life to find the freedom, meaning and choice they are searching for. She uses narrative psychology and energy techniques to create confidence, abundance, ease and magic.
If you're interested in finding new ways to work and live to find the freedom you crave then definitely reach out and request a free strategy session today.

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