[Rakshith Bhagavath, my partner, has written the email for this entire week. You'll love the series, I'm sure. Follow along, and let me know what you feel about this mail and the ones that follow till this Saturday]
As our lives become more unpredictable, the professional business world will undeniably require individuals to have specific skills that help them to be more innovative. These skills usually fall under the collective umbrella of Soft Skills.
These skills primarily have to do with communication, collaboration, and emotional intelligence among others. And there are various reasons why these skills are important; for example, good communication skills allow for high quality discussions among team members and this, in turn, helps to improve the value of completed projects. Better collaboration among colleagues improves overall productivity and innovation. Emotional intelligence fosters better understanding in work environments and builds better resilience in individuals.
Over the last year and a half my team and I have been interested in the challenge of creating even greater value from training and development. We knew that learning speed and effectiveness would become even more important in an increasingly competitive, global, business climate. We were convinced that well-conducted training would be an important source of competitive advantage. We also recognized that training creates value only to the extent that it is applied to work in a way that improves performance. So, we focused our efforts on improving content development and delivery, which we felt was a weak link in the value chain of most trainings.
When we started brainstorming around how we might do this, we took inspiration from the words of Winston Churchill, “I’m always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.”Another source of inspiration was a poem by Javed Akthar called, ‘Ye Khel Kya Ha’ or ‘What is this game” where he posits that the only way to truly enjoy a game is to be fully immersed in it, to dissolve the boundaries that sperate the game world from the real world. We were also encouraged by neurologist Judy Willis’ book, ‘Research-Based Strategies to Ignite Student Learning’ which showed how fun experiences increase levels of dopamine, endorphins, and oxygen – all things that promote learning. We concluded that learning should be fun, immersive, and interactive.
Learning has often been associated with the metaphor of a journey into the unknown. And for modern travellers like us, we cannot think of a journey into the unknown without a trusty GPS system. Building on this metaphor, we created the GPS Framework for Training and Development to provide direction to learning initiatives in the world today.
There are 4 components to the GPS Framework:
1. Games and Gamification – to bake fun into training.
2. Personalisation – to make training meaningful to every learner.
3. Socialisation – to make interactive and amplify the learning of every learner.
4. The Driver – A world class GPS still needs a driver to steer. That’s the facilitator.
Over the coming week, I’ll explain each of these components to you; give you a guided tour, if you will. Let’s take learning in a new direction!
Charting new paths,