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How to know a learning culture when you see one.

How to know a learning culture when you see one.
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A “learning culture” can be hard to define, but you can certainly tell it when you see it.

A strong learning culture is essential in today’s business landscape, where employees must learn new skills to evolve and businesses must attract employees with inspiring learning programs.

So what exactly does a learning culture look like?

At Novartis, CLO Simon Brown has introduced a 13-week package as part of an initiative to “Go BIG on learning.” Brown explains the pillars of the approach, and in doing so highlights core elements of a learning culture.

Here’s a closer look at the key pieces:  

A learning champion

Simon Brown plays the role of learning champion, driving an initiative that attracts more than 15,000 people to log over 60,000 hours of learning. Leadership like this ripples through an organization and makes it easy for employees to get excited about learning.

Varieties of content

With momentum established, attention turns to content. Novartis have provided a range of content from webinars to off-the-shelf courses to learning playlists. They facilitate multi-modal learning, recognizing that we learn and consume content in different ways. Some love books, others prefer a Blinkist summary; some love conversational webinars, others prefer instructional workshops. They provide a nice balance of external, off-the-shelf content and internal, custom-built content.

Learning Experience Platform (LXP)

Novartis have invested in a Netflix-style personalized learning system, a learning experience platform (LXP) that uses AI and machine learning to make intelligent recommendations based on preferences, role, aspirations, and previously engaged content.

United by hashtag

The “I am curious” moniker and hashtag (#iamcurious) pays tribute to the importance of soft skills and the role of curiosity in new discoveries. It encourages participants to consider their own passions and learning styles, and how those curiosities might materialize in the workplace.

Peer to peer learning

The hashtag (#iamcurious) unites learners around curiosities, opening the door to connecting with other similarly-inspired peers. Learners are encouraged to connect with peers and learning leaders, facilitating a team-oriented approach to personal and professional development.

Practical application

Once ideas have surfaced, there are templates for putting innovation into action. This isn’t lipservice to organizational change, it is empowering employees to make a difference and shape the landscape of their workplace.

Unbossed

This learning culture is centred around three terms: inspired, curious, and unbossed. Each of these terms champions autonomy, encouraging learners to lead from within and blaze their own trail. “Unbossed” tells participants, “this isn’t about compliance, it’s about community and imagination.”

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