paintbrushes

Why do we always desire new and different?

Impact’s Senior Consultant Liz Wilson on the creative approach to learning.

Almost half (47%) of respondents in Impact’s Global Learning Survey said that their organisation has a creative approach to designing and commissioning learning

“A creative approach to designing and commissioning learning”. It is possible to feel intimidated by that phrase. Ours is an industry with a thirst for new and different – we’re propelled into innovation by advances in everything from technology to neuroscience. As our organisations either lead the way or struggle to keep up, so do we, as L&D enthusiasts, either nudge people gently into the future or hang onto their coat tails as they hurtle there themselves. Often, at Impact, we are asked “what’s new?” and we find ourselves walking the line between new and effective and new for the sake of it!

The world offers endless possibilities for learning, every day – from raising an eyebrow in a moment of enlightenment to learning that's structured and deliberate. Our job is to be smart about human nature, to ensure that people are switched on to the possibility of learning and that they notice it when it’s happening or has happened. We can’t stop people from learning – they are doing it all the time, taking in information, forming impressions, making decisions according to what they’ve absorbed.

Our job is also to be smart about what the organisation needs and then to map our subtle and nuanced understanding of where people are right now, of how they learn and what they are already learning, against what we believe they need to learn next – with a view to happy, healthy people and an organisation worth working for. If we use our clever brains to do this well, the solution can only ever be ‘creative’ – whatever methods or ideas we use, new or ancient.

For more on learning trends, check out our Global Learning Survey results here.

More from Liz Wilson coming soon - what actually makes us learn.