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Hubert De Neve from IMEC on “Learning at Work”

IMECs chief learning man Hubert De Neve introduced the Kluwer Meet and Greet this afternoon with a look at Learning at Work. This post tells his story (in the first person)…

What have I seen in 2 decades of learning?

The changes seen are mostly related to the different ways in which organisations have changed over these last 2 decades:

  • “Scale” becomes “Functional Business Units”
  • “Standardisation” becomes “Customisation”
  • “Fixed job descriptions” becomes “Flexible workers”
  • “Financial capital” becomes “Human capital”
  • “Operational control” (by management) becomes “Competence Management”
  • …and what does this mean for the business world on a larger, global view?
    We are no longer in the Industrial Era, but in the Knowledge Era.

    What does this mean for Learning Professionals and HR people?

  • HR is moving away from controlling processes (payroll, benefits…) towards real learning consultancy. Learning people need to get better in touch with the core drivers of the business, learn how to consult and bring real value solutions to the organisation.
  • HR people need to change their vision of the employees they are serving. If employees are no longer industrial workers who do the same fixed function in the same fixed way, needing control and discipline, then how we serve them needs to evolve too: Creating opportunities to become truly flexible in their work, providing the same business results in less time.
  • We need to stop trying to fit people into boxes of “required competences” and train them to have those and move towards recognising the individual strengths of each employee and leverage those to create real value
  • What is coming next?

  • Generation Y wants it all now (including the fun) and we will need even more to find ways to accommodate that in what we provide at work
  • We need to incorporate differ technologies, media, devices and approaches to learning. Granularity that allows each person to serve himself.
  • We all know that social media is important for learning, but in the future apps on smartphones will be a major part of workplace learning
  • We will need to bring even more meaning to our people, in all it’s sense. As @danielpink says in his book “Drive” a sense of purpose is a major source of intrinsic motivation for people in the New World of World. Workers need to identify with the mission, vision and values of the organisation. That will bring passion and that will bring real great work!
  • …that’s where I stop. Hubert is speaking 3 languages and I have to save some brain power for my own speeches later 🙂

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    Generation Y and New Intergenerational Issues, with Steve Gavatorta

    In T+D Magazine (March 2012) from ASTD there is a great article from Steve Gavatorta concerning the arrival of Generation Y into management positions and the reaction of their baby-boomer direct reports. Any “young-gun” coming into a management position is bound to cause some upset for the more senior staff, but Steve argues that it is even worse this time, given the GenY tendancy to overlook some specific communication preferences of other generations (namely: face-to-face!). I contacted Steve with more questions, which he was kind enough to answer here…

    (If you want to read the article first, follow this link…)


    Intergenerational relationships have always existing in the workplace, just like intercultural relationships. Why is the emergence of GenY on the workplace causing so much “fuss”? How is the difference so different to previous generation-gaps?

    I think the main reason is Gen Y’s strength and experience using technology – be it using advanced technological devices and/or social media venues to interact and communicate. Gen Y people grew up using these tools/methods to communicate so it is what “they know” and its comfortable for them. Meanwhile, other generations had to learn a bit later in life, so its harder for them to grasp and it’s not their main means of connecting and communicating…also some from other generations have also refused to advance with the technology/new communication methods – all of these reasons are creating a natural divide.


    If we believe the communication experts, using non face-to-face methods for communications could lead to a lot of misunderstanding (GenY use these tools a lot). Add to this the initial intergenerational “culture” differences that cloud understanding and its even worse…. What do you think?

    I agree wholeheartedly – this method of communication is creating the big divide…two things happen when people solely use non face-to-face methods to communicate: Firstly, messages can get misconstrued and misunderstood. Secondly, there is a missing human factor that gets lost as well (facial gestures, eye contact, tone, body language) which diminishes “meaning” in communication.  All these things lead to misunderstandings and “watered down” messages and leads to ineffective communication.

      Read the rest of this entry

    #LearningStyles “statement”

    Economist like models, but don’t like stories ?

    Marketeers like stories, but don’t like facts ?

    Scientists like facts, but don’t like fun ?

    Gen Y likes fun, but doesn’t like experts ?

    Experts don’t like Gen Y, other experts or non-experts ? 🙂

    Honey + Mumford like models, stories, faces and fun


    I like granularity