We start a new year of L&D QuestionTime with learning & development specialist Henriette Kloots
In your opinion what is the biggest anxiety within the world of learning and development at the moment?
As learning professionals there is a fear for change. I think change within our profession happens really slowly. For example on one hand we have current professionals and suppliers that should make a move and invest in the future. And in The Netherlands that is not happening very fast. And on the other hand we have disruptive companies who suddenly can get a leading market position. They see a chance to step in, because we are not changing fast enough. The most striking example for that is that one of the biggest department stores in NL now has a leading position as online learning institute. Simply because no current educational institute could change quickly enough. I would love it if we could experiment more, go further outside the box and just pilot something to see if it works.
Who or what is informing your thinking around L&D?
I am very blessed to have a network of people in The Netherlands and internationally that always keeps me sharp. There is a whole generation of very inspiring L&D thought leaders like Don Taylor, Bob Mosher, Nigel Paine, Elliott Masie and many others. Conferences for me are an important part of keeping myself updated although I sometimes get disappointed by the fact that it usually stays at a problem stating- level and very few hands-on problem solving. So that’s for informing, but to be quite honest, if it comes to being inspired on learning that can come from anyone anywhere. Sometimes it’s the algorithm of Netflix, a person next to me in the train learning a new language or my nieces who love learning through games nowadays.
What is the most exciting innovation on the horizon for learning?
Machine learning! For a couple of years I have been intrigued by personalized and adaptive learning. Would the world not be a much better place if we would be able to offer the learners only what they don’t know instead of offering them “everything everyone needs to go through”. If algorithms like the ones of Netflix or Booking.com could help us offer learners much more personalized learning, that would be one of my learning dreams come true. And it’s coming!
What “game changers” would you like to see and why?
It all starts with our own profession. I would love to have the learning profession be much more critical and self-reflective. Getting yourself benchmarked through accreditation is an example of investing in this. We are responsible for making learning more efficient and facilitating it according to the new standards of today’s (online) world.
One example is that we are still too focused on clocking hours than on the learning result. And we are not pushing back enough on that is my opinion.
So WE are the most important game changer because if we adapt, the rest will follow.
What do you think the world of L&D will look like by 2020?
Much more personalized, much more integrated into what people are already doing, much more in the workplace. Learning that doesn’t feel like learning, that would be great!
What advice would you give your 21 year old self?
I got some great advise from a dear learning friend recently: keep learning, be open-minded and keep challenging yourself to try new things. And I would like to add: don’t forget to make time to stand still, to reflect. Do you know the story of the two woodcutters who got paid per tree? One was chopping like crazy all day and the other stopped in the mean time. The one who paused, had chopped more trees by the end of the day. How? Because when he stopped he was sharpening his axe. We should never forget to sharpen our axe; the result will be better eventually!
Henriette has a huge passion for Human Resource development. Being involved in building programs or providing interventions that help people develop in their personal and professional life is what she has been involved for her whole career. What keeps her going? To be provided with or create a new challenge every single day!
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Henriette is an LPI Approved Accreditation Consultant – for further information simply click here