Ahoy Pink Posse! Welcome aboard for your weekly curated cruise. This week we visit the rocky shores of changing skillsets, the rapid straits of staying smart and continuous learning, and attempt to ride the social selling wave. And if mixed metaphors make you seasick, hold onto something as we head out…
Shift happens, as Forrest Gump almost said. And right now the work of work is feeling the ground shift, as automation eats into many a knowledge worker’s future. So what the flux are we going to do about it? McKinsey consultants writing in HBR this week call for a rethinking of how we upskill and reskill at work and in education. Their key message: “jobs of the future” are largely unpredictable and always a moving target. It’s not just learning how to code. Social, cognitive and emotional skills will rise in value too. If you want to survive then stay broad, stay curious and start it in school.
Despite these seismic changes, corporate learning is often aligned to competencies and career paths. But if you career is anything like ours, it’s not very linear. The shelf like of skills is shortening rapidly. Structured learning around career paths may lead you in the wrong direction. Deloitte sets out an interesting challenge to reshape our approach to learning in light of this: Think of learning as Learning As A Platform. Bring in wider sources of information. Become less of a silo and more part of the workflow. Integrate with other platforms. Be more agile. Yes we know, that’s a lot of mantras. But there’s sound ideas to back it up, and echoes what fellow Deloitter Josh Bersin has been saying about the new learning platform.
That all said, the reality of learning today can feel quite far from that fluid future vision. Most corporate L&D departments spent a significant portion of their time and resources on classroom training and elearning. But according to The Annual Modern Workplace Learning Survey, classroom and elearning are the experiences that people value the least. The most valued? Daily experience (aka learning by doing), knowledge sharing in your team, and uh, Google. Valuable insights on what that means for Learning Professionals here. Probably time to recalibrate that budget.
In sales? Me too. Isn’t everyone? Especially salespeople. And sales friends – don’t we just love coming off the road or the phone to sit in a classroom? If there’s any audience that’s hardwired to continuously learn on the go, it’s sales teams. Not that they see it as learning. It’s about seeking out useful content, just in time, to help sales teams help their clients and prospects and get the job done. Mark Magnacca puts this much more eloquently in his article on why sales and continuous learning are a perfect fit. If your job includes providing learning for sales teams, put that coffee cup down and read this (that was a little joke for sales teams. If you didn’t get it, you’re fired).
Savvy sales professionals get a double benefit when they’re continuously learning and consuming content. They can share their insights with their networks to show their expertise and build relationships. That’s social selling, and the place to do it is LinkedIn. Melonie Dodaro is the Queen of LinkedIn for social selling. In this post she sets how to use LinkedIn for social selling. You don’t try and push your product as soon as you connect. Nobody likes that. You build trust by adding value, and that’s all about content: continuously curating, creating and sharing content and insights with people whose problems you can help solve. See how it all comes together at the end…and don’t stop there, get her book on it.
Obviously now is not the moment to go into sales mode. But maybe, just maybe we’ve added some value and earned the right to mention our curation tool for continuous learning. Since it’s free maybe you’ll forgive the unbelievable nerve of some salespeople.