How Digital Transformation is Disrupting Corporate Learning in a Good Way with Brandon Carson

How Digital Transformation is Disrupting Corporate Learning in a Good Way  – highlights from our podcast interview with Brandon Carson

With the wave of digital transformation has come massive amounts of change and disruption. Everyone has been affected and learning organizations are no exception. In trying to seek new ways to provide learners with the information they need when they need it, the learning community has several leaders in the field that are paving the way.
Brandon Carson, Director of Learning for Delta and author of the book, Learning in the Age of Immediacy shared with us his views, including the 5 factors of disruption and how they are changing the way corporate learners learn.  
Take for instance, a company such as Delta and a tech company such as Apple. At first glance there are differences in both audiences and business needs. However, the universal premise remains; we are all humans and we all have to learn.

How has the digital transformation impacted learning?  
Digital transformation has been a topic that’s been getting attention for some time. And rightly so, as our world has changed drastically just in the past 10 years.
The disruption that has been taking place in the business landscape is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. And, it’s happening rapidly.
This has placed the corporate learning at the forefront, as businesses across the globe are constantly worried about the speed of delivery.
And the driving force behind it is our customers expectations.

Never in the history of the world has technology and innovations given our customers more choices and more instant gratification from the products and businesses that they interact with than now.
This has posed so many challenges in the workplace, moving corporate learning in unfamiliar territory. Corporate learning teams are needing to find ways to be aligned strategically to the business, but also realize that the workforce is trying to navigate the complexity of all of this disruption.

How can those learning teams cut through the noise?
“This is why I wrote my book,” mentioned Brandon. Time and time again he realized that this was a recurring problem that many organizations struggle with. He went on to say, “I realized that we needed to position our learning organizations to be proactively modeled to provide help for the workforce.”
Brandon has outlined five factors of disruption. He went on to share two of them; workplace automation and the cloud.

Workplace Automation  
It both interests and frightens people. We’ve been automating human work for a long time, but now that computers are doing more and more of it, it’s making some uneasy.
And the biggest concern? The elimination of jobs.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are those that see the value in it and exactly how business is being transformed. Automation not only saves time but increases revenue and productivity.
Corporate learning teams need to be educated and be a part of the teams to effectively help businesses navigate this landscape.

The Cloud
How does it impact learning? There is no doubt that the cloud is having the biggest impact on the digital transformation.
We are all in the cloud whether we want to believe it or not. The key to corporate learning is to figure out exactly how it impacts organizations. As Brandon nicely put it, “The cloud is the largest migration of IT in the history of IT.”

One day, data centers will eventually become extinct. From a learning perspective, the cloud is helping to disrupt how people are receiving their information. “It is the perfect aggregation of tech and services that bring us to that contextual realization of knowledge in real time”, explains Brandon.
He went on by saying, “We are moving from that idea of having to wait to learn, to why do I have to wait to learn? The cloud is fueling that mindset.”
For learning teams, it’s a call to action to determine how you can look at your company and the solutions you provide in leveraging the cloud. This allows your people to have what they need when they need it.
Brandon elaborated, “A big transformation for learning organizations is that the cloud has changed how we interact with our learners and increases our ability to get information to our learners when they need it. Never in history have we been able to do that.”
Brandon had a few pieces of advice that he wanted to share with learning leaders facing fast-past learning challenges. The takeaways are simple:

    • It’s not all about tech. There are many other components changing the nature of how we work – an aging workforce, globalization, and different generations to name a few. Technology is just one piece of a much bigger puzzle.
  • Keep the human element. That never goes away. We are a long way from machines controlling everything.

As the digital transformation unfolds, we will continue to increase our efficiency and performance. In the future, learning organizations will play a big role in how that happens.
How is your learning team making a difference?
We hope you enjoyed Brandon Carson’s podcast as much as we enjoyed talking to him. To listen to any of our other guests, check out The HIVE: Perspectives on Innovation in Talent Development podcast series.