60-second interview with Jane Hart

Jane Hart, 31/5/2017

Jane Hart is founder of the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies, UK.

What do you do?

I help organisations understand new learning trends, tools and technologies; and discover how to modernise their approach to workplace learning.

What does this mean in practice?

We run an annual survey of learning and performance tools and publish the top ones on our website. We also run online workshops for learning practitioners and private workshops for organisations, and have just launched a series of 30 day learning challenges, designed to help people update their modern learning skills and future-proof their careers.

What do you see as being the main shifts required to modernise workplace learning?

We need to see a move away from the traditional approach that is dominated by training, to one which enables and supports all the ways people learn at work.

This includes helping individuals and managers make more of the learning that happens as a natural part of everyday work, as well as helping individuals prepare for their future and manage their own self-development.

… and what are the main challenges to be found in making these changes?

Changing the traditional mindset where it is assumed that ‘workplace learning equals training’ and is the sole responsibility of the Learning and Development (L&D) department.

This means that managers simply turn to L&D for a course when they have a performance problem, and employees believe that learning is something that is done to them!

What do you feel are the key benefits in making these changes for both the organisation and the individual?

New learning approaches are needed in a fast-changing world. Organisations can no longer keep up with the fast pace of change and train everyone in everything they need to know now and for the future.

Managers who take a close interest in the growth of their people are more likely to have an engaged team, and individuals who take responsibility for their ongoing development (supported by the organisation) are more likely to be motivated to learn. Everyone needs to understand the WIIFM (What’s In It for Me).

What do you feel are the main challenges facing Learning & Development practitioners at the moment, and how will you deal with them?

Changing the mindset that they need to control everyone’s learning by designing, delivering and managing it all. They need to move to an enabling and supporting role – working with both managers and individuals to help them achieve their individual and team goals in the most appropriate ways.

This is a big hurdle for many in L&D, as this is a completely new way of working, so they don’t understand what it means in practice. Hence, my work involves helping them first experience what it is to be a modern professional learner, who learns in a multitude of ways, and then how to support modern professional learning in the workplace.

What would you say to a young person starting out in their career?

Take responsibility for your self-improvement and professional development from day one, and demonstrate to an employer that you are continuously learning. Learnability is the new skill for the modern era.

Which social media channels do you use?

I have a blog, and useTwitter (@C4LPT), Facebook and Linked In.