Future Proofing Your Business Through Learning
Foresight is an important advantage when it comes to creating the future of business. Here are 8 learning attitudes and policies that should be adopted by organisations that want to adapt and future proof themselves.
1. Prepare for exponential change:
We are experiencing an awesome rate of change in the world today. This change is happening at an exponential pace, meaning that the information we receive, create, and are expected to manage is beyond what many of us can comprehend. It is important to be prepared for things to continue to shift and change: the way we learn and apply information will be similarly variable. And more change is certain to come, both in learning and in working.
2. Build for the unexpected:
How can organisations ready themselves for a world that’s changing faster than we are able to foresee? The answer is to build for the opportunities of tomorrow, not for the urgencies of today. This means building teams, roles, and systems that aren’t just made to support the needs of the moment, but also support the possible threats and expansions that are to come. Investing in both future-focused and present-minded training and technology is key for building a business fit to handle the unexpected twists and turns that the future will bring.
3. Get comfortable with the uncomfortable:
Businesses need to get comfortable acting and guiding teams outside of their comfort zones, as this is where expansion takes place. This is seen in the uncomfortable territories, products, services, and spaces that often fall outside of the company vision or future plans. Growing more comfortable with the uncomfortable can take the form of innovative knowledge-sharing applications that don’t have a guaranteed return on investment expectation. In the end, becoming comfortable with being outside of a comfort zone is about welcoming the change that is inevitable and fostering change that is unusual.
4. Embrace the emerging workforce:
Due to developing satellite technology that gives increased access to the internet worldwide – it’s believed that 3.5 billion people will join the global workforce in the coming years. This means that businesses will be able to access talent from new places and in new ways, without being limited by physical location. This influx of new ideas, skills, and perspectives will be critical for companies looking to stay fit for the future, as diversity in opinions and knowledge will benefit teams in unexpected ways. And when it comes to learning, having a trusted, expandable, and customisable learning management system that can allow individuals to focus on their own needs and development will be crucial for harnessing, supporting and developing this influx of global talent.
5. Welcome new perspectives:
A younger generation will soon join the workforce, and this is a great opportunity for established companies to get a fresh wave of new perspectives and ideas into their workspace. At the rate the business world is transforming, many of the children of today will be working jobs that haven’t even been devised yet. That means that those in positions of power now probably don’t have the foresight to even see what the youth are going to create and build because they lack a fresh perspective. Hiring innovative, independent, and inquisitive individuals who question the status quo and use them as “reverse mentors” to teach older generations how they can see the world in new ways.
6. Train employees to appreciate the ambiguity:
The importance of training employees to welcome change with open arms cannot be overstated. Encouraging your workforce to be comfortable “playing it unsafe” and bringing innovation to their everyday work is what will help create a vibrant, experimental culture that is more likely to land on the “next best thing” than get stuck in last year’s mission statement. Incorporate training that is focused more on change management as well as learning outcomes that aren’t always tied to the final sale. Allowing employees to explore in their training, learning, and working environment creates a strong structure for a future-focused organisation.
7. Dare to fail:
Many modern businesses would often rather fail conventionally than succeed unconventionally. It might be surprising to hear, but when you look at how organisations spend time, energy, and money on strategic planning for a future that is less than stable, you’ll notice that the real fear is of failing. Businesses should adopt the mindset that failure is the key to unlocking success and that more than strategic planning, strategic experimentation is paramount for future-proofing a business. This means training your workforce in skills outside of their primary work, offering learning opportunities that bolster innovation over preservation, and encouraging more open knowledge sharing than top-down, failure-adverse communication.
8. Learn to unlearn:
Unlearning is just as important as learning and can often be more important when looking at the sheer amount of new information we are bombarded with every day. Learning to unlearn means that organisations focus on what their employees might need to “forget” to see more clearly the opportunities the rapidly changing future could present. This unlearning also makes space for further growth and expansion through more curiosity-driven, need-focused learning that can better support individual development. It is through the act of unlearning that organisations can make more space to adopt new skills, talents, and practices that will help them future proof their business.
LMS365 provides a modern, cloud-based and secure learning management system that will help you move your organisation into the future. Find out how Microsoft Teams can be your organisation’s new home for learning.
Written by Rob Ewart