A Time to Change in 2021

A Time to Change in 2021

Just truism that 2020 has been a terrible year for so very many. If ever there was a time to change it is now, as 2021 begins. I want to share some reflections on the shape of change as I see the coming year develop. They’re reflections that have informed the development of our products.

Our products are wholly concerned with the development of people and organisations.  In particular they are concerned with connecting people to performance, through simple and accessible tools that integrate and enable assessment, development and performance management.

The beginning for us was in face-to-face work with clients.  The first was a call centre environment with an horrendous staff attrition rate of 121% annually.  Our work reduced that rate to 70% in 6 months and led to a UK based talent development programme in the UK business and later the UK business contributing an estimated £1.4M to the balance sheet. They are eye-watering figures benefiting the business, considering the work was simply about people development and colleague engagement.  The approaches we adopted were simple, almost commonplace.  Time and again we replicated results: creating savings, reducing costs, motivating and developing people; measuring benefit.  We’ve learned how to do this, consistently and repeatedly.  Now we’ve launched our products, so others can share what we’ve created.

This is part of our story.

Back in 2012, Sheffield Hallam University worked with us to establish the best method to share our methods.  They proposed we build a game-based mobile first platform, anyone could access from anywhere, so we have!

We’ve developed a simple, graphics-based resource, the SPICE Framework that any individual or business can access on any web enabled device.

 As we developed, back in 2013 we started to talk about the emergence of remote working and made two predictions, firstly that remote working would become commonplace and that conventional learning and development and consultancy would become productised as consumable resources.

 Roll on seven years to 2020: remote working has become normative for many and both learning and development and consulting practice are changing.  The changes are driven by two factors, emerging working practise and emerging technologies. We have responded to both.

 Our response to emerging technologies is in the recognition that there are five principles driving development in that:

1. Products need to connect people, through

2.  A great user experience that is

3.  Accessible anywhere and anytime,

4.  Enabling ongoing development that

5.  Generates measurable impact.

Our own view is that, if people development products don’t address each and all of these five principles, forget them!

 We’d say these five principles should be five tests used to assess any product.  We’ve built the SPICE Framework on them.  We invite any business, people developer or consultant to test our product.  Whilst this invitation is real and open to anyone, it’s not really the point of this article.  For this article is about reflections on the shape of change into 2021.

 I hate terms like ‘thought leader’ or ‘futurist’ or ‘prophet’.  I simply comment on what I see, what I perceive.

 What I perceive is an acceleration in the development of remote working practises and increasing demands to connect people development to people performance.  I will go further.

 I think remote working practises will become normative for many and that new forms of business connectivity will emerge in a combination of consumable development opportunities, accessed on demand.  Let me explain what I mean.

 Pre-Covid, many of us have grown used to working in different places, without it becoming generally normative: hotel lobbies and coffee shops, hot-desk environments, dining tables and bedrooms have been emerging workspaces.  With-Covid, dining table and bedrooms have become normative.  Post-Covid, we will see an emergence of a new form of remote working supporting the new norm.  I predict the emergence of informally accessed networked hubs.  From village communities to major centres, we will see the emergence of new working practises that enhance connectivity through these localised community hubs.  They will support the normalising of remote working in 2021.

 This remote working and their localised hubs will lead to an increase in consumable development opportunities, accessed on demand.  There has been a gradually emerging movement to deliver consumable development opportunities through short, specific consumable interventions on mobile devices, so-called mLearning.  Such development opportunities will become normative, changing the shape of learning and development.  Of course, the ideal is that they are blended with face-to-face and other development interventions.  Nonetheless, the emergence of mLearning will become an increasing influence on people and organisational development.  It has the potential to revolutionise learning and development delivery.  There are two problems for learning and development and for consulting: delivery capability and evaluation/impact assessment.

 I wonder how prepared the learning and development and consulting sectors are for the tsunami of change that is coming? 

 I said at the start of the first Covid lockdown that the use of Zoom, Team, Skype, etc. whilst great for the time-being would prove a temporary lash up.  We’d need to move beyond that.  I said at the start of the first Covid-lockdown that we’d need to move to a more permanent solution, one that would enable people to track and manage sustainable development.

 Now is the time to move beyond temporary lash ups and to establish a more permanent solution. 

 I think learning & development and consulting needs to more closely connected to business performance through:

1. Providing simple, accessible data that informs business decisions and development

2. Informing business managers and leaders about the performance of remote working individuals and teams

3. Enabling the management of the delivery of development in an efficient and cost-effective manner as a unit of consumption directly to individuals and teams.

 I’m really happy to share what we have created at www.spiceframework.com. Anyone can access what’s been created there and get a no obligation 14 day free trial.  By arrangement, we can enable users to access a no obligation 30 day free trial, if they are prepared to join our learning community to develop the SPICE Framework further.

 Why not get in touch to find our more?

Contact us here:

0113 733 2589

[email protected]

Written by Michael Croft

January 5, 2021