Developing Effective Learning Pathways

Developing Effective Learning Pathways

Allow me to take you back to 2017, in the period people seem accustomed to call ‘pre-pandemic’.  In doing so, let me tell you about a business that was wanting to be innovative in the development of their learning and development.

Three Themes in People Development

The business is global, as far UK businesses are concerned, the largest in their sector.  They hired a UK consultant with a great global pedigree in talent management to advise the business around three task themes to be applied to their division serving Europe, the Middle East and Africa.  These themes were:

  1. How to keep their people developing without jetting round the globe to training courses and conferences.
  2. How to reduce ‘down time’ in general and keep people, ‘on task’.
  3. How to reduce office-based desk space and consequently, how to increase what we now call hybrid or remote working.

In these, post-pandemic times, many of us are used to these three task themes.  Back then, the consultant who’d been hired, was pretty clueless when it came to advising the business on emerging learning technologies.  So, he hired us (Innovation People) to help him out because we’d already developed a track record advising on emerging trends and demands in learning technologies. (Check out our business website,, but in particular our own product website,

Three Themes Concentrated

At the moment, we are networked into major initiatives to support learning and development in the manufacturing sector here in the UK.  Again, these three task themes dominate but in a concentrated form.  We can summarise them like this:

  1. How can learning and development be delivered to meet the specific and often unique needs of individuals and businesses?
  2. How can learning and development be delivered in such a way people are not taken off the job?
  3. How can learning and development be delivered on demand, and anywhere to address specific needs.

Addressing Unmet Needs

In the mix, we also hear that business are increasingly dissatisfied with:

  • Conventional eLearning that doesn’t deliver either tracked and evaluated change in either participant behaviour or, the development of their skills. At best it gives a bit of knowledge transfer, or at least the impression of it.
  • ‘Sheep dip’, bog-standard training, that’s just same-old, same-old, take it or leave it courses.

Five Required Business Outcomes

Time and again, the evidence is that businesses want learning and development that delivers five outcomes:

  1. Connects people
  2. Is a fantastic user experience
  3. Enables ongoing, targeted people development
  4. Is accessible anywhere and anytime, on demand.
  5. Generate performance analytics through ongoing evaluation and impact assessment.

Based on consistent reported evidence, these five outcomes are precisely what businesses are looking for in learning and development resources.  In Innovation People’s SPICE Ecosystem, we have created an environment specifically designed to deliver these five outcomes, whether that be to a tiny micro-business or community group through to a major corporate or public sector body.

Connecting People Development Across an Employee Lifecycle

What’s more, the evidence is that learning technologies should enable delivery that connects throughout the whole lifecycle of a colleague’s engagement with a business, from pre-recruitment, through the hiring and induction process and on-going talent development.

Six Learning Types

The SPICE Ecosystem was researched and developed in the context of Innovation People leading talent development and talent management programmes within which we highlighted a progression summarised in what are described as six Learning Types:

  1. Informal Learning – Focused on building aspiration.
  2. Community Education – Focussed on Social Learning and building learning communities.
  3. Basic Skills – Focused on ensuring participants have the competence to progress.
  4. Targeted Skills Training – Focused on skills to meet occupational and role requirements.
  5. Industry Approved Training – Focused on Individual and career development.
  6. Accredited Learning. – Recognising the importance of external validation of development.

It is out contention that the development of effective learning pathways will take account of these six Learning Types but will be delivered to address specific and targeted needs, contributing measurably to performance improvement and on demand.

The SPICE Ecosystem: Connecting People to Performance and Development

The SPICE Ecosystem has been developed to support businesses develop and deliver against these learning pathways in order to connect their people to performance and development.   You might like to check out this PDF on Linkedin for further information: or just go to,

Written by Michael Croft

August 21, 2023