You only have to look at the likes of Netflix and AirBnB to know that many products and services are only one plucky start up away from becoming obsolete. Technology has revolutionised the way we access and share information and services forever. However, in the midst of change, one old truth holds true: an organisation cannot be more effective than its people. Is it time to re-think the way we approach people development?


Does your people development strategy prepare staff adequately for the future?

It’s more important than ever that teams have the right knowledge and expertise to adapt to the challenges they face and drive innovation, wherever they are.

In this dynamic environment, I believe there are some key considerations for building competitive advantage through people development:

3 key considerations for people development

  1. We need to think differently about expertise. We need to nurture, through the act of learning, adaptive experts who not only cope with change, but lead it.
  1. We need to apply what’s known about skill transfer. Leaders of L&D need to dig deeper and get to the heart of skills transfer to understand the critical interactions for success. This is vital for organisations to make rapid and sustainable changes to working practices and respond to new challenges and opportunities in an agile fashion.
  1. We can no longer think of learning and knowledge management as separate disciplines. They need to be part of the same systematic, organisation-wide approach to overcome knowledge silos and learning bottlenecks. This will help people access the learning they need when, where and how they need it.

Sadly, in many businesses, the learning tools, processes and values work against these three areas.

What can be done? I’ve expanded on these points and posed an alternative approach in a new white paper “Vision for Learning Organisations”download it here.

We’d love to hear your thoughts – share them below.

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Building competitive advantage through people development