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Marijn De Geus


Founder & CEO

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The five elements of a modern training ecosystem


The 21st century has changed a lot in the modern human’s brain. Our increasing digital dependence is joined by a shorter attention span and distractions from all sides. Conventional training lacks the answer to these challenges. A modern training ecosystem requires five elements.

Only 15% of newly acquired skills are successfully implemented. No wonder three quarters of senior managers are dissatisfied with the function of Learning & Development in their company, as Grovo summarises. Constantly changing developments require a training ecosystem that can handle this. The most important pillars are:

1. Microtraining

Content should be small. In an age of concentration deficits and limited attention spans, learning a new skill should not take too much time consecutively. It’s better to cut them into partial skills and serve these in a way where it only takes fifteen minutes to acquire them. This makes microtraining faster, easier and cheaper to create and update than traditional training content. Trainers can finetune the distribution and alternate with tests and practical items.

2. Training like water

Microtraining only works when learning is available anytime and anywhere. Like a utility. Think about water at your office: you get it from the watercooler on the opposite wall, in the kitchen or from the bottle in your bag. And it’s just as easy to find at home. Training does not need to be a luxury. It should be like water: delivered so reliably that you build plans and habits around it being there. A modern training ecosystem therefore must be:

  • Push and pull: training whenever you want and a notification when new content is available.
  • Always accessible: available at any device, from your laptop to your smartphone or tablet.
  • Habitual and continuous: Users should access it by muscle memory - like turning on a faucet.

3. Alignment

A modern training ecosystem is aligned with the people, culture and strategy within an organisation. Employees know and experience the importance of their development, to the organisation as a whole and to themselves. Involved managers and supervisors are indispensable in such an environment.

4. Practice makes perfect

Or, to be precise: realistic practice makes perfect. Therefore you should use scenarios and simulations that immediately pull the participant into the training. Scenarios coming straight from the real world, which can be handled with renewed skills the next time. The final result is unconscious competence: the skill has been used so often that it automatically goes well.

5. Affective

A training which is emotionally appealing, has a stronger effect on the participant. Video helps with this, but the option to practice whenever a participant needs it, is helpful as well. Right before an important presentation for instance. As close to emotions experienced in a practical context as possible.

Author Profile Picture
Marijn De Geus

Founder & CEO

Read more from Marijn De Geus

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