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Humanized learning in the hybrid world

Insights from a discussion that takes a look into learning in a hybrid world.
Kevin Bernstein
Kevin Bernstein, Strategic Partnerships Manager

David Hastings, Head of Content Partnerships at Go1, moderated an informative and honest discussion on learning in the hybrid world with an esteemed group of panelists: Alessandro Giacobbe, Head of Learning Transformation Practice at Microsoft, Lauren Waldman, Chief Learning Scientist and Founder of Learning Pirate, and Bill Pelster, Co-Founder of the Josh Bersin Academy.  

These thought leaders came together to discuss how we can, and should, learn to humanize our workforce when it comes to people development.  

Leadership inspired learning 

The conversation opens as Bill unpicks qualities of leadership, showcasing that one will only be a great leader if they teach the next generation to be leaders themselves. Alessandro agrees and follows-up by saying that learning experiences have evolved three-fold since he began his career at Microsoft where he now sees much more collaboration and motivation between individuals than ever before.  

In our hybrid world, accelerated by the pandemic, we see that barriers have been kicked down - people are willing to share and ask questions and the penalty for a wrong answer has been minimized. Lauren Waldman connects these thoughts by saying that employees and leaders have finally allowed human beings to be “human beings,” and that we must continue to teach people how to learn as this will be the ultimate key to our own success.  

Tech driven transformation 

When surfacing the challenge organizations face with delivering learning to a hybrid workforce, Alessandro outlines the beneficial properties of technology, explaining that we have gone from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. With these advances, it is easier to learn from each other thanks to evolved video conferencing and other online mediums that should be embraced even outside of a pandemic context. One way that Microsoft believes these learning delivery goals can be achieved is via Microsoft Viva Learning, a platform Go1 integrates into to surface learning within Microsoft Teams. 

The panel unanimously agrees that we must all move from formal learning, to enable informal learning into the flow of work, where one can get knowledge and be productive at the same time. It is in social learning environments that companies see the most success and career growth, even from a scientific standpoint. Lauren, a learning scientist, spoke to the chemicals that keep brains functioning and how we can ensure to avoid cognitive overload, stress and burnout. With workforces stretched, Lauren believes strongly that leaders must identify each individual’s limitations and capacity when it comes to learning: “We can’t buy resilience, we need to grow it.”  

Learning through failures 

When the panel was prompted to discuss failures they have seen organizations make in delivering training, all unanimously agreed that there aren't really failures, but rather, learning experiences. Alessandro takes the example of data science - if a hypothesis turns out to be false then, it refines the engine. The idea of engineered failure in a business is critical to evolve.  

Alessandro claims that all learning needs to be personalized to the learners style in order to have real impact. He applauds platforms such as Go1 which enable this in a seamless manner. Lauren jumps in to remind the audience that, people tend to look at tech and see the solution but we need to remember it is the tool. She reminds the audience and panel that we still need to see more intentional and strategic courses in learning programs.   

To wrap up the seminar, Bill takes the floor and concludes that to deliver transformation in the learning space, we should empower employees to develop by offering them the right tools, choice and personalization. We should stop mistaking ‘upskilling’ with trying to resolve systemic issues that can be found within a business and focus on individual needs to ensure real growth.  

Interested in finding out more about Go1 and Microsoft Viva? Visit

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