Skillsoft Blog

EMEA Perspectives 2017

By Tara O’Sullivan


If there was one overriding feeling about this year’s EMEA Perspectives conference it was this – HR is standing on a precipice and whether you fall over or skirt the edge will be determined by how well you adapt to change.

Throughout the day, I heard it over and over again, HR is changing. But, the current changes in the workplace are happening at such alarming rates that we have to be careful the solutions we find to address them aren’t simply knee jerk reactions – quick instant fixes that fail to adapt when the next new “It” occurs – whether it is something in technology or generational expectations and so forth.

We must look to longer-term fixes that evolve with the workforce as it grows, to management practices and technological tools that adapt – to making it less about the band-aid and more about the symptoms.

Thankfully, people are doing this. We heard from Sarah Otley, Capgemini’s VP for Professional Excellence Approach Lead & Digital Age Learning Lab Director, who gave us Learning in Digital Learning Age 101, a very thorough and practical guide to getting an entire organisation up to speed and engaging in Hackathons and Design Sprints. In the afternoon, CGI’s Director of Global Learning Design and Creation, Helen Sussex, entertained us all with her story of how they dealt with the unique challenges they face given they are almost like a franchise model. She also discussed how they ended up using the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) method to encourage and engage learners when she was given, by the sound of it a rather unenviable, task of setting up leadership training on a global scale.

So what are we doing?

Well quite a number of things. We’ve undertaken some huge measures and have over the past 18 months shifted perspectives. We know about change and we know that in order to best deal with change there has to be a fundamental shift – from slapping something on to redesigning it in its entirety. And that’s sorta what we’ve done. From new content in Business & Leadership, IT, and Compliance, to a workforce management tools that give real time scheduling data to new platforms – Skillport 8 and now our latest and game changing Percipio – we have rebuilt the way organisation’s educate, skill, and manage their workforce.

Technology continues to chip away, pun intended, at our work environment, and organisations will increasingly rely on HR to be there with answers.

And we’re going to be there for them, compass in hand, ready to navigate and thereby avoid any or all pitfalls.

Tara O’Sullivan is the Chief Content Officer of Skillsoft and SumTotal.

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