Throughout history, pandemics have shaped the world in ways that recall the essence of invention and wit, and this ever so often delivers a unique outcome: the creation of a more advanced, healthier and “more experienced” world for humanity. Therefore, when the nature of such a thing as pandemics is understood as a simple fact of repetition, then there’s the acceptance that some kind of “change” sets upon the world – this is the casual exhibition of patterns and predictions.


From the Antonine plague (between the years 165 to 180) to present-day COVID-19, some things stand clear: challenged/tipping economies, greater reflections on industrialization, the digital era, and such things as a country’s digital culture/maturity in relation to preparedness for a sharp global shift, upon the wake of changing times.


Current realities of economies, and the greater dependence on digital technology, in the light of the present global crisis are of a dual nature –  in essence, the COVID-19 pandemic  could not have been more predictable, however unforeseen. It’s outcomes have left  the world with important lessons, which might be appreciated a little too late. More than ever before, organisations are thinking of ways to introduce more radical approaches to learning so that processes, systems and cultures move more quickly and consequently, scale-up applied knowledge to drive innovation, leadership and sustainability.


The 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) will present the 5th in a rather sharp leap. This time, the proposition for many organisations will be that far greater attention is paid to learning as a means to increase agility and respond more rapidly to service delivery, where fluent and uninterrupted learning serves as recourse.


Many organisations will share common concerns as these questions arise:

  • Will current skills be enough?
  • How fast can we learn lessons and cascade firmwide – given the rate of global and business change?
  • Can our current L&D processes and outcomes compete at the rate of recent global change/experience?
  • Can we ‘turn-up’ operational efficiency by running more self – directed teams (based on applicable learning and knowledge exchange)?
  • How can we make learning more efficient, easier, faster, more enjoyable, more self – directed and more transferable to new situations?


In answering these questions, there is a reference to the capabilities of “smart” organisations to reassess their value offerings. While this must be at the exclusion of physical structures and traditional systems, it will also be based on the sense that business needs will almost exclusively be met with strong learning cultures and responses generated from applied knowledge.


Companies all over the world have come to realise that the rate of displacement of essential services draws attention to cost-effective and practical learning that adjusts to current realities and, just as effectively, contributes to market superiority and performance excellence, nonetheless.


Mobile and digital business processes, also learning, now permeate all aspects of operations, and more businesses now turn to digital learning products and services as one of the essential ways to ensure continuity, responsiveness and health. The expectation is that the recovery from the current pandemic will see many companies thrive as they gain momentum in the arena of quick and overly disruptive global competition that would soon prevail.


Innovation in the new, oncoming world would become a more arduous and frustrating task. The difficulty of achieving market differentiation (based on a more extensive digitally driven world) vis-à-vis the competition, would grow in leaps and bounds so that blazing new trails would no longer be enough for companies’ success. Instead, success will be determined by the ability to become autonomous where quality – dependent, highly rapid learning transfer* is concerned.


A responsive thought process will beg to drive the notion for immediate action, an attitude that present the fact that “the time for action is now!”


It cannot be emphasized further that we now live in an absolutely digital era and the only premise for participation is rapid knowledge development!


For many organisations around the world, learning will not only remain a key – driver to performance and other important processes, it will be the heartbeat of agility for organisational survival. Therefore, a fluent digital learning and knowledge management strategy is key to ensuring that successful outcomes are delivered.


At pcl., key themes we focus on when implementing digital learning for business optimization and success are:

    • Experience: A digital learning system and strategy built around great user experience and alluring interfaces (UI/UX). Also, the experience provides ease of content curation and alignment to changing career objectives and individual interests (if possible, driven by artificial intelligence).


    • Cloud and Mobility: It’s no longer digital if it doesn’t provide anywhere, anyhow and anytime learning. There is an excellent consideration to robust cloud systems that deliver unparalleled mobile learning with 24/7 availability


    • Content: Bridging competency gaps with instructionally designed courses aligning to different business needs (provide agility to gain required skills), with ease of translating know-how to the job. Also, does it provide the ability to add additional bespoke content for unique organisational competencies?


  • Measurement & Monitoring: We can easily tell who knows what (based on learning history) and provide key learning compliance indices to make critical business decisions in relation to competence. Does such system provide great insights (beyond reports), ROI & ROX dashboards with fewer clicks (built on AI)?


In responding to a changing world, enough cannot be done in appreciating and accepting that patterns can be channeled to achieve higher positive outcomes, and this generally begins from a place of learning.


Learning transfer refers to the competence and capability to translate and apply learning to new situations. It defines a fluid adjustment to context in such a way that meaning is derived exactly at the same speed at which a need is raised.


Written by:

Bereola Martins

Assistant Consultant