“It doesn’t matter how old you are, there’s always something new to learn.” With more than 30 years in L&D under her belt, it was heartening to hear that every day’s a learning day for senior instructional designer Connie Bowman, when we met at Learning Technologies 2020 back in February. So what’s piqued Connie’s interest at the moment?
“A quote set me off: ‘We should fall in love with the problem, not the solution.’ In other words, instead of seeing a tool and thinking: how can we use this? We should ask: what’s the problem and what’s the best tool to solve it?
“In my case, our firm is currently going through a transformation. We’re modernising our learning. I think those words get thrown around a lot, but essentially I’m interested in finding whatever works for the problem, and then finding a way to embed the learning,” Connie says.
“Learning by doing, learning through discovery – that’s my preferred way.”
At Stellar Labs, we help people transfer their newfound skills into the workplace through immersive practice. Connie’s all in favour.
“I’m a strong believer in active learning. So learning by doing, learning through discovery, through making mistakes or through experiencing something. That’s my preferred way of trying to build learning experiences,” she says.
For which there’s plenty of evidence – another key tenet of our work at Stellar Labs where we use science-based learning methodologies to help people futureproof their career for the long term, or to meet an immediate learning need.
Find the motivation
It’s that just-in-time element of training that resonates with Connie. “People learn most when they have a pain point. They’ll think: ‘I’m not going to get a promotion if I can’t master this particular skill’. That’s where you find the motivation.”
I tend to come at it from a different angle and think people can also ask: ‘What will help me do the next thing?’ So rather than the pain of being unable to do something, it’s about the joy of learning that you can.
Either way, it boils down to motivation – something Connie has in spades. “I could be thinking about retirement, but I’m fired up thinking about different things I can do in the future. I’ve been in L&D for 32 years, but I don’t ever feel bored by it because there’s always something different, always something new to learn. I constantly feel challenged. No matter where you are in your career, I hope you can find that spark or passion,” she says.
Tools To Start Thinking Differently
If you want to change the way things are done, but just don’t know where to start – we have you covered. Our curated collection of resources including podcasts, a whitepaper and more will help you start to understand how to affect real change in your organisation through the science of learning. Download the collection now.