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Adaptive learning organisations: key characteristics

Adaptive learning organisations abstract

Working in the eLearning field, we have interacted with various L&D professionals during the years and we always try to be up to date with the latest challenges in this field, with the most recent innovations and current effective approaches. This is how we’ve read a lot about Adaptive Learning Organisations and we introduced the topic last week when we wrote this article.

To briefly remind you of the concept, an ALO is a company that has the skills to notice market changes, the ability to make effective decisions based on the previously observed changes and the capacity to evolve, proactively preparing themselves to respond and adapt to an ever-changing future. 

adaptive learning organisations
Characteristics of adaptive learning organisations, source: Adaptive Learning Organization, written by Josh Bersin

Characteristics of adaptive learning organisations

Last week, we introduced the adaptive learning organisation model, with the three actions meant to drive adaptive learning, and in this article we want to have an overview of the characteristics of ALOs and how the L&Ds who adopt it can be one step ahead when market changes hit. According to Josh Bersin and his research report on adaptive learning organisations, “adaptability enables learning organisations to adjust and transform to continually evolving skills, an increasing digital landscape, and learning everywhere and anytime with greater ease”.

ALOs drive performance

According to the same study written by Josh Bersin, Adaptive Learning Organisations that use this approach in the sense, decide and evolve steps are high performers, as the numbers show: 

  • 60% of the L&D professionals who pioneer digital solutions and constantly seek out of best practices are high performers
  • 78% of the L&D professionals who have defined skills and capabilities and leverage analytics to define skills needs are high performers
  • 100% of L&D professionals who have a robust internal movement policy and move people across roles are high performers
  • 100% of L&D professionals who have implemented, or mostly implemented a learning in the flow of work strategy are high performers
  • 100% of L&D professionals who use design thinking for most of the learning solutions & business support design/development are high performers
  • 62% of L&D professionals who are very focused on incorporating agile ways of working in learning and all functions are high performers

ALOs encourage employee engagement

An essential characteristic of adaptive learning organisations is that the focus is put on individuals, on learning paths designed and adapted to their needs, which calls for engagement, as this article states: 

It’s simple – when employees see immediate value in the training sessions, they feel more motivated to learn and apply their knowledge – improving an organization’s overall employee engagement. (source)

ALOs leverage technology

Adaptive Learning Organisations make the most of the evolution of technology and they are actively seeking to leverage technology to create learning opportunities that actually impact learners and to enrich training experiences among employees with the best that the digital world has to offer. According to Josh Bersin, high performers have 1.5x higher adoption of digital solutions that foster innovation, in comparison with lower performers. 

ALOs drive adaptive leadership

An organization with a traditional form of leadership might have huge challenges in adopting an adaptive learning, which calls for a change of mindset in terms of leadership: 

Adaptive leadership means teams and organizations need to constantly assess their actions, recognizing that they will have to continuously iterate and adapt their interventions as they learn more about the outcomes of decisions (source). 

Thus, an organisation that wants to be ahead of its competitors, while staying up to date with business changes and technological evolution must adopt a completely new mindset in terms of engagement, leadership and the adoption of new technologies, a mindset that drives competitive advantage and employee performance and productivity. 

Some (final) thoughts

L&D professionals, we’re here to support you on the path to adopt an adaptive learning approach, with digital tools up to date, with an approach towards learning that leverage engagement and corporate performance.

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