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Are you making the most of the power of video?

Are you making the most of the power of video?

A 1 minute video is worth 1.8 million words

Whether you're marketing a new learning offering, encouraging social learning or you need to explain a complex new process, there are a number of ways using video can help.

Video is here to stay and has many useful and proven applications. Optimising how you use video to connect with your employees through Cornerstone is an important step to keeping your users engaged and providing fresh and innovative content.
Join Claudia Wentworth & Daniel Basile, Consultants at Future Knowledge, in this 30 minute masterclass webinar which introduces what makes video great and how you can get creative and keep things interesting for your employees, including:
-Why video works
-The many types of video
-What makes a video appealing & engaging
-Using videos in Cornerstone

We attended: HR Tech Fest in Sydney

We attended: HR Tech Fest in Sydney


The FK team are back from attending the HR Tech X conference held at the Australian Technology Park on 27th and 28th November. With two conferences running alongside each other (Learning@Work and HR Tech X), they found a wide range of topics up for discussion ranging from bring your own learning (BYOL), the emotional workforce, the learning ecosystem and enabling change.  

Learning@Work Conference

One speaker who stood out for Cristina Herrera (Learning Consultant at Future Knowledge) was Laura Overton (Managing Director of Towards Maturity, a business transformation and learning innovation company) who very ingeniously stated that ‘Learning is like a fit bit’. Here is what Cristina learnt:

Activity tracking is a craze taking the world by storm, whether they choose to run, walk or skip, every step is proudly acknowledged. Like the fit bit, our L&D teams can leverage many of the same motivators born out of this device

  1. Empower users to be better informed by giving access to meaningful data
  2. Encourage accountability for success
  3. Gamify the experience to make it fun
  4. Encourage social collaboration and personal connections so achievements can be shared
  5. Reward, without the need for monetary offers

When people look at the data their fitbit has recorded, they feel more informed. They feel proud of their achievements and it motivates them to keep going.

So why not start recording the information that matters to our employees so they can feel heard and acknowledged and wake up the next day ready to invest more of their efforts into a company that listens?

In this digital and fast paced world, people have learnt to get the information they need to allow themselves to learn. Whether it be reading articles, attending face to face courses, joining workshops or completing moocs via courser, delving into Wikipedia, or any other online or offline knowledge provider.

But do they have a supportive framework such as the fit bit to capture, collate and acknowledge our learning across these modalities?

The short answer - no.

The long answer – most organisations don’t understand the organic nature of learning taking place outside of its walls and the huge benefits that learning can generate, if only they could capture all of this. Knowledge is power.

What does the ideal fit bit-like L&D framework look like?

  • -Be proactive in understanding how staff are doing their jobs
  • -Understand what they value; get to know your employees, their strengths, weaknesses, motivation and desires.
  • -Get to know them demographically; where they live, do they drive, train or walk to work.
  • -Understand the skills they bring to the table
  • -Find an easy way for employees to provide and update this information, technology can play a big role here

By understanding all of this, you can get a grasp of how you can involve them in designing learning and development programs that leverage their skills and feeds their desires.

In summary, the essence of the talk was to be innovative and proactive in looking at the successful frameworks which exists outside of the companies walls and asking yourself how you leverage these to engage your staff in the way they want to be engaged.  It is the duty of L&D professionals to be innovators, not for our companies but for our people. Joggers will keep jogging and our hoppers will keep hopping, but will you be the fit bit of today?


HR Tech X Conference

One topic which hit home for Anthony Bickerstaff (Senior Technology Consultant at Future Knowledge) was ‘The fine line between change enablement and change avoidance’ which Amy Poynton, Global Lead of HR Transformation at Rio Tinto discussed. Anthony shares his story about what he learnt:

You’re in project land, meeting with stakeholders – trying to help them make a decision so that the business can make a change.

You’re told ‘we need more detail about how all the features work together’. So you give more detail and they realise it’s too much and say, ‘this is too much detail we need a high level overview’.  So again, you give them what they want.  Wash, rinse, repeat. But they delay and the decision never gets made.

You think you’re enabling them to make a change, but you’re not – you’re actually helping them avoid the change.

When you meet with your stakeholders to discuss decisions, you may find that no matter what you try it’s hard to get them to make that decision. But why is that? You think you’ve given them what they need – the design choices, the implications, the nuances. Sometimes, they aren’t ready to make a change. Other times they don’t have enough information or maybe even too much.

What IS happening is that they are avoiding the change, and it’s critical to find out why. What you realise is that you’ve been giving them what they want, which means you still need to figure out what they need.

And that right there is the hard part. They keep telling you what they think they ‘need’, yet how can you find out what your stakeholders actually need in order to make a decision?

Try asking: ‘What do you need in order to make a decision right now?’

  • If they know what they need, then great! Find out how to get it for them and move on.
  • If they don’t know what they need, then work with them to find out what their criteria are for deciding – and hold them to it.

You may find that they need the advice from another stakeholder, or that their business requirements are not clear on the decision they are trying to make.

If you’re smart, try finding out what your stakeholders need to make decisions early on in a project and make sure to remind them of this. This way you can save time when it comes to decision making.

So next time you’re in project land, and your stakeholders can’t seem to make a decision, try to figure out what they need in order to make a decision. This can help you move from change avoidance, to change enablement.

Beyond the Classroom - The Learning Eco System

Beyond the Classroom - The Learning Eco System

We have moved into an era where technology is changing faster than traditional training can support.  We realise that providing a landscape for autonomous development, mastery and innovation is pivotal to organisational success, however training is not enough. We need to provide multiple learning options which move learning and development beyond the classroom.

Join Cameron McOmish, Director of Learning at Future Knowledge for this 45 minute webinar, which will introduce you to the Learning Ecosystem and how it can:

  • Help your organisation or project maximise user adoption
  • Provide multiple learning options instead of a one size fits all approach
  • Help increase user adoption in Agile environments
  • Increase productivity and cater for all levels of proficiency.

Join the webinar: Thursday, 1st October, 11am AEST Register now

Can’t make it? Sign up anyway and we’ll send you the recording afterwards.

Want to read more about this topic?

Cameron explores how to apply the 'Five Moments of Need' model to move your organisation from Competency to Mastery.

Future Knowledge accelerates user adoption with new services for Oracle UPK

Future Knowledge accelerates user adoption with new services for Oracle UPK

Future Knowledge, the leading technology adoption consultancy in Australia and New Zealand, today launched a range of packaged consulting services targeted at customers that have licensed Oracle User Productivity Kit (UPK).  These customers typically do not achieve strong return on their investment in the UPK platform for a number of reasons. we are looking to address this challenge by offering a range of specialised packaged services leveraging our experience in UPK of over ten years.  Choose from the following six service offerings depending on where you are at in the UPK investment cycle.

UPK Products
UPK Products
Oracle UPK Gold Partner
Oracle UPK Gold Partner

Oracle’s UPK toolset is a comprehensive User Adoption platform that enables you to create and deploy online system training, support material, process documentation and online help. In most cases UPK is deployed to solve the user adoption challenges of new system implementations or upgrades, in particular, alongside large process-centric business systems roll-outs. Organisations that are most successful in using the platform continue to update and maintain material as processes and systems evolve over time.

Future Knowledge is Australia’s leading and most experienced UPK specialist. They have helped over sixty-five UPK customers in Australia and New Zealand define a strategy for UPK, install UPK and build and coach teams to develop high quality learning and support material.

“Our most successful customers are the ones who look at UPK as a long term platform for training and user support. They treat UPK as an asset and like any other asset they continuously maintain it to keep it operating at full capacity,” said Future Knowledge MD, Michael Guazzarotto.

“UPK customers who want help, tend to fall into three categories: one, they used UPK for an initial project and want to reignite the platform; two, they are active UPK users and need some dedicated expertise to get the most out of the platform; and three, the customer has purchased UPK and they are not sure where to start.”

Having a user adoption platform like UPK is a huge advantage for customers given the current trend of accelerated implementations and the ongoing enhancement of systems and processes that need to be communicated to end users.  The rapid transition from on-premises ERP systems to cloud-based business application is driving greater importance on the need to effectively engage and inform end users to drive technology adoption.

Interested in finding out more... contact Michael Guazzarotto.

From competency to mastery

From competency to mastery

For years learning professionals have been looking at organisational learning and development from a competency perspective. Competency has traditionally been measured via course and assessment. You are either ‘competent’ or ‘not yet competent’. As if competency is the final goal. Tick, next, forget.

As our understanding of motivation has grown over recent years, we have started to realise that developing our people and providing a landscape for autonomous development and mastery is far more motivating than a pay cheque. However the structure and architecture of learning within organisations is still firmly chained to competency frameworks and far away from supporting people in their transition to mastery.


We are well aware of the 70:20:10 learning model. Like “reaching out”, “touching base” and “synergy”, 70:20:10 has almost become a buzz word. However organisations still invest up to 80% of their training budget on formal learning events. Spending 80% on learning events which can only return a maximum of 10% sounds a little strange right? Furthermore, is that 10% effective or aligned to organisational goals? (I’ll leave that for another post).

The past 5 years has seen an emergence of technology and theories attempting to provide learning which supports the 70% within the 70:20:10 learning model. There is now a greater emphasis to learn on demand and provide support throughout the workflow.

In 2011 Bob Mosher & Conrad Gottfredson defined the “Five Moments of Need” model, which captures both formal and informal learning. The moments of need are:

  1. Learning for the first time
  2. Learning More
  3. Applying what you’ve learned
  4. When things go wrong
  5. When things change

The first two moments relate to formal or structured learning events (the 10% in the 70:20:10 model). We are pretty good at designing learning for the first two moments, in fact, this is pretty much all we focus on. Sure we give people reference guides and handbooks (or even personalised apps) in an attempt to overcome moments 3, 4 and 5, but most of the time these participant guides and handbooks are left in the boot of the car next to the jumper leads and old Cruskits shoved through the seat by an ungrateful 3 year old.

The problem is moments 3, 4 and 5 are when learners transition from “classroom competent” to mastery. They learn from making mistakes, socialising those mistakes, asking for help, researching how to perform a task or implementing a theory. Moments 3, 4 and 5 are where you get your true return on learning investment.

At DevLearn 2014, Marc J. Rosenberg and Steve Foreman introduced the idea of a Learning and Performance Ecosystem as a “move away from individual, siloed, one-off solutions to an ecosystem comprised of multi-faceted learning and performance options that enhance the environments in which we work and learn”. The goal is to “enhance individual and organisational effectiveness by connecting people, and supporting them with a broad range of content, processes, and technologies to drive performance.”

A Learning and Performance Ecosystem brings together six major components that help people learn and perform better: talent management, performance support, knowledge management, access to experts, social networking and structured learning.

Learning Ecosystem
Learning Ecosystem

(Source: Learning and Performance Ecosystems: Strategy, Technology, Impact and Challenges Whitepaper – M.J. Rosenberg & S. Freeman, 2014)

By sequencing and layering elements of the learning ecosystem within an organisations learning architecture, we can move beyond focusing on competencies, to supporting people through their journey to mastery.

Structured formal learning events are still utilised to help people learn for the first time or learn more. However, layering or sequencing performance support, coaching, knowledge management, social learning or talent management within a learning pathway helps support participants when applying learning, when things go wrong or change.

The model also enables enterprise learning solutions to be structured for different levels of proficiency. While a ‘novice’ may require extensive structured learning to meet the first moment of need, more proficient employees faced with other moments can have a different learning pathway which may sequence access to experts, social collaboration or knowledge management.

The beauty of this model is its simplicity.

Most mature organisations have the technologies, processes and content in place to establish a learning ecosystem without high levels of effort or investment. Less mature companies have the benefit of a range of learning management and performance support systems which are geared towards an ecosystem. Most of these systems are now integrated and cloud based of the shelf solutions.

So while there are amazing advances in simulation and development tools, the future of learning and development is not a grand breakthrough or change in technology, but something glaringly simple – Take existing learning theories, technologies, content and processes, and combine them as part of a learning ecosystem which can support all five phases of learning need.

NextGen HR Operating Models: Just another “Wrecking Ball”?

NextGen HR Operating Models: Just another “Wrecking Ball”?

Looking back on the last decade of my career, I truly am lucky to have had a front row seat on some of the hottest HR debates. I have seen major organisations strategically turn on decentralised HR models and run towards holy light of centralised a HR practice only to swing back a few years later to a decentralised as swiftly and purposefully as a half-naked Miley Cyrus on her metaphorical wrecking ball. In the exact same seat, I have seen David’s Ulrich model successfully deployed with significant results, only to later be shunned and criticised more recently by a tidal wave of articles claiming “NextGen” approaches to HR. My love for consulting in the HR Technology space keeps me spinning in this chair. Yes, it is a chair that moves and swivels quite a lot in our new era of business, and I can’t help but point out three key observations:

  • A “One HR Model” to rule them all mentality that abruptly leads to a political “right” vs “wrong” moral standing on pretty much any model put forward;
  • The pendulum swing between Centralised vs Decentralised HR models (you are thinking about Miley still aren’t you?). The same can be said for “outsourced” vs “insourced”
  • A “demolish and rebuild” mentality whenever the model is challenged around effectiveness.

So, hence, when I was recently asked by a client as to which HR operating model is the best fit for their organisation, I thought it was time to take a few steps back, do a little bit of high level homework and reflect on HR life for a moment.

Per my research of the abundant amount of papers, articles, case studies and examples, I discovered a consistent pattern in the content as if they all sing from the same music sheet:

  1. The big case for change: Yes, we are operating in an incredibly complicated business era trying to deliver simpler solutions to demanding clients. Yes, technology has certainly push HR into a new world of working. Yes, agility, scalability and feasibility are imperative. And yes, this is definitely the perfect time to relook (and continue to assess) the HR activities businesses deliver and how these are channeled to the HR customer/client. We get it!
  2. A blatant prosecution followed by a gory public desecration of the Ulrich Model: Generally, a google image mug shot of the model in question followed by the judgement – it’s outdated; it fails to deliver strategically; it has gaps delivering transactionally and we just hate it.
  3. A bright, shiny and new NextGen Model: Lots of circles and shapes tattooed with sexy consulting lingo which in reality is just the Ulrich model put through a blender, given liposuction, facial augmentation and a new stage name.
  4. The shameless sales pitch from a consulting firm: In a nutshell, “choose our firm and we will give you this cheaper, faster and with implementation success”.

In all honesty, I am not a big fan of Miley Cyrus and her music, but I am going to stick with this metaphor here because it works. All that is happening here is that our big HR record companies are turning a Hanna Montana (Ulrich) into a NextGen Miley Cyrus accessorised by a large wrecking ball of change. But in reality, underneath it all… the parts are all still the same, albeit in different places, shapes and sizes. Her success both before and after had nothing to do with appearances alone, but rather:

  • Solid market research and data analysis
  • A bullet proof branding and marketing strategy
  • A committed team and partners
  • Raw Talent
  • A dedicated fan base

I can’t help but think we are doing the same with HR operating models and maybe, just maybe, we are completely missing the point here. Don’t get me wrong, I think there is a lot of merit and good thinking that have gone into NextGen HR models. I quite like the idea of performance coaching teams, centres of excellence focused on business best practices and insight, and I believe strongly in a Tiered HR case management approach to fully leverage technology.

My issue is that maybe we should be less focused on a “one size fits all” model and more focussed on how we make its parts work together in order to deliver people success to our HR clients. We seem to be getting lost in all the glitz and glamour of these new models and forgetting that central to any model is the HR client after all.

So before we go and shun the Ulrich model (and more importantly, its parts), maybe we need to be asking more questions, such as:

  1. Who is our HR client within our organisations? What HR activities do they want and how would they like them delivered (or even done by themselves)?
  2. What is our business strategy? How have we aligned our People and HR strategy to deliver and support on this?
  3. Do we have our executive team 100% committed to the future direction of HR? Do they trust HR to deliver? Do they consider HR to be a strategic enabler of the business? How are we involving them in the design and implementation of an HR Operating model?
  4. Does HR have the internal capability to analyse, design and implement an agile, scalable and efficient model?
  5. How are we assisting our HR clients on the journey of change?

By turning the traditional “top down” approach on its head and making the various layers of HR clients central to HR outcomes of the operating model, we are in a position to better design HR activities to meet these outcomes and articulate how the different parts of the HR operating model would work in order to deliver these activities.

I also cannot over-stress the importance of strategic executive commitment to the model as transformational change management is to the process. In the absence of this, even the most appropriately designed models will not deliver the value intended. For me, involvement is the magic ingredient to generate commitment and involvement of executives and operational leaders in the process is critical.

So before you call the “wrecking ball” specialists to redefine your HR look and feel, take a moment to focus on outcomes first, before getting too fixated on images and pretty pictures.

The multi-generational learning challenge

The multi-generational learning challenge

We regularly encounter the need to develop training programs that appeal to multi-generational audiences. With the influx of the Millennials into the workforce and older generations remaining at work for longer, it’s becoming more important for learning programs to cater to a wider variety of learner needs. One size does not fit all. How do we make sure our programs don’t alienate a segment of our audience while pandering to another? More than ever before, understanding different needs and providing options to empower learners is the key.

We recognise that the concept of generations is an act of generalising; just because I was born in a certain year doesn’t mean I will have a particular learning style. But that’s ok – what it reinforces is our age-old need to cater to a variety of different learning styles in everything we do.

So you want to learn how to use our new system? No problem. How would you like that learning?

We are not only increasingly offering a blended learning solution, but a menu of training delivery options too. For example:

Peer-to-peer learning through forums, wikis and resource centres – where the Millennials can show of their tech dexterity and learn collaboratively

Self-directed eLearning – to cater to the independent, self-motivating Generation X

Drop-in centres (loosely structured face-to-face sessions) – where the Baby Boomers can get tailored attention one-on-one or in small groups

This isn’t to say that the number one contributor to your online learning forum wasn’t once a screaming Beatles fan. Or that your drop-in centres won’t be dominated by Beyoncé buffs. But all learners will have an option that helps them gain knowledge in the way they feel comfortable.