Learning trends

What is the self-fulfilling learning prophecy and why should you care?

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self-fulfilling learning prophecy

It was already 5 years ago that the World Economic Forum predicted that 65% of children entering primary schools today will end up working in new job types and functions that currently don’t yet exist. And this figure was an approximation before a global pandemic.

These predictions are everywhere. But they are not new. The skills landscape has always seen a continual cycle of growth and change, peaks and troughs. What has changed is the speed of the change — with four key forces driving these changes today: increasing job automation, decreasing talent availability, decreasing mobility of skilled labour, and ageing talent. Failing to close this skills gap could mean your business falls behind on its goals, losing revenue to the accelerating pace of change.

So, how can your business be prepared for tomorrow’s skills landscape?

How can you build capabilities for today and tomorrow?

The key to business success when preparing for the future is not to be fearful of change, but to embrace it, capitalize on it, and use it to your advantage.

Most importantly, this positive attitude towards evolution should be filtered top-down to your workforce, encouraging them to take ownership of their professional development and the skills required for the future. This cultural shift will build strong foundations for ongoing skills acquisition and learning maturity.

Whatever the predictions, it’s true that many jobs will be created over the next ten years that don’t exist today. But if your organization and workforce embrace the changes and are willing to adapt, you can take advantage of the shifting skills landscape. You can navigate your own journey to success.

It all comes down to the self-fulfilling learning prophecy, explained here:

What is the self-fulfilling learning prophecy?

When it comes to business imperatives, the real problems to solve are how business leaders will be able to attract, retain and grow the key talents, and how to speed up time to competencies. All that while mitigating the risks and increasing revenues, today and tomorrow.

In other words, how human potential can be unlocked and how business performance can
be enhanced through effective skills building at scale.

According to PWC’s CEO Survey 2020, ‘Businesses cannot hire their way over this skills gap at a price they can pay, so the imperative is clear’. That’s why upskilling and reskilling your
workforce is a key strategic priority for business not only to survive, but to thrive and seize new opportunities.

But this strategy of upskilling and reskilling is a self-fulfilling prophecy — you get out what you put in. Achieving these goals will require (re)shaping your skills landscape and creating an enterprise-wide continuum for capability development. This continuum will go beyond L&D prerogatives, but L&D has a key role to play as facilitator and enabler.

Let’s not forget that your business is unique. It’s taken years to nurture its specific skills landscape. So, content will still be a ‘must have’, but context will rule. Meanwhile, with the widespread disruption to continuity since Covid, executing on these priorities could
literally make or break your company.

So, for an upskilling strategy to work, it needs an enterprise-wide, unified approach. It needs to be more than an HR or L&D objective — it should be an ongoing whole-business strategy in its own right. Otherwise it risks becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure through inconsistent direction, processes and goals.

Why does learning maturity matter?

Understanding your digital learning maturity is a key step towards enhancing and reshaping your skills landscape, with human potential at the heart of business performance.

To keep up with changes to employability and to nurture your business’ skills landscape, you need to understand your current digital learning maturity. This gives you the footings on which to create an ongoing strategy for success.

CrossKnowledge’s digital learning maturity tool helps you uncover where you are on your journey and understand how your learning offer is connected to the wider business ecosystem.

As a first step, it looks at six key areas such as governance, learner engagement and human-centred design. It quickly and easily plots your existing digital learning maturity and reports where your skills landscape could be cultivated in priority.

Then, once you better understand your current learning maturity, it gives yourself the footings on which to create an ongoing strategy for success.