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Lead Interview


19


put themselves forward, share their ideas and build up various communities of practice. And that’s where the learning comes in. That’s always happened in a sense, but what we’re doing now is acknowledging and encouraging it. There’s an enormous fund of knowledge to share, and we don’t need to track it and record everything. We can help support that as well as providing more formal interventions when required.


FirstGroup took part in the Towards Maturity Benchmark study on learning technologies. How did this, as well as other feedback from peers, help?


I’ve always been involved in professional networking groups – I was an early member of the Institute of IT Training [now the Learning & Performance Institute]. You benchmark your work and find best practices through these types


of organisations, through going to conferences, talking to people, and having the courage to put yourself and your organisation out there and say how are we doing, how do we compare? It’s not about beating yourself up or pretending you’re doing something you’re not, it’s about identifying where the good stuff is and exploring it in more detail.


These organisations and social media like LinkedIn and Twitter turn these conversations into an ongoing dialogue. They let us focus our energies more readily. You’re never going to go from zero to hero in one go, but you can pinpoint where you can make the biggest difference.


Where do you see the future of learning technologies? I’d like learning technologies to become like using a word processor or a spreadsheet – we don’t


Niall Gavin will be speaking at the World of Learning Conference on Tuesday 1 October


Learning Magazine


think “I’m using a word processor now”, but just use it very naturally. People will just access it in an almost unthinking, transparent way – they know what they need to learn and they just turn to the most convenient way to learn it. It will suit their schedule, their preferences and their needs. n


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