What does professional development look like in 2020? From classroom training to experiential learning

Hugo Manoukian – 15 July 2020 – Temps de lecture : 4 minutes


Today our world is in the throes of a pandemic.

It only took a few days to measure just how strong the humanist values of our modern societies are: in the fight to save lives, ongoing reforms were put on standby and all human activity stopped, freezing our economic growth on the spot. As we watch ten years of uninterrupted growth go up in smoke, the shock for our economies is enormous.

Companies are heavily impacted. First, as in every other crisis, we shall have to intensify our efforts in order to get back to our former performance levels. This will require us to sort through procedures and budgets, deciding on what is to be retained or discarded. But this alone will not be sufficient. To safeguard our longer term sustainability, we will have to rethink our relationship with the world of work, beginning with the traditional workplace, the office. 

Teleworking provides us every day with the opportunity to measure just how much innovations in digital technology have improved conditions in our personal and professional lives. Proving their faculty to adapt, many companies have continued their activity by teleworking. In doing so, they have turned around an imposed, dislocating situation into a new sustainable reality. To give an example, PSA have recently announced that teleworking will become the rule and not the exception for 8000 workers employed in their headquarter’s administrative and R&D departments, and I believe that others will follow shortly. New working practices, agility, collaboration, commitment …. everything needs to be reinvented. Because of this unprecedented crisis, the world of training and development, like so many others, could also invent a new future for itself.

How will “training” be impacted?

For large corporations, the word “training” still has very traditional connotations. In their eyes, training courses are still seen, in most cases, as a classroom-type activity for groups, requiring participants to be present physically, and where the unit of measurement remains – the day!

While it is true that other forms of training such as e-learning and Moocs have emerged, they often encounter negative feedback: e-learning is seen as boring and Moocs impose too many constraints, leading to a 90% abandon rate. This has unfavorably biased the image of numerical solutions and their potential, and has hampered HR’s imagination in developing relevant and attractive offers.

Nevertheless, as Marc Dennery from C-Campus explains so well, in the future: 

“More than ever before, resorting to physical attendance training will have to be justified. It will have to provide a distinctive learning experience. Training organizations will have to completely rethink their learning spaces in order to convince of the added value of their classroom training as compared to distance learning.” And he adds “Companies will not go back to traditional classroom training easily, for three reasons: budget, logistics and health and safety”.

This new context has led me to reflect on a new approach to training for tomorrow, drawing benefit from the fundamental characteristics of our new world:

  • Mature technology:  thanks to the quality and agility of videoconferencing solutions and virtual communications, people across the six continents can come together and collaborate in real time. This creates a spirit of belonging and strengthens human relationships.
  • A multi-modal approach: the embracing of new HR techniques such as virtual, interactive workshops, one-to-one or team coaching, co-development, assessment tools , mentoring… the time has come for mixing and blending pedagogical practices
  • Personalized, sustainable solutions: which help individual participants to raise their personal “challenges” within their personal “context” while at the same time leaving them sufficient space and time to put initiatives into practice (cf. neurosciences teachings – in particular those of Richard Boyatzis who demonstrated that for change to be sustainable, it should comprise 5 phases, essentially: drawing up a plan, putting it into practice, adjusting behavior in view of this practice, experimenting and practicing again).

The bases of traditional training – physical presence, collective, day-based – are now outmoded, supplanted by alternative, more efficient and more federating digital approaches which place more emphasis on the human aspect. Very often these new approaches prove to be more effective than traditional “classroom” training.

Taking advantage of the wide array of possibilities now provided by distance learning tools and solutions, more and more HR managers responsible for employee development are daring an intelligent mix comprising 70% of distance learning and 30% of classroom learning. 

“Many large corporations are currently reviewing their talent development schemes, looking to incorporate new numerical solutions such as individual coaching or Co-development programs.” Nathalie Ducray, Chief Program & Coach Community Officer @ MoovOne

Here at MoovOne, we have been doing everything we can over the last 5 years to put digital technology at the service of Humans through the various dimensions of our service offer: 

  • We develop “Leadership”, “Manager Coach” and “Collective intelligence Leader-facilitator” skills via innovating programs based on a blend of Coaching, Training and Group Facilitation.
  • We help teams or groups share on “individual problems” or “collective challenges” using Collective intelligence tools and the fundamentals of Champagne & Payette’s Co-development model, in order to anchor best practices among the group.
  • Our Collective Intelligence workshops and our MoovOne Team Coaching & Team Project programs, will help you strengthen team performance, utilize brainstorming and the sharing of good practice, develop organizational methods for great meetings …
  • We accompany the transformation of Organizations, as well as of managers and other key actors, through our customized, “blended” coaching courses.

To give another example, again with PSA, MoovOne has designed a support program which takes place 100% at distance. This program contains all the ingredients of our DNA, naturally combining a coaching dimension with a strong dose of collective intelligence, making the experience richer and more engaging. The results are excellent, and the participants deeply appreciate the new pedagogical format.

Unleashing your company’s potential and the potential of the people who compose it means offering them the best in learning experience. Innovating tools and a human-focused approach will create that zone of liberty where digital technology is truly placed at the service of human beings and of the company.

200 HR departments and the in-house universities of our key-account clients have been trusting us since 2015. They are all animated by the goal to “transform their organization”. They have all taken the plunge and followed this new path.

Why not you?

Hugo Manoukian
Co-Founder & CEO