New Year Special: The Learning Zodiac: 2016


As the new year starts knocking on the door, there will be predictions galore. So, here is what Abhijit Bhaduri thinks could be the future of learning for each sun sign. Pun Intended, just read and enjoy!

Capricorn (Dec 22 – Jan 19)

Dude, you are so digital that anything other than e-Books will just not work for you. Use the Kindle app on your phone (you have to first download it before it shows up on your phone) and then get used to squinting on that small screen. Once your eyes have learned to read that tiny font, you will make a trip to the ophthalmologist and buy brand new specs. Avoid buying Google Glass. It does not go well with your personality this year. Maintain a gratitude journal every day. Find something to be grateful for every day. Don’t think that is hard, because you have no idea what my life is like!

Aquarius (Jan 20 – Feb 18)

You will finally learn to use Skype this year (wait I have not finished my sentence) to learn stuff from your virtual colleagues across geographies. They are virtual because you have virtually never spoken to them. Many new ideas will come from people outside of your department. You will discover new friends among colleagues and many of them will have ideas you can implement at work. That increases your chance of finally winning the Employee of the Day. Listen to one TED talk every day. Use that idea at work the same day.

Pisces (Feb 19 – March 20)

Learning for you will go omnichannel – just like retail. Teach yourself how to use each device (laptop, desktop, ipad and mobile) you own for learning. Bring these devices under a secured network from where you can plug into great learning content and you are ready to rock the on-demand learning party. Just remember, the mobile is not the best platform to do an hour-long e-learning course. Save that for the time when you are sitting before your laptop.

Aries (March 21- April 19)

‘Coach on app’ will be your killer idea this year. You will find a coach you can connect with on your phone (think Google Map for coaching) who will give you step by step directions as you negotiate a tough day at work. Remember to use headphones as you navigate your workspace or else you will find everyone else doing the same thing. That will make your office look like a giant Macarena dance. Not cool at all. Try using LinkedIn as your new publishing platform. You can’t learn the digital media until you create content.

Taurus (April 20 – May 20)

See if you can get a heads up on how to use Predictive Analytics to judge potential leaders in your team. That lets you coach the right people whom you will put into complex positions later on in the year. Talent Analytics promises to give you unprecedented popularity for being an unbiased decision maker. Just one suggestion – remember to ask Santa to let this be delivered in your stocking and not someone else’s. Working out Loud will be your new obsession. Simply keep sharing what you are currently learning (maybe through a blogpost) even as you are trying it out. It inspires others to join you as you climb the mountain, not after you have hoisted the flag.

Gemini (May 21 – June 20)

You have two of everything, thanks to your sun sign. That means twice the chances of success at creating terrific content for your internal social media channel. If you do not start writing two pages (yes Gemini, you have to write for your twin too) every day, all you will achieve in 2016 is twice the amount of jokes forwarded on WhatsApp. That does not count as content creation. Write about areas where your colleagues seek you out.

Cancer (June 21 – July 22)

You have to avoid being sensitive about getting feedback. So stop being a soft-shelled crab and use your claws to grab colleagues who can give you great feedback on areas you can improve. Ask for specific feedback on how you are improving your knowledge of sectors other than your own. Your emotional intelligence is a gift that others can learn from. This is a skill you can teach others by role modelling. You will discover the joys of learning from Podcasts like Freakonomics. When you groan and embark on your daily commute, listen to your favourite podcast.

Leo (July 23 – Aug 22)

Classroom training is dying slowly. You get to pull the plug on it this year. But don’t use the sage-on-stage model to deliver your wisdom when people come to ask you just how you manage to come up with this brilliant idea whose time has come. Instead, play the guide-by-the-side and occasionally let the learner make mistakes. Not roaring at the learner after they have made the same error twice lets them reflect and learn. So let them. With Facebook getting lots of feeds from New York Times and Wall Street Journal, it could be your favourite site to learn from.

Virgo (Aug 23 – Sept 22)

This could be the year when more people go to watch “Return of the MOOC”. So far, MOOCs have been televised recordings of classroom lectures. That does not exactly drive the viewer crazy with the desire to learn. If people take breaks while watching movies that have good looking stars and dialogues that sizzle, then that’s what MOOCs need to be like. You are likely to spot one of these rare sequels that look as snazzy as a Hollywood blockbuster. Google Search, if used, well can be a great learning tool.

Libra (Sep 23 – Oct 22)

If you are in the L&D team then it is time you took a hard look at your skill set. While learning will continue to become mission critical, the corporate L&D team does not automatically get to win the race for being the sole provider. Create learning communities in your organisation and dish out sizzling byte-sized content that gets people excited about learning. The rule of social media is simple — first get people to stand around you and listen to you without blinking. You will start using Google Docs to co-create content with your colleagues. It will strengthen your skills in collaboration.

Scorpio (Oct 23 – Nov 21)

You will continue to find Twitter to be the most powerful learning tool for the seventh year in a row, followed by YouTube snapping at the wings of the Twitter birdie. Finding the right people to follow on Twitter will remain an enigma. So keep shuffling 20 people of the people you follow. That is the trick in getting fresh ideas. Sketchnotes will continue to be your preferred tool for creating quick visual snapshots of ideas.

Sagittarius (Nov 22 – Dec 21)

By the time you are celebrating your birthday in 2016, some more organisations would have killed their corporate learning management system because the best content is already there on the Net (and it is free). You could be using Pinterest to do more work-related research. Pinterest has gone beyond being the place where people exchange embroidery designs. Use Pinterest to share ideas.

(The author is chief learning officer, Wipro. Follow him on Twitter @AbhijitBhaduri)

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