From the beginning, we set out to be a software company with clear purpose and values. We decided to focus, to know a lot about a little. We make learning experiences for companies. That is, digital environments that engage teams in day-to-day learning.
E-learning has been used by companies to train their employees for many years, but the bigger the organisation, the more detatched and robotic the experience risks becoming. The LMS (Learning Management System) was typically a dekstop computer in a training room which employees would be required to use periodically. This would test the employee's knowledge and somtimes offer course material too, but the latter was most commonly distributed in printed documents or book form. In other words, the LMS was a horribly dull experience and quite a lonely one too - the person sat with a machine for hours on end.
That was then. Now, the workforce is made up of people who are growing up around mobile technology, who not only expect, but demand a certain degree of freedom and connectivity in the workplace, especially when it comes to training and learning. They also expect content to be genuinely interesting. With most companies encouraging BYOB technology (Bring Your Own Device) the power has truly shifted. Who today, would want to work with a company that doesn't acknolwedge this game-changing shift in workplace culture? The tables have turned and talented individuals require and deserve the best when it comes to learning new things at work. Because we don't stop being students when we leave school, it doesn't work that way, at least not any more.
Not many modern corporations can afford to ban or restrict mobile device usage at work. That's not to say they can't sometimes be a distraction, but how can management restrict the one thing that's responsible for so many of people's daily key actions and communication? The mobile device has become fundamental to our processes at work, and is essential for remote teams. Mobile tech, phones and smart watches are fast becoming the norm in almost any situation or event in life no matter the formality. It's now socially acceptable to use these devices at almost any place including meeting rooms, and they will only continue to become more integrated with our body and minds. So why fight it? Especially when they present incredible opportunities for highly contextual, measurable and company-wide learning.
Today companies understand that mobile devices come as part of their team, so instead they embrace the tech and build products for them around this amazing resource.
Things change rapidly. Technology is catching up with people's desires and lifestyles, it's wonderful. So what happens to companies and their teams when they exist in 2016 but operate like it's 2005. Frustration, wasteful processes and restricted team potential.
As startups mature into companies and start taking on more and more people, the need for company-wide and individual learning becomes clear. The good news is these companies have business goals and strong visions, they can be quick to react to these needs and respond quickly to develop a learning environment which is effective in content and compatible with their day-to-day culture.
Empowering the Individual
It boils down to this. Today's individuals demand to be empowered. They require access to great e-learning resources. People understand that their careers are propelled forward by the uptake of testable knowledge and skill. We at Seb Azzo operate best when we're curious and hungry to learn in a stress and judgement-free environment. And I think most teams are like that. The idea of going to work is changing from a purely productive activity to a learning-by-doing activity.
Digital learning experiences help in blurring the lines between student and teacher, or student and 'trainer'. In fact, we can be both, at any time. Mobile culture is shifting the paradigm, breaking down old formalities that stopped companies from becoming their authentic selves. Organisations are fast broadening their scope in society. They're evolving into learning-centres, places for individuals to hone their best talents and improve knowledge around what they know and love. Seb Azzo's role is to reinforce this movement and contribute high quality learning experiences for modern teams, helping some of the world's smartest companies embrace the revolution.