Forces of Change Impacting Learning and Development

There are six forces of change impacting learning and development

Earlier this week, FKA President, Michael Nolan, presented Becoming a High-Performance Learning Organization at I4PL 2017 conference and trade show in Toronto. Here is an excerpt from his presentation on the six main forces of change impacting Learning and Development today.

There are six forces of change impacting learning and development – globalization, social media technologies, living in a 24/7 world, cloud computing, generalization differences and business transformations.

1. Globalization

  • Increasing number of teams with membership from multiple countries and time zones


  • Need to understand cultural differences and be sensitive to cultural values, beliefs and norms

2. Social Media Technologies

  • Use of shared workspaces, social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat), podcasts, wikis, blogs, shared media (YouTube, Flickr), microblogs (Twitter, Yammer), social bookmarking (dig, reddit), virtual worlds (second life)


  • Need to supplement instruction with collaboration
  • Need a holistic approach that includes short and engaging/entertaining (gamification) content accessible on mobile devices

3. 24/7 World

  • Mobile devises becoming an extension of the workplace; they are used for:
    • field performance support, and
    • current just-in-time information relevant to a specific project/task


  • Need to create an m-learning strategy, articulated with the overall learning, performance and technology strategy that is accessible at any time or place

4. Cloud Computing

  • Use of the “cloud” to enable users to access software applications, hardware, data, and
    computing processing power over the Web


  • Need to leverage the potential of accessing learning services to fulfill the promise to be simpler, faster, better

5. Generational Differences

  • 3-5 generations in the workplace (Traditionalists, Boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials, Gen Zers)


    • Need to create:
    • learning solutions that blend traditional classroom instruction, online learning formats, mobile learning, informal learning and collaborative social networking tools
    • micro-learning with content delivered in small sort “bursts”
    • personalized learning to offer content, learning paths or modes of learning to suit individual learning preferences

6. Business Transformation/Change Management

  • Significant numbers of companies are in some state of change regarding their business models, product designs or large-scale shifts in IT systems.
  • Organizations are people and if people do not change, there is no organizational change.


  • Need to support internal communications and change management that foster clear vision, mission, values and ethics

Geoff Nolan
Director of Marketing and Public Workshops