In the continuing series we hear the views of Bianca Balcanu.
In your opinion what is the biggest anxiety within the world of learning and development at the moment?
I know this is one of the main issues in L&D, but it’s about demonstrating our worth, which goes beyond ROI. How do you demonstrate, that after 10 coaching sessions, someone that struggled in their role, has now got a more positive attitude, seems more engaged at work and willing to work on weaknesses. How do you demonstrate, that a demotivated customer facing department feels more energised after a fun training session? All I am saying is, there are a lot of subtleties in L&D, that often go unnoticed short term, and I find it hard to pinpoint.
Who or what is informing your thinking around L&D?
I am fascinated by the use of AI intelligence and how it will shape up our lives in the near future. I enjoy the TEDx talks on neuroscience and new ways of thinking, but I mainly find inspiration networking with like-minded professionals and learning from experts in L&D and HR.
What is the most exciting innovation on the horizon for learning?
Gamification, taken to a different level. I was fortunate to trial a virtual simulation training game, similar to SIMS. The game focused on a group of people, on a stranded island, and the aim of the game was to make it work! It tested leadership skills, teamwork, problem solving, resilience, giving feedback etc. In a world where gaming is one of the most popular free time activity for lots of people, why shouldn’t this be part of work?
What “game changers” would you like to see and why?
I’d like to see gamification or learning in general, adapted and personalised for individual needs (this might already happen?). Learning has to go beyond ‘what’s works on paper’ Accessible learning will breed performance, and it’s essential for L&D to be capable of adapting to suit needs, sharing knowledge and good practice. Learning should be made easy, and fun, for everyone.
What do you think the world of L&D will look like by 2030?
2030 isn’t too far ahead and I’d like to think that digital learning will be the norm, and most L&D professionals will deliver a truly blended learning approach. I would also think that more and more people will see L&D as a career, rather than something you end up falling into. I started in L&D, rather than falling into it, and it is something that I aspire to do as a career.
What advice would you give your 21 year old self?
Invest in an e-learning/gamification course and learn how to create digital learning! But I would probably wouldn’t have listened. I feel like my career is developing and since my University years, I have kept an eye on L&D. Progressing and learning has been at the forefront during work, and the best thing I could do is to never, ever, stop learning – this is the advice I would give my 21 year old self.
Bianca is an enthusiastic and inquisitive L&D professional, specialising in the financial industry, with a flair for novelty, diversity, performance management and technology. A driven and tenacious leader, dedicated to improving managers’ effectiveness through creativity and engagement, whilst keeping a business hat in ROI. Thriving a highly pressurised working environment, or anywhere where she can make a difference.
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