A FROG learner embodies these four characteristics: flexible, resourceful, optimized and having a growth mindset.

How many FROG learners are in your organization?

In this fast-paced digital world, it is hogwash to think corporate training can remain a tadpole in the stream of learning and development while everything else in the world of business continually evolves or dies.

The problem is simple: Learning functions must move at the speed of business, but they can’t. Why? Because it takes tremendous time and effort to:

  • Build learning content to best practices (i.e., successive approximation model, ADDIE, agile, understanding by design, cafeteria, etc.)
  • Market learning programs and initiatives
  • Deliver those learning programs and initiatives

Fellow learning leaders, don’t fret; there is a solution. However, that solution is not “corporate-generated learning or nothing.”

There are reams of literature written about corporate education. These tomes convey that learning leaders are responsible for delivering employee education that’s aligned with company goals, objectives and mission. But here is a truth all learning leaders should keep in mind: In this warp-speed world, building learning content and executing learning initiatives and programs takes more time than most learning leaders have for the process.

Enterprise-level employee education must evolve into a learning culture that transforms the learning process. In this new environment, employees become FROGS who immerse themselves in learning and development outside the “halls” of company-provided learning.

Employees must accept responsibility for their own learning and development and embrace the process. As learning leaders, it is imperative to embrace and live this solution, which is augmenting corporate learning with employees who find what they need from sources other than the learning department.

This solution requires a tectonic shift that sounds like this:

  • Team member: “I am responsible for my own learning, growth and development.”
  • Learning leader: “It’s OK to use other sources to learn. We promote that concept and credit you for the initiative.”

Learning leaders need to pivot, transform, evolve and lead the training culture through a metamorphosis process that fervently espouses this truth: Employees must evolve into FROGs – flexible and resourceful learners with the ability to optimize while keeping a growth mindset. (That includes accepting the responsibility to continuously feed themselves with new learning inside and outside the organization.)

Learning leaders must coach their learners to transform into FROGs. Embrace the fact that we’re in a corporate training battle, and we can’t win, because we can’t do it all. Budget and time constraints simply do not allow leaders to develop the type of personalized, robust programs learners might willingly sink their teeth into and appreciate ingesting.

Learning leaders need a new context for thinking about employee learning and development. Being a partner to learners is the solution. One first step might be to afford employees the opportunity to learn outside the realm of company-based learning and development.

In action, that might look like one hour weekly, on the clock, for team members to consume learning of their choice via:

  • Blog posts
  • YouTube videos
  • A chapter of a digital or physical book
  • A lunch-and-learn facilitated by a member of their department
  • A free industry webinar
  • Any other option, only limited by your company culture and imagination

Instead of only investing in internal learning, investigate the possibility of pooling funds into a program that allows learners to choose educational opportunities outside the company.

Developing a partnership approach and a collaborative environment for learners and learning leaders is a sustainable way to address enterprise-level learning, and it is especially suited to our warp-speed digital age. However, for this collaboration to begin transforming the learning culture on an appreciable scale, a mind shift must occur for both learning leaders and learners: We must make learners responsible for their own learning.

Learning leaders must drive the mind shift and create a space for transformation to occur by shepherding learners (while convincing the C-suite this approach makes financial sense) to accept responsibility and willingly undergo the metamorphosis process that will turn them into a FROG.

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