Why you need a learning ecosystem to accelerate your organisational growth

In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing world, organisations must be adaptable to remain relevant. This requires a constant stream of learning opportunities for employees so they can stay up-to-date with the latest trends and innovations in their industry or field of work.

However, there are many challenges that prevent companies from providing their employees with ample opportunities to grow their skills and develop their expertise.

A learning ecosystem could be what you need to accelerate your employees’ development as well as your organisation’s overall growth.

What is a learning ecosystem?

First off, an ecosystem is a system of interrelated parts that support each other. The term is often used to refer to natural environments, but it can also be applied to the business world.

A learning ecosystem is a combination of networks, processes, and tools that help people learn, share knowledge, collaborate, and stay connected with information they need to succeed in their roles.

Such an ecosystem can take many forms: an intranet site or forum, a live webinar series, training courses offered by third party platforms like Udemy or Coursera, informal sessions where employees have access to experts within your organisation who can answer questions about certain work-related topics.

A learning ecosystem should include senior leadership and management, employees, as well as your internal learning and development (L&D) teams and external L&D partners, Lifeskills Institute for example.

It’s important for everyone to work together towards common goals, so that all stakeholders know what is expected of them throughout the entire L&D process.

Why does your organisation need an ecosystem for learning?

For organisations operating in a fast-changing industry, like tech, or simply want to build long-term success, a learning ecosystem can be a powerful tool to help your teams develop and gain expertise as they move through their own careers, and in the long-run, help your organisation thrive and grow over a long period of time.

Learning is after all a continuous and ongoing process. Even the best performing employee or most experienced manager can’t possibly know everything about their current field. Now more than ever, your teams need to be prepared for any new trends that might pop up overnight.

Being able to always pick up new things is absolutely vital these days, or risk falling behind your peers or worse, your competition, and becoming obsolete.

A well-established learning ecosystem can ensure your teams are always provided with ample opportunities, tools, and resources to learn new skills and develop professionally. Whenever and however they like. Such flexibility, even in L&D, is important for today’s millennial managers and Gen Z workers.

How will your organisation benefit from having a learning ecosystem?

By setting up a well-established learning ecosystem, your organisation can enjoy indirect benefits as well, such as better employer branding and productivity.

More and more employees want to work for companies that are on the cutting edge of innovation, not just in terms of their technology, product, or service, but also in terms of their talent management and business processes.

Having a learning ecosystem in place can show them that you’re committed to their career growth and professional development. It can thus improve your talent attraction and retention rates in today’s competitive job market.

As your employees of all levels, from juniors to executives, collaborate on new ideas and challenges, they can also access previously-siloed information and knowledge through this learning ecosystem.

Not only helping them to complete their tasks or projects, but also equipping them with skills and expertise beyond their own domain. This ultimately serves to improve your organisation’s overall knowledge base and productivity levels.

How can you establish a successful learning ecosystem for your organisation?

Step 1: Define your employees’ L&D needs

If you’re unsure what your employees might need or want in terms of professional development, you can start with these two questions:

  • What are the skills my employees need to perform their jobs more effectively?
  • How can my employees and I work together to develop plans that help them to acquire these skills while aligning with our organisation’s goals?

Step 2: Define success for L&D in your organisation

How would successful training programs, workshops, coaching sessions or mentoring look like to your organisation? You might need to define the metrics that indicate whether such initiatives are meeting management goals. Success might also look more intangible, such as observing increased morale among employees who feel supported in their professional development.

Step 3: Audit your organisation’s current L&D efforts

Evaluating your organisation’s current training programs’ effectiveness starts with finding out whether your employees are actually benefiting from them, or whether your current programs are geared towards a specific area, like customer service and project management, instead of other areas that could be more relevant for your employees today.

Are your L&D programs mostly in-person, online, or a mix of both? The mode of delivery could also affect your employees’ interest in these programs, their attendance rate, and their general motivation during the course.

Whichever step you’re at, you can always reach out to a dedicated L&D partner for advice and guidance.

How can you successfully integrate your learning and development partners into your learning ecosystem?

Ensure that your partners are aligned with your organisation’s goals by making sure they have a shared vision and set of values.

Work together effectively by creating clear lines of communication and setting expectations for how each party (you as an employer, your employees, your L&D partner) will contribute to the learning ecosystem.

Evaluate your L&D partners’ content to ensure it is relevant, engaging, and actionable for your employees. Their courses shouldn’t be too technical after all. Check how they deliver their programs too, as mentioned, this can influence your employees’ motivation and development.

Also, remember to check if they can support the development needs of your senior leadership and managers too – as learning is an ongoing process, even for the most experienced.

An effective learning ecosystem helps both your employees and managers grow and learn, ultimately allowing your organisation to develop as a whole.

We believe that establishing and maintaining an effective learning ecosystem is essential for business growth. It can serve the L&D needs of your employees, managers, and leaders, helping everyone to level up together, and ultimately allowing your organisation to develop as a whole and accelerate its growth.

Reach out now and learn how Lifeskills Institute can partner you to establish an effective learning ecosystem today.


©Published by Lifeskills Institute Pte Ltd

Photo by AmnajKhetsamtip on istock



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Top 6 Leadership Trends in 2023 and beyond

The future of work is here. A world filled with increasing disruption, ever-evolving expectations from your customers and workforce alike, and new ways to work productively. A world where leaders are expected to take a stand on global societal issues.

With so much at stake, today’s leaders need to sit up and take notice. Your teams and employees are becoming more selective with their employers, demanding better work-life balance, and expecting more opportunities to develop themselves as both professionals and individuals.

You need to adjust your leadership approach to remain competitive in this changing landscape. Here are 6 trends that will shape the future of leadership and how you, as a current manager or aspiring leader, can adapt to them.

1. New Leadership models

What does the future hold for business leaders? Traditional structures are being replaced by a flatter, more collaborative and inclusive model. In this new model, authority rests with teams rather than individuals, which makes them more efficient and effective while also allowing you to focus on broader leadership responsibilities, such as long-term strategy, collaborating with your leadership counterparts in other teams and departments, or even managing up.

Two notable models to keep in mind include collaborative leadership, which is a team-based approach towards achieving shared goals, where every member of the team is responsible for contributing their own ideas and inputs. According to McKinsey, a whopping 97% of both employees and leaders attributed a project’s failure to a lack of alignment, the need for collaborative leadership is clearly more important than ever.

Another is empowerment, which means giving your team greater autonomy to take initiative and make
decisions on behalf of you and the company.

2. Managing your hybrid managers

While the pandemic might be in our rear-view mirror, what has remained is the desire for greater flexibility and hybrid work. Owl Labs found that 62% of employees around the world are choosing hybrid work.

This desire for hybrid work would naturally apply to your managers as well. It’s important for leaders to acknowledge the differences between their expectations for managers who choose to fully work from the office, and those who only see their teams in-person at certain times of the week, or month.

Hybrid managers need to be able to work independently and communicate effectively, as well as manage their own time. That’s a lot of ground to cover—and if your managers are not prepared for it, your hybrid teams may suffer.

3. Caring for mental well-being

Workplace discussions used to solely focus around work-life balance, which looks at how much time one has outside of work, for instance with their family and friends.

Nowadays, mental well-being is gaining greater importance as an issue that leaders need to take more seriously. After all, 81% of workers will prefer workplaces that support mental health, according to a survey by the American Psychological Association.

More people simply want to take better care of themselves and their well-being, as well as that of others, in their search for a happy and healthy equilibrium in their lives.

4. Diverse teams for increasingly diverse customers

No longer a buzzword, diversity is a strategy that can help your company grow. Diversity in the workforce allows your business to attract and retain top talent, especially important today in the face of skill shortages and greater competition for talent from other industries.

What’s often overlooked is how diversity can help teams better understand their customers. How? Well, diversity improves the ability of your employees to  empathize with customers who might be from anotherculture, another country, or simply have different perspectives. The numbers add up too: diverse companies were found to be 70% more likely to capture new markets, according to Harvard Business

Going forward, diversity will impact on the bottom-line and increasingly be part of the decision-making
process for you and your fellow leaders.

5. Aligning incentives

Incentives are a powerful tool for motivating people. But what if you’re the one who hands out the bonuses at the end of the financial year?

One of the biggest challenges leaders face is aligning incentives at every level of their organizations, from top to bottom, with a Deloitte study finding that 52% of employees feel their incentives aren’t aligned to organizational goals.

The upside of this challenge is that if you manage to do it well, you can create an environment where everyone feels genuinely motivated and committed to achieving your goals—and drive revenue along the way.

The first step is to understand how different levels of incentives work together in a way that’s fair, transparent and motivational. Then comes the hard part: putting it all into action while maintaining relationships with those who report directly to you as well as those who report indirectly through other
managers or peers.

6. Leading creatively

This new world of hybrid work and greater employee expectations means that you need to be more flexible than ever before. For example, allowing employees to run occasional errands during traditional office hours is less frowned upon these days.

Greater emphasis needs to be placed on providing ample and valuable learning opportunities to your employees, such as training and mentoring. Whatever new and complex organizational challenges that come your way, you must be able to adapt quickly and find creative solutions.

Being creative with your leadership approach may not come naturally to some. This is why even those leadership positions must take on their own growth opportunities too.

A Monte Wyatt study found that 77% of participants, mostly Fortune 1000 executives, reported improved working relationships among direct reports after undergoing coaching. That should come as no surprise, given that such leadership training can equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to lead in a more diverse, demanding and hybrid world of work, one where empowering your employees will be key to sustaining future success.

Leadership training must be an increasingly important part of your leadership toolset. 2023 is a good year to embark on your journey to becoming a modern leader.

©Published by Lifeskills Institute Pte Ltd

Photo by fizkes on Unsplash



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3 things you can do to become a great leader

3 things you can do to become a great leader

Astute leaders, researchers and authors have contributed substantially to what you can do to become a great leader. And in an earlier article, we established that great leaders are made not born, outlining as well what great leadership is made up of.

Zenger Folkman suggests 25 attributes and skills you can develop to become a great leader. In this article, we’ll focus on just three things you can do:

  1. Prepare for your next job. Think ahead regarding the skills you will need
  2. Seek ways to give and receive productive feedback and learn to absorb it in an emotionally health way.
  3. Develop and display high personal character

Photo by Lindsay Henwood on Unsplash

Prepare for your next job. Think ahead regarding the skills you will need

The COVID-19 pandemic triggered organisations and individuals to reinvent their business, redirect efforts, reskill or upskill their workers – and quickly at that.

Great leaders would not wait for a pandemic to prepare themselves for their next job. They would rethink their capabilities and capacity periodically, engaging their upline or a coach or mentor along the way.

Will your future role require more technical expertise, more strategic thinking skills, coaching skills ? Have you taken stock of the skills in demand for the future economy?

Whatever skills and knowledge they may be, it is never to early to identify them and take active steps to add them to your slate of skill sets.

Seek ways to give and receive productive feedback and learn to receive it in an emotionally health way

If you want to receive useful feedback it usually requires a sincere request on your part for it. The gap between how leaders view themselves and how their direct reports perceive them is often, but not always, huge. How do you close that gap? The best way is through feedback – when you ask your direct reports for feedback.

One of the ways to receive feedback is through a 360-feedback process, not just a tool. Accept the feedback you receive as a valid perception of yourself by others and first seek to understand the meaning of the feedback.

A client of ours was perceived in a negative light by his direct reports with regards to his leadership skills. His organisation believed he could improve and change with the help of an external coach. During our coaching conversation, he was challenged to take a 360-degree assessment. He was very reluctant at first but when he genuinely felt that his coach believed in him, he took the step forward.

On his own, he diligently marked the feedback report with notes as he dissected it. He found that he benefitted from the 360-feedback process which included an assessment and coaching sessions.

With feedback, leaders move from mediocre and good to great as they recognise their strengths, what needs to be done to strengthen them further and how to do it before proceeding to taking any appropriate steps.

Photo by lexie janney on Unsplash

Develop and display high personal character

Those at the lower levels of an organisation resent arrogance from those in authority. They dislike leaders who convey an attitude of superiority, condescension or disrespect.

So the advice to leaders is to maintain an attitude of humility to become a great leader.

C.S. Lewis says “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”

Humility will make you approachable. It opens the door to building relationships.

We make our attitudes and character conform to our behaviour. So participate in powerful skill building programmes designed to improve your interpersonal skills as this would have a clear impact on your attitudes. When you learn and practise new behaviour you’ll find that there is a remarkable transformation of your attitudes and ultimately your character.

What support do you need for this journey?

So you’ve made a decision to become a great leader. What kind of support do you need on this journey you’ve embarked on? You can look for a mentor in your organisation or through management books. Or you could engage a coach.

Find a coach not because top athletes have a coach or the top corporate leaders have one. Find a coach to provide you with a strong accountability partnership as you take steps to becoming a great leader. You’ll be amazed by your remarkable behavioural transformation.

©Published by Lifeskills Institute Pte Ltd

Lifeskills Institute is the strategic partner of Zenger Folkman for Singapore and Malaysia. Our Chief Enabling Officer, Ian Tan is a Master Facilitator certified by Zenger Folkman.

Zenger Folkman is a strengths-based leadership development company helping leaders elevate their people and organisations. Co-founders Dr. Jack Zenger and Dr. Joe Folkman utilise empirical data and behavioural evidence to help leaders become extraordinary.



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