Remembering ‘The 2020 Workplace’: How Accurate Were Meister and Willyed?

Back in May 2010, the L&D – and wider business community – found much to usefully ponder on in Jeanne C. Meister and Karie Willyerd’s The 2020 Workplace. Subtitled ‘How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop, and Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today,’ the book certainly made a huge impact on me.

But – were they right? And maybe just as interestingly, what useful lessons can we get out of what they got wrong? In tomorrow’s episode of our ‘Learning Is The New Working’ podcast, we get some answers.

You can imagine how quickly I seized the chance to dialog with Jeanne and Karie on the anniversary of the book’s publication, which also allowed me a great chance to hear what had happened to them since. I learned how Jeanne, who is a Founding Partner of HR Advisory and Research firm Future Workplace, now works to help organizations re-imagine/re-invent how they operate in the future workplace, while Karie has landed herself a pretty great job as the CLO at Visa.

There’s so much in our conversation, but one of the biggest takeaways for me is the total mind-flip where ten years ago corporations looked to control our access to the Web and tried to ban social media – but now, all we care about is engaging with employees who work and access information the way they want. Diversity, the growth in the importance of the employee voice… so much has changed; I’m going to say mostly for the good, especially around welcome new conversations around workplace wellness to new perspectives on what the role of a corporation really needs to be.

But, it’s certainly a very different Workplace – with all that entails for Learning and Training, and I think there’s a sense in th conversation of how this actually might be a Golden Age in HR and Learning. My conversation with these two brilliant Learning influencers is the second in our mini-stream on the podcast we’re calling ‘Season 5’ of the podcast – The Learning Leaders. This is just one of the great interviews we have lined up with Chief Learning Officers, influencers and enterprise Learning thought leaders – I hope you join us on our journey.

So here’s hoping you have the time to listen to this great interview: click to subscribe directly to ‘Learning Is The New Working’ on Apple Podcasts Spotify GooglePlay SoundCloud. If you feel so inclined abut what you’ve heard about the Workplace 2020, or in any of other episodes, a review is always so appreciated as it helps other folks find the show: thank you!

Chris Pirie

Founder & CEO

The Learning Futures Group

From NGO Driver to Project Manager Thanks to Mobile Phone Based Learning.

As you guys will know, Season 4 of the Learning Futures Group podcast, ‘Learning Is The New Working,’ is entitled ‘Learning 4 Good,’ and is focused on the fascinating dialectic that is happening between the world of corporate Learning and the genuine innovations happening in the non-profit sector.

What we’re attempting is an in-depth exploration of the global $200bn global aid sector in terms of what it can teach us in the Workplace Learning community. One of the most dynamic, intriguing, hard-pressed, for sure, but vital parts of the human story, the work that’s going on in the voluntary and NGO space to make the world a better place deserves all of our attention; from government agency to the millions of local helping hands, from the public-private partnership to the intervention of the well-funded tech benefactor, we’re trying to map how the same factors of change and disruption we have talk about in other parts of ‘Learning Is The New Working’ are playing out here.

And tomorrow, with our first 2020 podcast, we get even more insights into that interchange in nearly an hour of great interaction with my guest, Humentum’s Chris Proulx, Interim CEO and Global Director, Membership Engagement & Learning. Full disclosure: I serve, proudly, on the Humentum board, so this one’s close to my heart. In any case, Chris’s organization, formed in July 2017 by the merger of three previous Learning sector entities, InsideNGO, LINGOs and Mango, is all a consortium of hundreds of NGOs working together to improve operational excellence and improve the skills of their employees round the world. In our chat, we stretches to nearly an hour, Chris discusses a range of important topics, like how one NGO’s local driver did a 12-week Project Management course on his phone, and was able to get a much better job – just while waiting round for jobs!

Chris has a range of equally interesting anecdotes and guidance, from the importance of appropriateness for any training you want people to take seriously, why it always has to be accessible, and much more; I think it’s genuinely fascinating stuff, and I hope you do, too. ‘Learning 4 Good’ is co-curated by my esteemed co-host Lutz Ziob – long-term colleague, mentor, friend and all-round, proud and out-loud fellow ‘Learning Geek’! Lutz, who many of us will know from his many years at Microsoft, including at Microsoft Africa, now runs Ziob Consulting. That’s a company 100% focused on the dynamic interaction between technology innovation, skills and job transformation, and the changing approaches to learning and skills development.

Just as I do, Lutz sees digital transformation, often described as the 4th Industrial Revolution, as a truly global process, which is why he is so interested on its impact right across the African continent, as well as the opportunities opening up through collaboration between Africa and Europe (and his native Germany in particular). So – I really hope you agree ‘Learning 4 Good’ sounds interesting to you, and that you have enough time to listen to this discussion with Mr Proulx.

And if you feel you want to hear more about Learning 4 Good topics like what Humentum’s doing, just click to subscribe directly to ‘Learning Is The New Working’, where ‘Learning 4 Good’ is running on alternate 2-week cycles with our regular LITNW episodes over on Apple Podcasts Spotify GooglePlay SoundCloud

Let me know what you think of what we’re trying to do, take care – and let’s all work together to make 2020 a landmark year for non-profit Workplace Learning.

Happy New Year From the Learning Is The New Working Podcast Team. We Also Have NEWS!

Xin Nian Kuai Le, Blwyddyn Newydd Dda – and ¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

If that wasn’t clear, we really do mean a Happy New Year to all our guests, listeners, and supporters at The learning Futures Group for a great start to our Workplace Learning Disruption Podcast in 2019, Learning Is The New Working.

We launch into 2020 and so a whole new decade with a new dedicated website and a fascinating lineup of new interviews coming your way very soon. If you haven’t already, ensure you don’t miss anything by clicking on that old ‘Subscribe’ button on the podcast provider of your choice to make sure you keep your place in the conversation about the Future of Workplace Learning.

That new dedicated home is There, you’ll find season-by-season collections of back episodes as well as useful additional resources including transcripts of selected episodes, podcast backstories, and links to places our guests have suggested you can find out more about either their work, or other useful content.

You can subscribe to our newsletter here. Now, in terms of who you can expect to hear from that we have already confirmed and mostly even got on tape ready to go for you across our different podcast themes, we can today confirm:

More Learning Scientists

In the next few weeks you can listen in to our conversations with

Anant Agerwal, CEO and co-founder of MOOC pioneer on edX in the enterprise

Mary Slaughter of The NeuroLeadership Institute on the power of brain friendly L&D

Krishna Madhavan from Microsoft’s Learning Innovation Labs on Innovation and the importance of ethical AI.

More Learning Philanthropists

Throughout the first half of 2020 our Learning 4 Good stream will introduce you to capacity builders such as Chris Proulx from Humentum, The Humanitarian Leadership Academy’s Nicolas Kroger, Tina Boulding from the UK’s Cornerstone Foundation, as well as the Chief Learning Officer at The World Bank, Sheila Jagannathan. We’ll also hear more conversations between my co-curator for L4G Lutz Ziob and the great Learning Leaders he’s identifying as driving change across Africa.

More Learning Leaders

Here we can tempt you with in-depth dialogs with Sean Gallagher, Executive Director of Northeastern University’s Center for the Future of Higher Education and Talent Strategy, on why Universities and industry need much better partnership models,

Marie Cini of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning on her work building regional talent strategies,

And some legendary Former CLOs including Hilton Hotel’s Kimo Kippen, Fernando Sanchez-Arias of Home Depot, and Dave Vance of Caterpillar University.

And Even More Women

We always strive for balanced gender representation in our interviewees, but we can always do better. To fix this, we are designing a special Women Leaders in Learning Season to launch in support of International Women’s Day this year (March 5), throwing our weight behind its 2020 theme of #EachforEqual.

Maybe you can do your part here to support IWD too: we are looking for diversity-minded Learning providers and detect brands to sponsor the season, and are absolutely open to your suggestions and nominations for female Learning and Talent leaders who are moving the industry forward.

Submit your nominations here… and great to see where 2020 will take not just the podcast and our work at The Learning Futures Group forward, but the whole #WorkplaceLearning future. Have your say – and join us in the journey!

Chris Pirie

Founder & CEO

The Learning Futures Group