At the core of Fenturi is our beautifully designed, engaging and hyper relevant content. Our digital learning solutions are measurable and resonate with learners around the globe. We love to talk digital learning, getting to know what problems organisations face and how digital learning can help be part of the solution.

Welcome to the Fenturi Focus. This page is home to our daily summaries of HRcoreACADEMY and the key themes we took away. If you want to open up a conversation right now head straight to contact us. For now, you can find our takeaways from day 1, day 2 and day 3 below. You will also find our three key themes; cultural discovery, be more agile, meta & soft skills and how to apply these themes to your digital learning.

fenturi focus 

hrcoreacademy DAY 1

Opening of the Conference by the Chairs: Derek Bruce, Leadership Devt. Director, Signify & Stefaan van Hooydonk, Former CLO, Cognizant 

In the introductory keynote, Derek and Stefaan discussed the key trends they are seeing and areas which will be covered during the event. Notable, the incredible pace of change which the world of learning has seen in 2020 was a main talking point.

Meta skills to propel Learning and Skilling: Stefann van Hooydont Former Chief Learning Officer, Cognizant  

With 50% of people requiring reskilling in the Digital Age, L&D Teams will need to focus on equipping employees with the meta skills of Curiosity, Growth Mindset and Learning how to learn. 

2020 has been a year of extreme disruption, coping with the pandemic has accelerated a longer-term trend that will see industries change more in the next 5 years than in the last 50 years. The world is changing so fast that L&D must also include meta-skills development to help people be better equipped to deal with change and organisations are advised to devote time to enable employees to develop these key skills. The pace of change is only going to get faster, so organisations should be looking at soft skills training and implementing it fast.  

On the subject of soft skills training, we need your help. We want to help prepare employees to better deal with the eventualities of change, we plan on doing so with relevant and engaging soft skill training. Your results will be taken in confidence and the survey will only take 5 minutes. As a thank you are planting a tree for every completion. You can take part here

Key takeaways from Meta Skills (aka Soft Skills)  

Currently businesses focus on primary (Technical) and secondary skills (Behavioural), but really the way to make the shift to the new world is to focus on tertiary skills (Mindset). For many organisations these are uncharted waters and there is no benchmark for success.   

L&D needs to champion these new tertiary skills that help people develop the right growth mindset. They are complex skills and as much about creating the right conditions for people, as they are about actually teaching new behaviours. A good place to start is by examining how people learn: 

  • Discovery – people learn for themselves, e.g. Informal learning by googling questions 
  • Discourse – people learn by talking to each other e.g. social learning through networks 
  • Doing – people learn by doing their jobs eg. Experiential learning on the job 
  • Didactics – people learn by formal training e.g. digital learning courses  

Practical Skills to make cultural transformation work 

Culture provides a competitive advantage but only 10% of companies actually do cultural transformation well. Competitors may copy your products, but they can never copy your culture so this is an important space to invest in. Brands should be doing more to drive culture, but it’s a difficult thing to master.  

For a successful cultural transformation companies need to celebrate successes but also focus on the pain points. They also need to define the metrics and actually measure them, to make sure they are moving in the right direction. This year we’ve done a lot of work on measuring the effectiveness of training, if this is of interest to you click here.

Cultural transformation is also not just an HR problem, senior leaders need to believe cultural transformation is the right thing to do. With everyone on board self-awareness and honesty across the business is key to a successful cultural transformation. Importantly the talk highlighted that the journey of transforming culture is a marathon, not a sprint. 

From 5 to 500 employees in less than 5 years –Learnings on the importance of efficient Recruiting and successful Onboarding. Ben Kiziltug,Intl. Lead and UK Country Mgr., Personio 

A short talk from Ben for Personio reminding us of the importance of a successful onboarding process and how digitalising aspects of this can create a more effective and efficient process. We have a case study that supports this idea with the new onboarding process saving 32 hours of learning per cabin crew member. We improved staff competency and efficiency, saving BA time and money.  

Ben also touched on onboarding in a remote world and the difficulties associated with it. If this is of interest to you, our very own Matt Gilbert shared his views on Training Journal discussing how L&D can help with onboarding and reboarding in a remote world. 

Growth versus Fixed mindsets hosted by LIVESciences’ Jenny Weisskopf   

The group discussed the advantages of a growth mindset in the context of fast paced change and how it impacts at the individual, team and organisational level. We finished the session by thinking of things we could do to encourage a growth mindset, around communication and learning strategies. This was a closed group so we are not sharing more detail here, but if you would like to discuss the role for digital learning please do get in touch with one of our consultants here.  

hrcoreacademy DAY 2 

Sam Zalcman, Head of Learning Innovation, PMI

Sam outlined the role of learning and development in the transformation of PMI. They are supporting a wider shift in culture towards greater experimentation and more experiential thinking. This move away from traditional thinking means that L&D is integrating into the business, not just operationally but also to provide support in the flow of work. They realise that skills are getting out of date very quickly, quoting the WEF figures that 54% of employees will need significant reskilling in the next 3 years.

Sam said that it is still early days for PMI. They are conscious when looking back that people have often left PMI because of limited opportunities to learn, a culture that promoted learning outside of work time. They want to make learning a part of everyday life, with 90% of their staff saying they see the benefit of learning, and 80% of their employees willing to share their knowledge and skills. Part of the context for moving forwards is knowing that they need to develop a more flexible workforce able to pivot and adapt to change. To help promote this flexible culture, they will shift from formal and directive learning, in favour of a more natural approach that leverages people’s curiosity.

To achieve this, they are introducing a simpler more joined up approach. The L&D team are also adopting the agile principles they encourage in others, to test and refine ideas according to the feedback they get. They are seeing success in focusing on tools and digital checklists that are useful for people as an essential part of their current work. Part of this new approach is supported by their LXP and the large volume of digital micro learning content that is now produced. It has seen a 21% increase in platform users and an incredible 249% increase in likes and shares. 

What HR could learn from developers: Micro-learning and Gamification Ruslan Demyanenko, CEO, Eventicious  

Microlearning and Mobile learning  

    Ruslan spoke about why traditional LMS systems can fail to motivate employees towards personal development. They can often fail to motivate employees, depending on the type and quality of content they are engaging with. Conversation then switched to engaging the new generation of learners. An interesting statistic that was used is that amongst the 18 to 24 yr olds, 77% state that “when nothing is occupying my attention, the first thing I do is reach for my phone”. The preferred learning styles of new talent means organisations are going to have to adapt their learning delivery. In other words, modern-day media habits will massively impact the future of digital learning.  

    Here’s some points made by Ruslan about engaging the new talent

    • ‘They’ don’t tend to store so much info in head
    • Dislike long trainings sessions, but do like to know where to look answers up for themselves
    • Short attention span
    • ‘They’ don’t like to plan far ahead
    • Like to be in control of their time
    • Very adaptable and flexible

    Therefore they potentially prefer microlearing, mobile learning and personlisation. In a recent report by Docebo, it mentions that today’s learners expect personalised and unique experiences, greater control, and the content they want when they want it. They also want the content easy to find, digestible, informal, social, and mobile. To find out more about how modern-day media habits are shaping the future of learning check out our article on training zone. For an insight into our approach to mobile learning click here. 


    This was an interesting section of the talk discussing gamification in learning and what L&D can learn from game designers.  Game designers know how to turn an interest into a habit, they understand the importance of releasing dopamine. Dopamine release is at the heart of why gamification is so successful and has such high engagement rates.  

    You only need to look at the science behind game design to understand the power behind play. They are many psychological tricks that are wildly used across the gaming industry, and these can be incorporated into learning design when appropriate. As an agency we focus on being hyper-relevant, so we take a proactive approach to our game design. If the psychology of game design in learning is of interest to you, follow the link and step inside our game design process. 


    The talk then digressed into how gamers can sit there for many hours and be fully engaged with the content. But when the same demographic are taking part in learning it must all be micro and easily digestible.  This raised the thought of creating a game with learning elements embedded into it. Of course there is a cost associated with this but an interesting approach. 

    At  Fenturi we try not to spend too much energy arguing the difference between gamificaiton and learnification, if you really want to know follow the link. The important point is developing the right course that engages your people and encourages new behaviours. That might be adding small gaming elements into a learning course, or designing a game that has learning elements embedded.

    Felix Bartelomij, Head of People Development, ABN AMRO Bank 

    Felix talked about how ABN are focused on accelerating and upskilling employees for today and the future. They have identified how digital, design thinking, collaboration and decision making are critical skills and can help make people be smarter, faster and have more fun whilst still being productive. He shared ABN’s 5 principles: 

    • People must be encouraged to own their own development 
    • L&D must be done on the job, with colleagues 
    • Learning must be an integral part of the working day 
    • Frame L&D by the return it gives to the business, not the cost 
    • Learning should be part of a continuous dialogue, built into all performance management approaches.

    hrcoreacademy DAY 3

    Tamsin Vine, SVP Learning and Development, Sodexo 

    Sodexo are a huge food and facilities management services company. They employ 470k staff the majority of whom work off site in airports, staff canteens, stadiums or client’s offices across 67 countries. In the UK alone they employ teams comprising of 70 different nationalities. This is a difficult context in which to develop staff and the pandemic has only created more challenges. This year they have delivered 8 hours of training to each staff member, including training on new Covid-19 protocols. 

    They see 3 dimensions from which to support the New Normal. 

    • Rapid authoring of mobile first learning content 
    • L&D must design and deliver virtual instructor led training 
    • Communities of practise to help generate User Generated Content 

    They have been dealing with the requirement to rapidly scale urgent communications and training across a distributed workforce. Part of their solution has been to support and professionalise their internal subject matter experts, to help them scale the training across the organisation. This community approach, and encouraging them to produce their own user generated content (e.g. instructional videos) has been a success.

    Key takeaways 

    • Move faster by opening up the design ecosystem 
    • Good is good enough (perfect is the enemy of good) 
    • Digital 1st by design 
    • The whole organisation can be part of your team 

    Tamsin added that they work hard to stay focused on employee engagement, hiring a team to take on this role, and review all training from the context of the end user. People are swamped with information and to make them curious enough to select and engage, it must be relevant and in the format they want. Digital platforms are helping with measurement, social ratings giving her instant feedback loops and the opportunity to optimise. 

    Her longer-term view is that expectations are rapidly changing, of both the employer and employee. For the latter, the availability of digital information and tools is raising the bar for what they expect as their learning experience; in the future employees may want more autonomy around what content they want to select. 

    hrcoreacademy key themes

    Fenturi went online during HR Core Academy to catch up with the HR and L&D industry. The event was a great opportunity to hear about what the world’s largest organisations are thinking about right now. We’ve reviewed all the speaker’s notes and pulled out 3 key themes for coping with today’s challenges and thinking ahead to the post pandemic future. We’ve also thought about how they can be applied to digital learning and included our advice on how you can take advantage of the advice on offer.

    Cultural Discovery

    Every organisation has its own culture which is a vital part of its brand and competitive advantage. Culture eats strategy for breakfast so don’t ignore the potential friction for a transformation programme. Get the leadership team to communicate the importance of a learning culture and get them to take part.

    Be more agile

    Being able to rapidly adapt to change is not just the theme of this year but likely into the future. Having a flexible approach to a content strategy will help – use agency partners, encourage SMEs to create UGC, curate content to help people access existing resources. Test and learn through experimentation – you might need formal topic learning for some subjects, but a focus on tools and micro content in other areas.

    Meta or Soft Skills

    Ultimately the ongoing demand for quick adaptation to new business priorities is going to necessitate the development of the employee’s growth mindset. L&D teams should support the development of skills such as creativity, design thinking, problem solving and learning how to learn.


    Cultural Discovery

    Digital learning is not restricted by the traditional classroom format of instructor lead training. A good course should be based on insights about how your employees think, feel and behave – and if there are multiple perspectives on an issue, then create multiple personas within the course to guide learners through the journey.

    If you would like an independent perspective, then speak to us. Fenturi have teamed up with the behavioural psychologists at Innovation Bubble to provide a full learning culture and content assessment.

    Be more agile

    One size does not fit all. Instead create an ecosystem of best-in-class partners to help you deliver a variety of learning strategies with multiple types of content. Consider using a mixture of agencies and in-house expertise according to requirements. Agency partners can be an extension of your team and bring in fresh thinking and experience from other sectors. Keep them close to your business and involve them early in planning cycles so they have time to deliver the best possible solution.

    Meta or Soft Skills

    Historically soft skills training has been delivered through traditional classroom formats to senior management and leadership teams. Few organisations have prioritised delivering it at scale across their workforces, perhaps because of the cost and logistics involved. Market forces are requiring these skills to be universally adopted, so companies must utilise Digital learning. The good news is that we can use a variety of techniques, formats and feedback loops to deliver best in class soft skills courses.

    Adapting to change

    We need your help with our survey, we want to help prepare employees to better deal with the eventualities of change. We plan on doing so with relevant and engaging soft skill training. Your results will be taken in confidence and the survey will only take 5 minutes. As a thank you are planting a tree for every completion, you will gain access to the final report. 

    We hope you enjoyed the Fenturi Focus of HRcoreAcademy. If you want to discuss any of these ideas further please do give us a call on 0117 440 1000, email at or fill in the contact form below.

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