Improving Human Performance With New Technology for the Way We Work – ATD

The 10th ATD Japan Summit examined the challenges of and made recommendations for successful hybrid work.

Hybrid work is a new experience for all of us. In the early months of 2020, we moved to a remote work modality, a way of working that would not have been possible without the many forms of technology we enjoy today. Remote work necessitated many new skills—for employees, managers, and leaders—such as communicating and providing feedback virtually. But as we’re transitioning to a hybrid work environment, new challenges are arising. Leaders and managers, for example, need to level the playing field for employees working on-site with those working remotely.

ATD Japan Summit, where UMU was a diamond sponsor and which was held remotely on December 6–10, explored many of these challenges with its conference theme of Reinventing Talent Development for the Hybrid Workforce. The summit, the tenth such meeting, brought together business leaders and talent development professionals to share ideas about creating a world that works better.

Conference speakers emphasized the visible and vital role of the talent development profession; the need for connection through soft skills like empathy, trust, and open communication; and the opportunity for technology to improve human performance.

The Power of the Talent Development Profession

Introducing the session “Talent Development and Technology: Preparing Organizations for Digital Transformation,” Masashi Urayama, president of IP innovations and advocate for the ATD international member network, highlighted a few Japanese learning and talent statistics. Urayama discussed that the mindset of Japanese employees is one where they expect their companies to take care of their career development, that companies still use legacy IT systems and technology such as learning management system usage lags, and that businesses that operated remotely prior to the COVID-19 pandemic struggled in comparison to other nations. Using this as the framework, Urayama invited ATD president and CEO Tony Bingham and UMU founder and CEO Dongshuo Li to share trends in the profession, including as they relate to technology.

The strategic importance of the talent development profession has grown since the onset of the pandemic, according to LinkedIn reporting. Year over year, March 2020 to 2021, 63 percent of respondents indicated that TD has a seat at the table, which is up from 24 percent in 2020, cited Bingham. He also noted the rise in the acceptance of virtual training and communication as well as the struggle to maximize engagement of participants in the virtual learning environment. Acknowledging the difficulties we’ve faced during the past 20 months working, communicating, and collaborating, Bingham noted the greater challenges we would have faced without technology.

Li echoed Bingham’s points, mentioning that we can work so much better and that the future is brighter when we fully leverage the capabilities of smartphones, tablets, and other resources. Globally, we are much more open to technology and, rather than replacing talent, technology—especially AI—can strengthen human capacity and skills.

The Power of Technology to Improve Human Performance

Learners have become less interested in being “students,” said educational technology expert Elliott Masie during his session, and are more interested in performing …….


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