Learning and development, L&D, Renaissance, L&D program, Learning and development program, training program, employee training, sales training

Methods of teaching and ideas on the best way to help employees learn and develop are forever changing.

Irrespective of new studies and technologies about the eminent ways to improve L&D at an organization, there have been recurring methods that have survived the test of time. 

The period of Renaissance, which followed the middle ages in Europe was a classical time that led to the revival of people’s interest in learning. 

 Renaissance writer’s approach to educating people shows a clear influence on our current learning and teaching methods. 

Humanism was a popular concept during the renaissance and can be now seen as being prevalent in our learning and development approach at organizations.

Creating a comfortable environment for learning, allowing participants to form their own opinions, customized content and the importance of the free flow of content consumption was emphasized by these writers.

Through literature by prominent authors of the Renaissance period, it is evident that many humanist values of giving custom choices to a learner have started picking up in our learning and development today.

So what can authors who died five hundred years ago tell us about learning and development in the modern age? 

  • Focus on Flexibility

    Rigid curriculum or learning platform paths that have a definite flow of content often tend to bring in sense of pertained ideas and processes.

    This refrains users to create their own conclusion or opinion on particular concepts. It is important for an individual to focus more on the subject and create a concrete answer to their learning as per their respective use case. 

    This can be further investigated when we deep-dive across use cases of various functions in an organization.

    Every individual is expected to attain a certain use case of particular skill and should not be restricted to a similar path of learning as others.

    For example, a content writer journey can vary based on interest in technical writing, marketing writing or developing decks that cater to different functions of the same organization. 

    A learning platform that enables the existing skill based on interest brings in the flexibility for the employees, helping them scale to excel in a particular domain.

  • Research

    Research allows users to develop their own use cases and opinions.  Most of the existing learning platforms prevent users from researching, focusing on defined learning paths that stick to the function needs. 

    This needs to be addressed when selecting learning software. Research content not only helps us understand the working but also pushes us to further probe our interpretation. 

    This helps organizations to avoid the mistakes made historically and also prevents reinventing the wheel.

    Research empowers employees to create, learn and do better things with existing resources. 

  • Collaboration

    The way to artistic, scientific and innovative endeavors was led through significant assistance from corporate and government during Da Vinci’s time. 

    The same stays true for our current learning structure. 

    Most learning software fails to involve and create a learning space where you can share resources, collaborate with other colleagues reading or learning the same skills, or simply request for new skill learning paths.

    When we develop an ecosystem where the leaders seem approachable, employees tend to collaborate more effectively. Often peace is developed between the rivals when the winds are flowing in the right way 

    “A true learning platform is the one which revolves around the principle of learning and not educating” And this strategy usually pays off well for everyone in the long run.

  • Course Design 

    Renaissance was a great time to pick up skills based on interest – Sculpting, painting, astronomy, musician, inventor and more.

    The period gave us some of the most influential names in the history of mankind. But, scouring through a few pages of history books will let you know that every individual through their learning life cycle was mentored by multiple subject matter experts – Da Vinci by Verrocchio, Vasari, and Sforza.

    This brings us to the important question of developing content for a team of people through subject matter experts.  Every expert has his or her understanding and learning of a particular skill.

    Not every expert is a great educator. 

    A great system is the one where a subject expert suggests the flow of content and then the flow is customized based on user interest and consumption -something very similar to Quora or Netflix.

    Which provides the independence to learn a skill at an independent pace.

  • Real-time evaluation

    Consider this – You have a million-dollar rock that needs to be sculpted. You give the task to one of the employees, who had been doing well on a similar request. 

    Six months down the line, you realize that the composition of the rock is not exactly your employee forte. You just lost 6 months and a million dollars. 

    This was the case during the early days of the Renaissance until they came up with a better solution – Show your sculpting skills over a smaller piece of rock, if the result is as the desired move to a better one. 

    With digitization, an ideal learning system should be similarly present real-time data and performance analysis of a user. 

    A detailed employee matrix should cover all aspects of learning and assessment, from the beginning of time. The matrix should evolve as an employee grows and matures their skills. 

    We might not all have the brains of Da Vinci’s but modern technology has made it easier for us to make learning and development more personalized and high yielding. 

Let’s take a page or two from the books of renaissance and get the tools that can help, and create an ecosystem that not only simply acts as a learning platform rather helps in developing an employee’s capabilities. 

Looking for a learning experience platform for your organization which can help you improve your employee capabilities by 10X.


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