INTERVIEW: Travel notes from the Learning Meetings – Lyon

20 October 2021 – Written by OfCourseMe in Success Stories – 5 min read

On the road again! Two weeks ago the OfCourseMe team packed up for the second time in a month and met in Lyon for a unique event of its kind: the Learning Meetings organized by Arcaneo. In the exclusive venue of the Hotel Dieu, in our reserved suite, our Head of Sales France Guillaume Portois and our CEO Davide Conforti had numerous thorough conversations with the learning directors of some of the largest French companies. 

In such a charming historic building, with a wonderful view over the Rhone river and the warm French autumn coloring the streets, the event lived up to expectations. In particular, OfCourseMe organized a panel discussion about “l’organisation apprenante“: an occasion to share our vision and method and discuss them together with experienced learning professionals.

We seized the moment to interview Davide and Guillaume (before a good coffee and some pastries), and to discover which are the main takeaways of this French experience.

Guillaume, after a long time you could finally meet people face to face! What were your feelings: what is the atmosphere in France after the Pandemic?

I certainly came back from Lyon with positive vibes. After such a long period of uncertainty, during which all long-term projects seemed too far away to be considered seriously, there is finally a great desire to do stuff and start moving things. The pandemic not only created many problems but also highlighted several weaknesses in our way of working.

The sudden shift to remote work has shown how workers can be trustworthy: they can be productive working in autonomy and deal with changes. It’s now clear that even habits that seemed immutable can be replaced with a little effort and adapted to this ever-changing and fluid reality. 

In this context, what are the challenges that companies have to face in France in Learning and Development and what solutions do you think OfCourseMe can offer?

The importance of upskilling and reskilling are widely recognised, but learning managers are still struggling with some parts of the learning processes. An example? Proposing the right contents to fill in skill gaps. OfCourseMe can help here by applying our AI technology: in fact, “SkillMe” – our brand new product designed to offer a “link-and-match solution” – allows to seamlessly associate relevant contents to any skill taxonomy, ultimately generating what we call “skill-based recommendations”.

Another common challenge is to organize the contents created internally and integrate multiple platforms in one place: OfCourseMe classifies all learning assets in one overarching content taxonomy which makes it easy for users to find contents and build their personal learning path. 

Davide, did you notice any difference between French learning needs and those of other countries? 

In Italy and England “learning experience” is the keyword of the moment; as a result, learning contents must be immediate, direct, and easy to use. The preferred formats are learning pills, or short videos. 

French learning professionals, on the other hand, seem to pay more attention to the pedagogical value of the learning materials proposed. In fact, there is a soaring demand for academic courses, such as MOOCs and university lessons. Nonetheless, the importance of self-training is highly recognized, and workers are enhanced and have the responsibility of their own professional career.

What’s your perspective on the future of learning and skills?

Using algorithms and artificial intelligence, combined with the curation made by a team of real people, we can offer an effective solution to today’s challenges.

I believe that personalization is key in all areas. Think of the advertising we receive every day: tailor-made to our searches and personalities. How can we offer the same educational content to everyone, without understanding people’s inclinations and roles? 

Engagement is the leading indicator of every learning project: contents can be numerous, but if they are not appealing and suitable for learners, few people will actually enjoy them. A consistent narrative and a clear communication strategy are even more important than sourcing for the best piece of technology or the perfect content.