Beyond learning

Posted by Josh Haims, Amy A. TitusCarly Ackerman, and Emily Lappin on April 26, 2019.

How do you prepare for a future workplace where the boundaries between humans and machines are blurred? Where skill sets and job roles are fluid? Where learning isn’t the responsibility of a centralized function, but of the entire enterprise. And, where you will need to access, curate, and engage talent in more creative ways than ever before. The search for answers to difficult, yet essential, questions brought more than 90 learning and business executives together at the 8th annual Deloitte Chief Learning Officer Forum held at Deloitte University in March 2019.

We gathered innovators, technologists, intrapreneurs, and thought leaders from a diverse set of industries to share their perspective on the role of learning in the future of work. Here’s a look at some of the challenges they discussed around workplace learning and skills development for all levels of employees, along with takeaways and “takeactions.”

Challenge: Imagine a new reality—The work of the future is connected people, collaborating in dynamic groups, constantly learning how to create more value by using their own human capabilities to see and address unseen opportunities for and with their colleagues.


Challenge: Compose an economy of experts—Keeping people’s skills in sync with fast-changing markets is a tremendous challenge across all industries. For organizations and their workforces to achieve the expected results, they need to focus on building skills for the future, giving workers the conditions (e.g., tools, experiences, opportunities, line of sight into business objectives through radical transparency) to take control of their careers and build skills/capabilities that align with both individual and business goals.


Challenge: Activate the workforce of the future—The relationship between humans and technology continues to evolve. Are we heading toward a crossroads? We can choose to give all our attention to our technology, allowing technology to manage us, or we can choose to work alongside our technology, leveraging it as an extension of ourselves when and as necessary. Organizations have a responsibility to encourage the right balance—providing tools that enable humans and machines to augment one another at work, rather than displace or duplicate one another.


Challenge: Reframe the talent conversation from “attract, develop, retain” to “access, curate, engage.”

  • Access untapped potential—Alternative talent pools can be assets to an organization in the Future of Work.


  • Curate meaningful experiences—We have an opportunity to focus experiential learning on real-world problems.


  • Engage the open talent marketplace—In the Future of Work, learning is in the hot seat to grow the organization and deliver value to employees.


These takeaways and takeactions reflect the insights and experiences of the Forum presenters and participants. Our thanks to everyone who attended for creating a valuable learning experience for all.

Our 2020 Forum will be held March 11–13, 2020, at Deloitte University. For more information please email us.

Josh Haims is a principal for Deloitte Consulting LLP. He is co-dean of the Deloitte Chief Learning Officer Forum and sponsor of the Banking and Securities Learning Executive Roundtable.

 Amy A. Titus is a managing director for Deloitte Consulting LLP. She is co-dean of the Deloitte Chief Learning Officer Forum and leads learning for the public sector.

Carly Ackerman is a senior consultant in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Learning & Career Mobility practice, where she focuses on supporting clients in adopting an employee-first mindset when addressing learning strategy and workforce innovation.

 Emily Lappin is a senior consultant, Workforce Transformation, for Deloitte Consulting LLP. She is program lead for the Deloitte Chief Learning Officer Forum and specializes in Learning Advisory Services.

1 Carol S. Dweck, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Ballantine Books, 2016.
2 Have 65% of Future Jobs Not Been Invented Yet? BBC World Service, 2017
3 The Tent Foundation & Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, US employers’ guide to hiring refugees, January 2018; The Tent Foundation, “Refugees work: A humanitarian investment that yields economic dividends,” May 2016; and Philippe Legrain, Step up: How to get refugees into work quickly, Tent Partnership for Refugees, August 2017
4 David Dyssegaard and Cyierra Roldan, Refugees as employees: Good retention, strong recruitment, Tent Partnership for Refugees & Fiscal Policy Institute, May 2018.
5 Deborah L. DeHaas, Brent Bachus, and Eliza Horn, Unleashing the power of inclusion, Deloitte, 2017; Juliet Bourke and Bernadette Dillon, “The diversity and inclusion revolution: Eight powerful truths,” Deloitte Review 22, January 22, 2018; Erik Larson, “New research: Diversity + inclusion = better decision making at work,” Forbes, September 21, 2017
6 Bourke and Dillon, “The diversity and inclusion revolution.”

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