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Win the Performance Improvement Race

A review of Learning at Speed: How to Upskill and Reskill Your Workforce at Pace to Drive Business Performance by Nelson Sivalingam


Thu Dec 01 2022


Learning at Speed: How to Upskill and Reskill Your Workforce at Pace to Drive Business Performance

By Nelson Sivalingam


Kogan Page, 217 pp., $25.95

Ready to test out your organization's learning speedometer to solve business problems? Sivalingam shows his prowess behind the L&D wheel in Learning at Speed. He provides a road map that starts with developing a lean learning mindset and concludes with marketing learning, all while providing tools along the way.

Sivalingam defines nine shifts as crucial to developing a mindset that will prepare leaders to move forward with lean learning: love the problem, bias toward action, fail fast fail often, continuous improvement, riskiest assumptions first, you get what you measure, outcome over outputs, eliminate waste, and empower the team.

Once the mindset gas tank is filled, the drivers of organizational learning can begin building speed by applying the Jobs-To-Be-Done framework for learning, incorporating a customer discovery process, and creating a learning canvas. Sivalingam describes each in detail to support learning strategy development.

He explains how to build a learning ecosystem by sharing insights on incorporating open learning resources, collaborative learning and knowledge sharing, job aids and performance support, coaching and mentoring, online courses, and radically flipped classrooms. He says employees are most motivated to learn during moments that matter, and he provides ways to influence those moments in the learning ecosystem.


Measuring impact and going through sprints serve as the last lap of the lean learning racetrack. When measuring the impact of learning programs, the author expresses the importance of obtaining proof of knowledge, skill, and performance to demonstrate solving the business problem. He provides a detailed Minimum Value Learning process that incorporates a Learning Experience Bullseye framework, then continues with guidance on the Learning Flywheel and lean learning sprints.

This book is packed with tools, concepts, and real-world business stories that support the approach to learning that Sivalingam has delineated for learning leaders and champions ready to drive business performance through an agile and lean approach. Readers will walk away with some gems.

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December 2022 - TD Magazine

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