Sign up for our next LinkedIn Live to discover how to shift your focus from a compliance-first to a learner-first approach!

| 7 min read

5 steps to reinvent your learning culture

The secret recipe for true learning culture transformation

Cassie Gasson Chief Marketing Officer

5 steps to reinvent your learning culture

We might be heading home from Dev Learn ‘22, but we are still pumped from Nate Rowlan’s (Senior CSM at THRIVE) seminar session which had delegates on the edge of their seats discussing their thoughts on impacting culture change.  And even walking away screaming “it was the best session ever.” No seriously, we have video evidence to prove it. 

So, if you missed it and need to know what the hype was all about, here’s our five-step round-up to driving real learning culture transformation.


What is the one thing that would impact your learning culture?”

Nate kicked off the session by addressing the audience with this age-old question, to which the majority of delegates answered; time

Now we know, a learning culture isn’t created by forced, tactical training courses built in Articulate Storyline under a time crunch, so how do we start to push back on the everyday and create more time for the right inputs, be more strategic and spend less time being reactive? 

1. Harness the power of data and evaluations

“Show me the ROI” said every CEO ever. So, why aren’t we going beyond completions and evaluating activities to understand the learning impact?

Nate urged delegates to consider Level 4 Evaluations which first look at reaction; surveying your learners to understand; was it worth their time. Was it successful? Was it engaging? Then considers what they have and haven’t learned, what are they able to do differently as a result of learning? 

Next, its behaviour changes, how well they can apply what they’ve learned and lastly, its results. What’s the impact? Whether it’s employee retention, increased customer satisfaction, revenue or morale, remember the outcomes and ask yourself; has your objective been achieved? 

2. Influence learner motivation using choice, ownership, relatedness and engagement

When looking at motivation there are two factors, the first is extrinsic motivation is all the external factors that motivate an individual, for example, praise, rewards, and money. Then there’s intrinsic motivation, which is a little bit trickier, all those internal factors that get people going, like an activity being fun or engaging, the people that feel genuine satisfaction from gaining a new skill. 

If we can tackle learners’ initiative and tap into more intrinsic efforts, we start to create cultures where people want to continuously learn, develop themselves and embrace andragogy.

How? Enter C.O.R.E. 

An easy-to-remember evaluation to apply that gets your learners embracing self-directed learning.


Choice: The first is choice. Provide your learners with content options, both formal and informal and plenty of them! This promotes curiosity, discovery and opportunities to upskill. 

Ownership: This is all about giving your learners the time and permission for self-evaluation, reflection and application of learning. 

Relatedness: Leverage user-generated content and cohorts to make your learning social, relatable, and authentic, supporting the way we learn every day on channels like TikTok, YouTube and Twitter. 

Engagement: Make whatever you roll out as fun, exciting and entertaining as possible, tap into your inner marketer, we all have it! 

3. Embrace the marketer mindset


Who are your L&D hype people? A question was put to the room to encourage stories of learning champions promoting L&D within their organisation. What was the moral of the story? “Be more Melissa” a learner from one of the organisations in the audience that nailed promoting their learning offering. 

Learning influencers are one way to get people talking but how else can you create a hype for learning? Nate introduced applying the Disney Imagineer Approach to L&D, this involves asking yourself seven questions to spark the magic: 

Blue sky - what could it be?

Concept - what is it?

Feasibility - what will it take to make it real?

Design - what are the details that bring it to life?

Production - how do we build it?

Installation - how does it all fit together?

Opening day - how did we do?


4. Leverage tribal knowledge and curate your “museum”

Now, this is when we start to get resourceful with learning content, harnessing storytelling and tribal knowledge aka your SMEs and coupling it up with what you should create and what you can curate. 

As a museum does, it’s not necessarily always about designing every course or training module, it’s about being great at arranging and collecting interesting content that tells a story. Does that explain all the crazy artefacts in the image below? 


5. Bust silos with skill-based cohorts and social learning


The last step addressed was how we break out of barriers and begin to connect people to each other and even more learning opportunities. Nate ended the discussion by asking which “silos are the biggest pain in your ass?” and introduced the concept of cohorts based on skills rather than departments to really drive cross-functional collaboration. 

Additionally, the encouragement of social learning is a huge silo breaker, imagine a world where your SMEs and learners can contribute to your content ecosystem as well as comment, like and share ideas and knowledge across the organisation and the world, on a platform where anyone can access, discover and learn.

📣 “Best session ever” 📣

That’s a wrap for now. If you’re interested in learning more about changing learning cultures, take a look at this guide or give Nate a follow on LinkedIn, he’s always posting gems to help L&D teams drive more engagement.


Latest from the blog

Innovation and inspiration

7 steps to prioritising your L&D tasks

Modern L&D professionals have to be agile to deliver results against business objectives. Learn how to prioritise your tasks for maximum impact.

Matt Bristow Digital Marketing Specialist

Try it out for yourself

Get started and see how your employees can thrive.

Get Learning & Skills Platform demoGet Content Club demo