Turning 16 is fun! You can officially test the uncharted waters, take on new responsibilities and get your first taste of freedom! Even better, you get to celebrate your past accomplishments while easing into a new chapter of your life.

As we blow out our birthday candles, we reminisce about our 16 glorious years in eLearning and distil top16 lessons we have learnt along the way that apply not just to businesses, but are critical life skills too.

1.It’s all about people

Regardless of what you are dealing in – a software or a hardware, it’s critical to understand that, at the end of the day, technology is just an enabler. Your efforts (product/ service) are FOR the people (in context of the LMS – L&D practitioners and end users/learners), built BY the people and OF the people (learn-tech providers).

2.Innovation is not an activity. It’s a mindset

To be an innovator, you need to cultivate a mindset of challenging the status quo and developing new solutions to old challenges. Innovation cannot be put into bullet points or worse still on your vision board if you don’t empower your people to think outside-the-box at all times.

3.IQ matters, EQ matters even more

Cracking the code (pun intended) to learning technology has a lot to do with the collective programming knowledge and expertise in your team, but the intellectual ability to manage ideas, knowledge, thoughts and relationships with other people is what sets you apart from the rest.

4.Trends are elusive, human behavior is not

Buzzwords are often just that; fads with a short timeline. While fads and trends stem from the ever-evolving user behavior and technology, sifting through to identity the ones that are linked to human behavior have a higher sustenance and faster uptake than the ones that are just sexy sounding.

5.Leadership begets leadership

True leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders, goes the adage. To ensure you have a nurturing ground for leaders at all levels, it’s important to create a culture of trust and empowerment so leadership breeds.

6.Loyalty cannot be bought, it needs to be earned

No amount of money or R&R programs will get your people to stick if the company culture is not conducive to growth and development. This is as true for employees as it is for learners (linked to the LMS narrative).

7.The future is NOW!

The unprecedented times we are living in currently, propelled by technology and mass adoption thereof, has shrunk the timelines of maturity and necessity. We need to think on our feet at all times so that we can learn from yesterday, build for today and plan for tomorrow.

8.Change is truly the only constant

In a world wherever everything changes in a matter of moments, change management is a tool we all need in our arsenal to not just cope with the transformation, but to ride it with pride.

9.There are no mistakes, only learnings

“I have not failed. I have only found 10,000 things that do not work”.

Edison gave us more than just a light bulb. His words need to be etched in our personal and professional workings to help us not just rise after a fall but to dissect it to its last grain and derive the learning from it to propel us further.

10.Learn-tech is only the means to an end

Investing in an LMS or a learning platform does not assure you success if you are not willing to do the work on other parts of the puzzle. Think about the modalities, the content, the strategy.

11.Skilling is breathing

With the lifespan of a skill whittled down to 3-5 years (from the previous 10-12), skilling needs to be at the center of everything we do. Akin to breathing, which is an essential life force, skilling needs to be prioritized and actioned upon.

12.It’s the survival of the smartest

Darwin’s theory of the survival of the fittest may need to undergo some contextual change in today’s day and age. It’s no longer about the fitness alone, but the ability to understand, evolve and act in accordance to the situation which is the key to surviving and thriving.

13.LMS is not an option

While learning and training can happen offline, the management of it is best left to the tools (read Learning Management System). The failure of this leads to inefficiency and drain on time, effort and cost resources, all of which can hijack the focus from employee L&D to the ancillary activities.

14.Content is truly the king

An LMS, or any learning platform for that matter, is only as good as the content on it.After all, it’s the content that will help you achieve your employee skilling and training goals. Further, the content needs to be relevant, engaging and contextual for best results.

15.Good UI is more than aesthetics

How often have we overplayed UI with a complete disregard to the usability? Far too many times IMO! While ensuring the interface of the LMS (or any software) is intuitive and pleasing to look at, a myopic focus on that alone can jeopardize the actual use of it. So it’s important to broaden the definition to include the user experience (UX) too.

16.Disruption is the new black

Let’s just say, if you haven’t disrupted, you haven’t done anything yet.To be able to disrupt, you need to be able to take risks (which means failure too – refer to point #9). Needless to say, the more you play in discomfort the stronger you grow from it.

There you have it –16 enlightening lessons straight from our years of experience! Whether you are turning 16 or 60, these pearls of wisdom will hold you in good stead – always!

Psst! Head over to UpsideLMS Linkedin, UpsideLMS Instagram and UpsideLMS Facebook to join in our sweet sixteen celebrations all day long today! Happy 16 to us!