What are the differences between the e-learning markets of the UK and the Netherlands?

What are the differences between the e-learning markets of the UK and the Netherlands?


I managed to catch up with Henriette
Kloots in London. Henriette is working for the
LPI as their kind of international person, and what I asked her about was:
Tell me the differences, Henriette, between e-learning and the e-learning
marketplace in Holland and the equivalent in the UK. And what she told
me was extremely interesting. So tell me first of all: What differences
do you notice between the UK and the Netherlands in terms of learning and
performance? I think if you look at the market itself, the biggest difference
right now as I’ve seen it is the fact that in the Netherlands we still have a
separate community for e-learning and a separate community for learning.
So actually professionals that are in e-learning are not making the switch to
learning and they don’t call themselves learning professionals. And the other way
around as well: So if you’re in learning, you’re not particularly specializing or
wanting to be in e-learning, and I’ve seen that being different here. Yeah I think that here, being standalone e-learning is no longer acceptable. It’s a
kind of dying profession. You’re in learning and that includes media
elements – whatever they might be –, online elements, so we tend to see people
renaming themselves as online specialists or delivering online
learning, not so much e-learning. So would you say
the Netherlands is on a totally separate track or just maybe it will come to the
Netherlands at some point soon? I wouldn’t even want it to be that people
are calling themselves online specialists because I think it’s all
learning. And what I’m worried about is that actually the traditional training
companies are not making the transition that they should have, so that the world
will be dominated by people who only focus on online and not focus on
classroom or other methods and they’re really falling behind right now. If you
look at the biggest – we have a big five of training companies in the Netherlands –
and they’re really falling behind right now. What do they specialize in? Are they …
what do the big five do? Are they e-learning companies or are they learning
companies?
Training companies.
Training companies. They are still 80 or 90 percent
focused on classroom training and they try to do something online and it’s all
not kicking off or taking off. Are peple getting impatient? Are their customers getting impatient and saying: This isn’t good enough? Or is there a kind of
complacency in the market where people are saying: Hey, this doesn’t really
matter, I quite like face-to-face. Oh, we’ll stick with face-to-face. Is there, is
there a sort of irritation growing in the market, do you think? No, not partic- I wish there was, because then they would have the need to change. But right now
there isn’t, so they’re not being pushed by the customer saying: We want more
online. Basically what happens is if clients say: We want things differently
or use other interventions or use apps or whatever learning technology, they
are moving to the providers. And because the two are separate entities and don’t talk
to each other, they have all these interventions implemented within their
organization, and they’re not in sync. So what do you see in the UK? What
is the thing that makes you happiest about what’s going on in the UK
and what depresses you about the UK? What I really like is the
attention there is for certification and quality for learning professionals. And I
think that, in the Netherlands, we’re not asking for credentials or particular
resumes or certifications or stuff like that. So that’s what I love here. And
you go out to be able to do that. In the Netherlands, we think we can invent
everything ourselves. We constantly are reinventing the wheel because we think
we can do it ourselves, and we’re not cooperating. I think it’s better here. If
you look at the conversations, at conferences or events, we’re genuinely
interested here in learning what other people are doing, how we can implement
that at our organization, and I think in the Netherlands, we really can learn from that.
Just learning from our peers in L&D who are all facing the same challenges. If
you organize things in the Netherlands, to me it still looks like: Who’s better
than the other person at the table? It’s not a genuine conversation about how can we make learning better, all of us, and help our clients better. And I think the
UK is much more advanced in that right now. What drives you crazy about the UK
in terms of learning?
Not much so far. I might be, I might be too, too new. I’m
still on the cloud. Cloud nine. Yes, you’re living in that little bubble of
being optimistic and hopeful and the disillusionment will set in. Yes, yeah. And where do you think you can go with the roles of global channel management? Do you think that there is a genuine interest around the world for the kind of stuff
that we’re doing in the UK? In sharing that? Yes. So mostly, right now, I don’t have to go out there. People are coming to us. People are asking the LPI, how can we work together? How can we cooperate? I am, I am
going out there, because there are certain countries in my head that I
think we should go there because we can learn a lot from that or there might
be a market there. But most of the interest is coming into, can we have some
sort of a quality standard? Can we work together to learn what’s happening in
Europe in the world of learning and development? So I think there’s
definitely a market, but more, there’s actually an eagerness to learn from each
other, which is amazing. That’s fantastic.
Yeah. So just to finish: What
are your two or three big tips? What would you – you’ve come from the
Netherlands, you’re working as a kind of big-ed new person and newbie in the UK – what tips would you give people working in L&D in the UK? Look out of your own
borders and really work internationally and globally. I think, in the UK, people
are learning from each other but it’s mostly what’s happening in the UK. And
there are so many initiatives around the world, not only in Europe but around the
world, that are so amazing. Eagerness of people in India or in
Africa who want to learn and become better, and I think that talent and that
potential in other countries could actually help evolve learning and
development in the UK as well. And I think that might be a good thing to
look at. It’s a great message. Henriette Kloots,
thank you for talking to me. You’re welcome.

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