Learning at Speed Book Summary - Learning at Speed Book explained in key points
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Learning at Speed summary

Nelson Sivalingam

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

3.9 (233 ratings)
16 mins

Brief summary

Learning at Speed by Nelson Sivalingam is a guide on how to create a fast-learning culture in organizations. It offers practical tips and insights on how to overcome common obstacles and develop a growth mindset to accelerate learning.

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    Learning at Speed
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    Learning and development departments are like startups – and can fail for the same reasons.

    What makes a business successful in the modern, post-Covid world? A side hustle selling hand sanitizer or video conferencing tools? Well, maybe, but the better question is, What attitude does a business need today? Because there’s one common trait that unites successful modern businesses, regardless of which sector they operate in: the best businesses today are the fastest learners.

    It’s not just a Covid thing. We live in a fast-paced environment that’s changing at an exponential rate, both in the world of work as much as in daily life. Today’s workforce will need different skills in the future – even in as little as five years’ time. But how can you make sure your business is equipped to help its employees learn at speed when you don’t even know what they should be learning?

    The answer is through learning and development – the department that has long been there to upskill or reskill your workers. But there’s just one caveat: to be truly effective in such fast-paced times, L&D itself needs to change too. It needs to think with the agility and growth-driven mindset of a startup. And not just any startup. Many startups fail, after all – and one of the key reasons for their demise is a cautionary message for L&D professionals. 

    Do you remember Quibi? Briefly, in late 2020, it was big news: a brand-new mobile streaming service with an almost $2 billion budget. Its specialty was short-form videos that users would pay to watch. Why did Quibi fail? Because it was solving a problem that didn’t exist. It sat awkwardly between free social media platforms like YouTube and TikTok, and paid streaming services like Netflix. Nobody really wanted or needed that particular gap in the market to be filled.

    Many L&D teams fall into the same trap. One survey found that a staggering 75 percent of managers weren’t satisfied with their company’s L&D. According to another survey, just 12 percent of employees actually applied the skills they learned through training. 

    It doesn’t seem like L&D is solving the right problems with its $350 billion global spend – that’s enough to fund 175 Quibis, by the way! Fortunately, the solution is to do more with less, through what the author calls lean learning. This is a whole new approach for L&D, and it’s ruthlessly focused on getting fast, measurable impact. It’s inspired by successful startups, and it could transform the way your workers learn new skills.

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    What is Learning at Speed about?

    Learning at Speed (2022) is your guide to professional learning and development in the modern world. By adopting a lean methodology inspired by startups, L&D can help businesses thrive.

    Learning at Speed Review

    Learning at Speed (2020) by Nelson Sivalingam is a book that provides valuable insights on how to learn effectively and efficiently in today's fast-paced world. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It offers practical strategies and techniques to optimize your learning process, helping you acquire knowledge and skills at a rapid pace.
    • With its real-life examples and case studies, the book demonstrates how individuals have achieved great success by mastering the art of fast learning.
    • Through its fascinating exploration of cognitive science and neuroscience, the book unveils the secrets behind accelerated learning, making it a captivating and enlightening read.

    Who should read Learning at Speed?

    • Learning and development professionals in search of new ideas
    • Managers looking to upskill their staff
    • Business professionals seeking to understand modern L&D

    About the Author

    Nelson Sivalingam is the CEO and cofounder of the learning platform HowNow, which connects employees with learning resources. He’s also a performance and development strategist, industry writer, and conference speaker.

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    Learning at Speed FAQs 

    What is the main message of Learning at Speed?

    The main message of Learning at Speed is how to learn faster and more effectively.

    How long does it take to read Learning at Speed?

    The reading time for Learning at Speed varies, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Learning at Speed a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Learning at Speed is worth reading for its practical insights on accelerated learning. It provides valuable strategies for acquiring knowledge efficiently.

    Who is the author of Learning at Speed?

    The author of Learning at Speed is Nelson Sivalingam.

    What to read after Learning at Speed?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Learning at Speed, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • The Other Significant Others by Rhaina Cohen
    • Good Strategy, Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt
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