After over 20 years in learning and development, Dr Hannah Gore undertakes freelance consultancy in a wide range of L&D specialisms, is an Associate Lecturer teaching at MBA level, serves as a Director for the eLearning Network, an Online Executive Panel Member for McKinsey and inputs into various think tanks on emerging technologies and the impact of learning across the industry as well as contributing regularly to publications, podcasts and speaks globally at conferences.
So, what do you do dear? Describe your work to an elderly relative.
I help people to become the best versions of themselves, through professionally and personally developing their ability to learn and advance themselves.
What was your favourite learning experience (Could be work, personal, school…anything is valid)? What were you trying to do? Why did it work so well for you?
My doctorate, it repeatedly pushed me to my absolute limits and beyond. Everything I had studied before was taught, a doctorate you are pretty much in the wilderness and whilst that was exhausting to develop such a high level contribution to academia flying solo, it was also very liberating and rewarding.
Enough already…What one thing do you wish people in your industry or profession would stop doing? (What gets your goat?)
Self deprecating, it is my biggest bug bear, companies and organisations would not survive without L&D. I say it time and time again, good L&D can make a company, and bad L&D can break a company. Yet, so many L&D professionals say ‘oh I work in L&D’, they need to start owning their own power and channel it.
Same again please…What has changed for the better in your professional world as a result of COVID working practices? Should it be retained for the future (whenever that might be and whatever it might look like)?
People’s acceptance of online learning. I’ve spent 15 of my 21 years in L&D in online and blended learning and it wasn’t until Covid-19 that staunch F2F L&D departments and companies have to face the alternate reality of online learning. They have a long way to go to develop their online learning knowledge, but the revolution has begun.
From the good old days…What do you miss most about working life from the pre-COVID world? Do you think it will return?
I love presenting at conferences, I really miss the energy of an audience, and I look forward to that returning, but don’t think it will return fully until 2022/23.
Theft is the sincerest form of flattery…Which part of which other industry or profession do you think we should learn from and adopt (or just steal)?
I constantly reflect on external industries and creatively swipe and adjust to my designs in L&D. But the part that I think all L&D people need to steal/adopt is to speak the language of the industry that their organisation is in, not the L&D industry. This is key when working with senior leaders, aside from my doctorate which is in education, my remaining four university qualifications are in business. Over the years this knowledge of business has paid dividends in my work in L&D as I can speak their language fluently which helps immensely with not only stakeholder engagement but also design as the content and platform is completely fit for purpose.
You know who would be great for this…Which famous person (live or historical) do you want to join your team and why?
Eddie Izzard, she made a few BBC co-productions with The Open University when I worked for the OU’s open media department. She is incredibly clever, innovative, and thinks constantly outside of the box. Her stand up work is a work of art of storytelling in an open and inclusive way, and I once saw her recite the entirety of an abridged version of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, from memory… with voices. Imagine the ideas the team could create with such a mind on board.
If only I had…What did you learn from your most recent mistake?
Hmmm… good question. I’m very much a reflective practitioner, as I believe that every day should be a school day. A few months ago I made an assumption that a member of staff had prior knowledge (required for the role that they were doing when I joined the client company) without checking first, it would have saved a lot of project time if I had made that quick check first and adjusted their role within the project accordingly.
There can be only one…Which one tool or piece of kit would you keep if you could only use one from now on?
I may be hated in saying this… but video conferencing. I don’t believe we will all be permanently remote working every day forever, we will return to offices but just not every day. Video conferencing has given us the ability to flexibly work, and with that comes a happy and more creative workforce.
The picture of success…Which image or picture is a good representation of how you would like to develop your practice over the next five years?
Tessellating to easily fit all my client needs to me is fundamental to success.
Where can we find you?