Author Profile Picture

Fiona Lackenby

Insights Learning & Development

Creative Services Manager

Read more about Fiona Lackenby

The social side of L&D: Why bringing your whole self to social will make you stand out


As a mum of a seven year-old-boy, I’ve recently been fielding a new experience in motherhood. In addition to the myriad of sports balls and legos, there’s something new in my son’s school bag – homework.

I get it. My son’s school teacher is stewarding the daily development of a dozen seven year-olds and needs to make sure her class is not starting from scratch every morning. Even though homework continues to be a tough sell for my boy, I’m already seeing first-hand how the assignments are reinforcing his daily lessons and pushing him to apply his knowledge in new ways.

While navigating our family’s latest adventure in a reoccurring battle I like to call ‘homework before football’, I got to thinking that L&D professionals and school teachers have a lot in common. Both are charged with the difficult task of upskilling their pupils and getting them to use what they’ve learned in their lives. In the absence of slipping homework assignments into senior managers’ brief cases at the end of a development session, what can our industry do to weave learning and development tools into our learners’ daily lives?

Enter social media. We get news from it, we get jobs through it, so why not develop from it too? Insights is a player in the L&D industry that takes learning to the social streets. In fact, we’ve built a social strategy around it focused on three key elements.

Let’s explore how each of these three things support our learners and our business.

1. Learning

As English philosopher Herbert Spencer reminds us, “The great aim of education is not knowledge, but action.” Insights leverages this thinking in its social media presence by posting new learning content several times a week to prompt practitioners and delegates to revisit the realisations and conversations from their Insights workshop experiences.  A key differentiator, here, is that this learning content is outside of anything a learner would have been exposed to in our workshops.

Here are a couple of examples:

Of course one of the primary aims of our social messaging is to grow and develop the Insights brand, but we want to make sure we are always doing this in a way that is true to our personality. As we continue to grow as a global business, we are deeply committed to reaching the Insights employees and customers of tomorrow in a way that attracts people who like us for who we are.  

Homework metaphors and philosophy quotes aside, we’ve built a strategy that is rooted in a couple of simple ideas:  one, that any new learning needs to be embedded in our daily lives for it to stick, and two, our daily lives are increasingly influenced by our social channels and digital media. By acknowledging these realities, we can connect up the two to make our development work more socially-minded and our social activity more developmentally-minded.

The future of L&D depends on our collective recognition that it is outside of the confines of workshops where learning is actually applied, shared and embedded.

While face-to-face learning interventions are amazing for many reasons, like jumpstarting a development program and bringing teams together, the future of the L&D industry depends on our collective recognition that it is outside of the confines of workshops where learning is actually applied, shared and embedded. When we do this, a world of creative, strategic and social possibilities opens up for us our learners and our businesses.

We are fortunate enough to have a brilliantly talented in-house creative team who work hard to visualise and humanise the Insights proposition. Their work often takes form in poignant infographics, illustrations, videos, and animations that look at Insights’ principles (self-awareness, understanding yourself and understanding others) in fresh, new ways.

2. Community

In her book, “The New Social Learning”, author Marcia Conner says, “Social tools leave a digital audit trail, documenting our learning journey – often an unfolding story – and leaving a path for others to follow.”

Our social channels are places we get to communicate who we are as individuals and as an organisation.

One of the ways Insights capitalises on this thinking is by focusing on the community-like nature that social media channels can create.  We want learners to help learners and practitioners to support practitioners. For the most part, we just set the stage and get out of the way!

Here are a couple of examples:

One of the reasons we take community seriously is because we respect the people that have chosen to entrust us with their development. In return, we try to provide amazing new learning content and an impeccable real-time response rate to answer questions or requests for more information.  

To make our customers feel even more special, we also designate a customer of the month, every month. You can check out the personalised gift we made for one of our customer of the month recipients, on our Youtube channel.

3. Personality

Understanding ourselves and understanding others is at the heart of what we do, which means that expressing our company personality comes naturally.

Our social channels are places we get to communicate who we are as individuals and as an organisation. In fact, this work has grown to become a key strand of Insights’ recruitment strategy in order to attract great new people to join the organisation. This type of content can take shape in many forms, from photos of our staff to inspirational quotes and everything in between.

Here are a couple of examples:

Author Profile Picture
Fiona Lackenby

Creative Services Manager

Read more from Fiona Lackenby

Get the latest from HRZone.

Subscribe to expert insights on how to create a better workplace for both your business and its people.


Thank you.