LAS is an award-winning provider of elearning consultancy, design, development and training services in the UK and internationally.
Established in 2005 as LearningAge Solutions, we work with some of the best known organisations in the world to boost their performance through the innovative use of learning technologies. Working in partnership with our customers, we draw on proven principles from human behaviour, how people learn and how the brain works to create impactful digital learning solutions with real return on investment.
Rob is a designer through and through who is fascinated by how we learn, what we remember and why we pay attention to certain things. He is a huge enthusiast of all that technology can offer to enhance learning and has completed a huge variety of projects in his 14 year career.
He is the editor and co-author of The Really Useful eLearning Instruction Manual published by Wiley and featuring contributions from the brightest and best elearning minds on both sides of the Atlantic.
by Rob Hubbard
Posted 16 October 2020
I write this in the week of LAS’ 15th birthday. It feels like a long time ago that I first set up as a freelancer, having chosen redundancy rather than the loss of much of what I loved about my previous job (creative freedom and my team). It was a risk; we were planning to start a family and had recently bought a house -another full-time permanent position would have been the safer move. But I’m comfortable taking calculated risks and wanted to spend more time with my soon-to-be new child, so freelancing it was.
Soon there was more work than I could handle myself and I started hiring people with a similar ethos to me. After four years, my wife Tess joined LAS as a fellowDirector, bringing with her extensive management and organisational behaviour experience. We grew as a virtual team, seldom coming together in person but closely connected digitally. We followed our noses; choosing to work with people we liked, on projects that matter, for organisations we valued. Over the years it’s been our great privilege to work with some incredible organisations and some wonderful people who have gone on to become friends. We truly feel lucky to be a part of such a great community and industry.
Today the massive and ongoing turbulence in the world means that the ability to learn, unlearn and relearn are now critical skills. Digital learning is needed more now than ever but the marketplace is confusing. Most vendors are focused on selling a particular product or service, because of course that’s how you best build a scalable business. The trouble is - there isn’t a single answer /approach to the complex challenges organisations are now faced with - there are many - and identifying the right approach to take is part science, part art. A careful, methodical, problem-solving approach and an openness to a wide variety of solutions is needed - and that’s what we do best.
So what’s next for LAS? We will continue to support those entering our industry or needing to up skill with our free Learning Experience Design course and DigitalLearning Diagnostic tool. We’ll continue making our Next Generation BlendedLearning methodology available freely for anyone to use. We are growing our team with people who share our outlook and values and we continue to focus on ethical projects that improve the lot of humanity. We continually consider how to decrease our already small carbon impact on the planet and we’ll continue to support causes that are close to our hearts. And we will also now help more selected Learning and Development departments to transform digitally.
Over the years many organisations have wanted to approach digital learning in the wayLAS do and we’ve supported them in various ways - sometimes helping formulate strategy, other times co-creating design principles and working processes, setting up digital learning teams, up skilling existing teams and supporting in learning design and development tasks. Now we’re combining these and more into an L&D Transformation Service which we’ll provide to a limited number of organisations in a highly tailored way. Why a limited number? Digital transformation is a journey, not an end destination and acting as guides and mentors we need to be able to provide the right level of care and attention to L&D departments on a case-by-case basis. We don’t want to endlessly scale our business, but we do want to endlessly scale our positive impact. Rather than this being a ‘new’ service, it’s a coalescence of what we do already and we’ll be announcing moreover the coming weeks.
To anyone facing redundancy at the moment and wondering what the future holds, I hope you take heart from the story of LAS. Whilst redundancy is disruptive and worrying; for me it was the best career move I ever made. It was a chance to take stock, think about what was important to me and take the first steps on this journey.It’s one that I feel as enthusiastic about now as I did 15 years ago.