In the coming months, we’ll be having “conversations” with our consultants about their background in learning and development, the Xprtise projects that make them proud, and their vision on the greatest challenges in Learning & Development in the coming years. This time, it’s our senior consultant Marco Tiemersma’s turn. Marco is trained as a teacher, and transferring knowledge is in his blood. So that’s also what he likes to do best – in projects for clients, but also during the 5 Moments of Need™ workshops he gives.
Who? Marco Tiemersma (46).
What? Senior Consultant at Xprtise since January 2018.
Where? Xprtise NL, ’s Hertogenbosch.
“Transferring my knowledge to others and finding a connection to their learning need – that’s what I like to do best!”
I live in Oss with my wife and my 14-year-old teenage son. I think it’s a fun age and phase, because it keeps you young! It’s interesting to see how the development is going at his schools nowadays – or not going, actually, as only little has changed in traditional education. That’s one of the biggest reasons why I didn’t want to stand in front of a class after my business economics teacher training. I wanted to train motivated people rather than the (often uninterested) students in the classes I encountered during my internships. That’s how I ended up with Alfred [Remmits, CEO of Xprtise – ed.] 20 years ago, training people in MS Office software. After a few detours with other companies where I also taught, and a major change in the direction of Performance Support, I’m back at Xprtise since this year. As a senior consultant, I like to fully take clients with me into the 5 Moments of Need™ (5MoN) idea and to give them insight into what learning in the workplace can mean for them. In addition, I’m involved in leading the 5 Moments of Need™ workshops, and I like transferring my knowledge to others!
What gives you the most energy? What is your passion?
Like I said earlier: transferring my knowledge to others. I can go on and on when I’m talking about my work. It gives me a lot of energy when I can show people what 5MoN can mean for them, and especially when I can put them in motion to start thinking in that direction. It’s a practical model to realize a higher performance and is based on five moments when professionals need information and when they learn. It’s an innovative way of thinking that I fully support. Namely, I’m convinced that every child or adult learns in his or her own way. And when I transfer my knowledge to others, I’d much rather connect with that individual learning need. So it also makes me happy when I can adapt a workshop “in the moment of need” to what the participants need at that moment. In short: transferring my knowledge, presenting, standing in front of groups – that really gives me energy, and that’s all reflected in my work. [Laughing] Good thing, too, because I still have a few years ahead of me!
What makes the field of Learning & Development so interesting to you?
The field itself is learning and developing too. A lot is happening, there’s continuous movement. I worked in Germany for a period of time. The changes towards workplace learning and performance are much slower there. Here in the Netherlands, there are businesses that just get on board and participate, and properly pick it up. I think that’s nice to see.
In addition, workplace learning very much used to be approached from Performance Support as a tool. Now we look at it very differently: we have a methodology with which we can analyze the work, examine what the learning need is, and based on that, come up with a suitable solution. That could for instance be Performance Support, but also something else. Or even better: a combination of different solutions. When it comes to learning, we let people think differently, and we look for connections to what they really need.
What do you think makes Xprtise unique?
That’s without a doubt our approach. We don’t immediately come up with a solution, but approach our (potential) clients from the 5 Moments of Need™ idea. What does he or she need? How can that person be helped? What could be better? Etc. A great example is one of the participants of our 5 Moments of Need™ training who wants to convert his quality handbook into a digital version. I would rather see us make that handbook smarter, so that it better connects to the work floor. When I then talk about that, it’s so great to suddenly see “a light burning in him.” It’s fantastic to be able to ensure together that the people on the work floor can get the best out of their work and be best supported when they need it.
In addition, we get a lot of positive reactions from our clients about our team. We’re an enthusiastic team and we really believe in what we do, in our method. It’s something we show and transfer to others too!
You work for a lot of different clients. Can you indicate which project you’re most proud of?
The projects for clients are nice: all very diverse with their own challenges, like the City of Amsterdam, SVB, and the Alrijne Hospital. I’m the most proud of setting up the 5 Moments of Need™ workshops in the Netherlands, because that’s precisely where that knowledge transfer is that I like so much. It’ll be wonderful once the workshops are fully up and running. The outcomes and results of the first workshops have been great, and the participants have been very enthusiastic. I’m already looking forward to the next sessions.
What do you think the greatest challenges will be in L&D in the coming years?
I see several challenges. For instance, there’s increasingly an individual need for knowledge development. How do you deal with that?
Another point is how current knowledge is being safeguarded within companies. People have to work longer – but how long can you keep working for? Will people be able to follow in terms of technology, ability, and knowledge? We really have to adapt to that individual learning need.
Finally, there’s also a very big challenge in the field of technology. Everyone is jumping onto that, without thinking about the most efficient way to apply it and adapt it to the individual learner. So far, technology provides support, but it doesn’t solve anything (yet).