We talk with our colleagues about their background in learning and development, the Xprtise projects that make them proud, and the biggest challenges in Learning & Development in the coming years. This time it is Business Development Consultant Alex Koffeman’s turn. After 20 years working in the Events industry, Alex moved to Learning & Development in 2021. As a Business Development Consultant at Xprtise, he is responsible for lead generation, account management, and events.
Who? Alex Koffeman.
What? Business Development Consultant at Xprtise since August 2021
Where? Xprtise NL, 's Hertogenbosch.
I live with my wife and two children in 'de Betuwe', the Netherlands, where I returned to my birthplace. About twenty years ago, I finished my studies in Business Economics at the University of Applied Science Arnhem en Nijmegen (HAN), and I started in the Events industry. I’ve always enjoyed working there. As a project and account manager, I was responsible for my accounts. In addition to projects in the Netherlands, I took care of projects in America, Germany, Spain, France, England, and Denmark. When the sector came under pressure during the pandemic, so did my job, so I took the opportunity to look around for new possibilities. That's how I ended up at Xprtise. A completely different world for me, yet also with parallels. What I enjoyed in my previous work was thinking about how you could show people at an exhibition what the company has to offer at a glance. So, in the overload of information everywhere, finding the core is key. This is also the case in L&D: you do not have to know everything by heart immediately. As long as the core is clear, the rest you can look up and learn little by little. Also, the sales journeys take longer than I'm used to in a sector with hard deadlines.
Where do you get the most energy from? What is your passion?
That’s making music! I play trumpet in the 20-piece Later als je Big Band (Later when you’re a Big Band), of which I am also chairman. Lovely ballads, soul, pop, and funk that you can’t keep still to. Our band pulls out all stops to bring the fun and energy of the stage to the audience. Since last summer, I’ve also played trumpet with The B Machine from Nijmegen. Fine disco, soul, and funk. I also get much enjoyment designing smart gadgets for around the house. I like to do odd jobs and work with my hands. When it comes to my work, I’m happy when there’s understanding on the other side of the table: 'Why haven't we been doing it this way all along!?’ The 5 Moments of Need® methodology is so logical that you wonder why everyone in Learning & Development isn’t already working with it.
“The 5 Moments of Need® methodology is so logical that you wonder why everyone in Learning & Development isn’t already working with it."
What makes the field of Learning & Development so interesting to you?
People often have difficulty with the amount of information available and getting it to the right places in an organization. What information do you formally teach, and what can you address in other ways? The role of L&D professionals is also changing. Whereas it used to be a nice-to-have, now the L&D function is getting increasing prominence and value within the organization. The difference between working in the events industry and my position now is the timelines. At Xprtise, the sales journey is longer. The possibilities of workflow learning, Performance Support, and the 5 Moments of Need® methodology are endless and different for each organization. That's why trajectories are longer than I am used to. Changes are needed throughout the organization to implement a workflow learning approach, and these are often not simply made. That gives me more time to analyze and think everything through properly, which makes my job super interesting.
What do you think makes Xprtise unique?
We dare to think and act differently. So, not just formal learning but workflow learning is at the heart of our solutions. These days, we look up an awful lot, for example, on Google or YouTube. Companies manage this far too little. In one university hospital, for example, they use videos on YouTube to see how to handle specific equipment in Intensive Care. How do you gain control over the quantity and quality of organizational information in this way? You can't. And that's what sets Xprtise apart: you can find validated content you need in two clicks and 10 seconds. You can't do this on YouTube, where you get a list of about 30 to 40 different videos. Xprtise's workflow learning solutions take you to one platform where you know there's the information you need for your job and, most importantly, that you can rely on it. Xprtise supports the workflows of organizations. So, it’s not just a digital solution we offer but a custom approach where the digital platform is only a part of the entire solution.
"With Xprtise's workflow learning solutions, you go to one place where you know there is the information you need for your job, and, more importantly, you can rely on it."
What projects are you working on?
I am involved in projects with the Municipality of Amsterdam, the Albert Schweitzer hospital, the Sint Maartenskliniek, the Royal Dutch Navy, the Tax Authorities (Belastingdienst), and Rijkswaterstaat (amongst others). They are all great projects bringing lots of benefits. I find it very inspiring to think, for example, about the use of Performance support at the Royal Dutch Navy. Because what if someone needs Performance Support on a ship without internet? Then there must also be an offline version. Thinking along with the customer in this way is something that motivates me a lot. Or thinking about a faster onboarding process. With Performance Support, you can get employees competent faster, without 'bothering' a senior employee. The questions raised can also be answered within a Performance Support system. Thinking about its design and the impact it brings inspires me!
What do you think are the biggest challenges in L&D in the coming years?
The biggest challenge, in my view, is in the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Artificial Intelligence creates excellent opportunities for workflow learning and employee development. However, it can be difficult for L&D professionals to assess what difference it can make to their organization and where they can best use it. Donald Clark also talked about this during our Performance Journey GOES DUTCH event. There are so many solutions coming at us that are quick and easy to use. However, we often think too hard when it comes to AI. A robot vacuum cleaner in your living room and scanning a QR code are intermediate steps toward AI. With the far-reaching possibilities of Artificial Intelligence, we are increasingly able to analyze user behavior. As a result, content can be brought to the learner's attention in a more targeted way. Something that is a challenge in L&D, but I think we should focus on it!