As we enter a new era of technological advancement, the landscape of work is changing rapidly. The next generation of learners will need to be prepared to compete for jobs in the digital age, where machines and AI are becoming increasingly powerful. But how can we ensure that they are ready for the challenges ahead? I reflected on the insights from marketing legend, Ken Wong, and derived Learning & Development insights from his marketing perspective.

The future of training as borrowed from marketing

Focus on what machines can’t do

According to industry expert Ken Wong, the key to preparing the next generation for the future is to focus on what machines cannot do. Machines will always beat humans on efficiency, so instead of trying to outdo them on that basis, we need to teach our learners to excel in those areas where machines are less well-equipped. This means teaching them how to consider context, frame problems, factor in considerations that are harder to quantify, and be creative in every sense. This is directly applicable to the role of L&D in upskilling our workforce and focusing on the human skills, as many speakers in my podcast You in 2042: The Future of Work, can attest.

Data-based decision making stays with humans

While number skills will be necessary for analytics, it’s not about knowing how to do the analytics, but rather knowing their assumptions and limitations. We need to teach our learners to question the recommendations and decisions of machines, and to never delegate decision-making to them. After all, if AI were perfect, we would all kill the stock market.

Solutions for training that can’t be embedded or personalized

When we move from mass marketing to more personalized offerings, we will always be drawn to technology that allows us to be more customer intimate. Likewise modern learners also trend towards more personalized and adaptive solutions. We already have technology to create personalized learning, in-context support and a seamless learning experience. The next wave will go beyond this and will tackle further challenges that won’t be strategic or technical. It will be about how we manage the people who do the training when faced with inevitable mandatory compliance training. We need to think about our learners as our target market and apply what we do as trainers to how we “sell” them on our strategies and tactics.

Igniting action with purpose

Learning and Development professionals must aim to crack the code on how to engage our learners, to show them that they have a purpose beyond simply learning new skills. We need to help them understand that what they do matters, and that their training will prepare them for success in the digital age. It will be more important than ever to cultivate a learning culture in the modern workplace.


In conclusion, the future of training will be about preparing the next generation for the challenges and opportunities of the digital age. We need to focus on what machines cannot do, teach our learners to question the recommendations of machines, and engage them with personalized training strategies that help them understand their purpose and prepare them for success. By doing so, we can ensure that everyone is ready to thrive in the world of tomorrow.