Human Capital agenda

Evolva 3.0; the benefits of blended learning

An interview with Jan Valkenborgh the initiator of Evolva

Evolva 3.0, is a combination of team, informal and digital learning, which bundles the knowledge and experience of training institutions and professionals. The initiative started in the province of Limburg. Problems and dilemmas experienced by teams in their daily work environment are the issues that create challenging learning experiences for both students, experienced workers and teachers as well as the HR professionals who coach them. Sharing knowledge lies at the heart of this method. A learning community grows and teams share new experiences.

Initiator Jan Valkenborgh, experienced in the healthcare sector, started Evolva in 2012 to improve the harvest of classical learning methods used in the organisation for which he was responsible in a management role. He commissioned a group of students to give recommendations for future-oriented forms of learning in organisations. This was the start of a concept that has drawn attention on a national scale from both the top sectors and Zorgpact. It has started to expand from the healthcare sector to other sectors. Nine organisations in Limburg are now involved and share the ambition to further develop the concept and broaden the circle of stakeholders.

Jan Valkenborgh: "By bundling our resources and broadening our horizon, we discover new approaches, jump over the borders of our individual interests and all benefit from the lessons learned during this journey." Learning is working and working is learning. Of course this does not come easily. It is a radical break with the traditional forms of learning methods we grew up with. For both employees and employers this has implications. Employers must dare to let go of control. Teams are the core of this approach, so the needs of the team prevail over individual needs and may not be directly in line with the objectives of the management team."

Jan Valkenborgh: "Learning has to be at the centre of the organisation's philosophy."

What are the success factors? "Learning has to be at the centre of the organisation's philosophy. The quality of the learning trajectory has to be excellent. A didactic competence needs to be part of the team and coaching has to be available. Individuals in the team must feel safe to make mistakes, to receive and give feedback, and to reflect critically on the learning process. The management needs to provide leadership, trust and vision. The teams must have the freedom to choose issues that are relevant for them and that help them develop and grow. I have a different role in the organisation of Evolva now, as a consultant. We grew, which was not an easy process but has always been inspiring. My aim now is to keep on improving and to carry this concept over the threshold of the healthcare sector. The first steps have been made."