Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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Upskilling And Uplifting Teams with SYZYGY: Lori Figueiredo

We recently had the opportunity to interview Lori Figueiredo, Change & Digital Learning Strategist at SYZYGY. Intending to challenge the ineffective way organizations were enabling learning, Lori with her business deployed innovative strategies and solutions to organizations globally, inspiring them to rethink continuous learning and improvement.

Lori’s brand is bringing change and enabling leaders and teams to work and learn together, capture and share their knowledge; imagine and achieve their breakthrough goals. She supports organizations to build agile teams and a high-performance culture for positive change. In this insightful session, she shares her career trajectory, and vision on Human Intelligence (HI), and offers valuable suggestions for aspiring professionals.

Spark Behind The Journey

We were intrigued to learn about the advent of Lori Figueiredo in this field. So, we asked, “What was the driving force behind your decision to start your own business?”

Lori Figueiredo shared, “I started my own business to make a difference. My aim was, and still is, to challenge the ineffective way organizations were enabling learning. By being independent, I always want to be at the forefront of collaborating with those disruptors shaping the future of learning, education, and training.  

The why, what and how people of all ages were, and still are, being upskilled was already outdated back when I started and today it is even more rapidly becoming irrelevant and archaic.

I focused on informal learning, education, and training as formal schooling did not meet the needs of the next generation from the mainstream, and even less so the needs of those with special needs e.g. gifted kids, underprivileged youth, and new graduates. I ran a gifted program for kids, worked on a career development program for underprivileged youth, and partnered with graduate programs to prepare the youth for the workforce. Through my business, I showed innovative strategies and solutions to organizations globally, inspiring them to rethink continuous learning and improvement across all age groups and needs.”

Incorporate Technology: Impact Performance

Fast-paced digital transformation has been significantly influencing the way organizations perform – whether they are corporate, NGO, government and/or educational organizations. So, we asked, “How have you incorporated technology and digital tools to enhance your clients’ processes?”

Lori Figueiredo replied, “I have always been an early adopter of technology as an enabler of learning and ongoing performance improvement. It started with computer-based training on those huge desktop computers to e-learning or blended learning using online platforms such as Learning Management Systems.   

This evolved to what we call digital learning on mobile devices as well as learning experiences using AR/VR simulations or gaming. The next wave introduced Learning Experience Platforms that integrated AI recommendation engines to personalize learning journeys based on learner needs and future roles. This involved creating custom content and activities as well as curating content through API/integrations with existing learning resource libraries. 

In the field of learn-tech and ed-tech, technology has been used for back-end management for several years. This includes online hosting, managing learning resources, tracking activities and outcomes, enabling data analytics, and reporting on performance, progress and resource usage.”

Lori Figueiredo added, “The front-end experience was a combination of online and offline learning called blended learning. The transition from web1 to web2 brought dynamic interfaces and relevant features, enhancing the learning experience. However, there was a surge of content-heavy e-learning production that often-lacked real-life application.   

E-learning has transformed from 6-hour courses to bite-size microlearning of up to 15 minutes, and now even shorter 3-minute bytes. However, there are still many individuals stuck in outdated methods, generating excessive ‘just-in-case’ content using Generative AI. Throughout this evolution, I have consistently advocated for team-based learning, using technology to develop capable teams who can effectively collaborate toward a shared purpose in real-life situations.

My SYZYGYÒ Methodology combines psychology expertise with advanced technology for effective scaling and data insights. This method promotes Digital, Social and Action Learning, enabling teams to work and learn together to achieve a common goal.”

Reshaping People Enablement: Impact Of AI

We were interested to understand Lori Figueiredo’s perspective on the addition of AI to her business. So, we asked, “How are you planning to integrate AI into your business, and what benefits do you anticipate?”

She responded, “Generative AI is a natural fit for scaling the impact and reach of my framework and tools which are part of my SYZYGYÒ Methodology. Using AI and Generative AI we are automating the process used by Teams to become agile, high-performing, and innovative in shaping the future for good.

In addition to this particular use case, we are evolving the best way to automate the process and replace the Learning Management Systems and Learning Experience Platforms as well as e-learning content. Using Generative AI, teams are guided through an end-to-end learning journey.”

“Most of our competitors are doing the obvious and the old – building more content using Generative AI. We instead know that led by Human Intelligence, AI can find its content – just-in-time, so we are focusing on prototyping ways to:

  • Automate effective learning processes led by artificial intelligence
  • Have AI nudge teams to discuss, reflect, and use their human intelligence
  • Use AI, only after this to build on this response and add value

Therefore, we are creating a dance that leverages the best in AI, i.e., explicit data-driven knowledge, and the best in HI, which is tacit experience-driven insights.” She added.

Major Turning Points In Business

We further asked, “Can you describe a pivotal moment in your business journey that significantly influenced your direction?”

Lori Figueiredo replied, “When Cisco Systems entered the world as the internet company, I sought them out as a client as I knew they would be an early adopter of the disruptive internet technology. They promoted the adoption of tech-enabled learning internally as well as across their customers – as this meant more Cisco System products and services were needed to host, track, and report on online learning.

As an innovator, I differed from my colleagues in the learning community who were uncertain. With partners in Singapore and a production team in San Francisco, we created e-learning content. Now, some countries are just beginning to embrace tech-enabled learning such as e-learning courses and games. I urge them to leverage emerging technologies like Generative AI combined with Human Intelligence to cultivate daily learning and adaptability to cope with the rapid change.”

Staying Ahead Of The Curve

Eager to learn more about the approaches adopted by Lori Figueiredo to ensure her company stays ahead of the competition, we inquired, “What strategies do you use to stay ahead of the competition and maintain your market position?”

Lori Figueiredo shared, “It is about putting organizational enablers in place to embed a culture and habits of learning every day in teams.  Usingthe proven SYZYGYÒ Methodology as a strategic approach, we are fusing AI and HI (human intelligence) into toolsto build better habits for better results in teams who are shaping the future. It’s not about creating more learning content or courses. 

Engage the ecosystem to co-create solutions that address challenges and provide new opportunities. This approach incorporates human authenticity, innovation, and integrity, respecting human intelligence alongside AI-driven initiatives. 

Stay connected, learn, and listen to people – from all walks of life, backgrounds, ages, cultures, and countries.  People love to share their tacit knowledge and their deep inner wisdom – if you show you are curious, interested in their story, and open to learning.

Fostering A Healthy Workspace

Using the proven SYZYGYÒ

To gather insights on a healthy work environment, we asked, “How do you ensure that your team remains motivated and aligned with your business goals?”

She replied, “Checking in, communicating, and connecting constantly to keep aligning on our shared purpose as well as our respective personal purpose is what I focus on. I believe and trust in people’s natural capacity for learning and innate wisdom. By creating a safe space to learn, adapt, and improve every day and combining this with a shared purpose, everyone feels respected, that their work is meaningful.  SYZYGY means alignment and when we are aligned pulling together to achieve a broader purpose – with less effort, we achieve greater results.”

An Agile Approach

We asked, “What measures do you take to ensure your business is resilient in the face of industry disruptions?”

Lori Figueiredo asked, “Always being curious and alert to what is shifting and changing in the economy, technology, and ways of working. Then being agile, continuously learning, adapting and even pivoting as and when required to add value to the people in your ecosystem.

At all times, it is important to be clear on the problem or opportunity you are solving for – for the direct beneficiaries and their entire ecosystem of stakeholders. Secondly to also ask – is this the right problem to be solved?

Worth-Sharing Milestones

To learn more about the triumphs of Lori Figueiredo’s business, we asked, “Can you discuss a recent success story that highlights your company’s strengths and capabilities?”

Lori Figueiredo replied, “In over 30 years, I have reached over 1,000,000 people by partnering and learning with over 50 organizations in over 100 countries. Along the way, there were many twists and turns, highs, lows, challenges, and opportunities. Am proudest of my ability as a founder to pivot when needed, to be selective, never give up and stay on the path that is shaping the future. Doing what others in my field are not doing, but rather doing what is unexpected yet innovative with high impact!

I am proud of all the strategies we co-created with our clients as innovation partners. However, I am proud that I have always been able to predict the emergence of technology trends and how they will impact my profession, the economy, and ways of working. AI has been around for many years, since the 1950s. Many years ago, I predicted that my profession better be curious and keep learning about it, as we will be training AI in the future.”

Plans We Asked Lori Figueiredo

We continued the interview by asking, “What are your future aspirations for your business, and how are you planning to achieve them?”

She added, “I aim to use my SYZYGYÒMethodology to:

  • Build a bridge of self-awareness, mutual awareness, and greater collaboration between the world of psychology and technology such as AI solution developers co-creating with their non-tech savvy solution users and ecosystem partners.
  • Provide AI-powered tools led by HI to upskill the untapped talent pool of youth and women globally to increase their positive engagement, learning experiences, and future employability.
  • Create human-centered solutions that fuse the power of AI and HI synergistically.”

Message To Beginners

Lastly, seeking guidance for beginners, we asked, “What advice would you share with someone looking to start a business in your sector?”

Discover your purpose and find others to work and learn with who share the same purpose. And be sure that this also means you do what you love and achieve what you believe in.” She concluded.

Follow Lori Figueiredo on LinkedIn.

Find Fusion by SYZYGY on LinkedIn and visit their website https://www.syzygy-spaces.com/

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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

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