15 September 2018

Humanizing Learning

Dani Johnson
Co-Founder & Principal Analyst


  • This report highlights how organizations can design learning so that it appeals to the uniquely “human” characteristics that separate us from the apes.
  • It highlights four unique characteristics, namely, ability to: picture a different future; tell stories to motivate and communicate; collaborate long after it’s useful to the individual personally; and use tools to shape mental spaces as well as physical spaces.
  • This report provides a quantitative and qualitative review of how paying attention to these traits can have positive effects on organizations and their trajectories.

For almost all organizations, digital transformation is inevitable. Google Search data shows a 900% increase in the term digital transformation in the last 4 years. Yet, the focus on digital transformation has created a lot of panic. In navigating through the differing opinions about what the future holds – AI, automation, and robots – we find it interesting that there has been little discussion about the uniquely human characteristics that have made our species successful in the first place.

This research reveals how forward-thinking leaders are leveraging the characteristics that make us uniquely human to make their organizations more competitive. How can we nurture these uniquely human traits in workplace culture to create a high-performing organization?

Dani Johnson

Dani is Co-founder and Principal Analyst for RedThread Research. She has spent the majority of her career writing about, conducting research in, and consulting on human capital practices and technology. Her ideas can be found in publications such as Wall Street Journal, CLO Magazine, HR Magazine, and Employment Relations. Dani holds an MBA and an MS and BS in Mechanical Engineering from BYU.



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