The environment in which Learning Professionals work has changed considerably in recent years. During a tough economic climate, there is continued pressure on budgets. Business agility and improved performance have become increasingly important. There is also recognition that an organisation’s learning strategy should to be aligned to business objectives with the focus moving from the L&D process to business outcomes.
Clive Shepherd, a leading learning consultant, believes that corporate learning and development is at a crossroads and whilst there are many challenges there are also lots of opportunities. Shepherd has identified that six areas of change for L&D are around whether or not learning is:
- engaging; and
This view is supported by Charles Jennings, a senior director, enterprise strategy, at Internet Time Alliance and MD of Duntroon Associates. In a Training Journal article earlier this year, it was reported that traditional approaches to learning were slow and unresponsive. Jennings said: “We do this often long-winded training needs analysis, design and delivery process that takes time – we don’t have that time. Learning is going on every minute of the day – all the time – and we have to accept that and work out how we can leverage it to the best effect.”
If Learning Professionals are to rise to these challenges, one of the key issues is the skills required to meet the needs of an ever more complex environment. In an environment which is going to continue to change and evolve, L&D need to ensure they have the skills to support workplace learning that delivers performance improvement.
The Learning and Performance Institute (LPI) recognised this need and last month launched the LPI Capability Map. A year in development, the Capability Map lists skills required for success in the learning and development profession. In a recent interview with Martin Couzins, Don Taylor, Chair of the LPI said “Our main focus has been on how organisations can use this internally to help develop the skills and capability of L&D teams for current and future needs. It is what L&D does for everybody else – it is time we started doing it for ourselves.”
The framework is supported by leading experts in the industry and is made up of 27 skills across 9 categories. The LPI is not suggesting that one person would expect to have skills in all areas as an individual’s skills set is, for the most part, role dependent. However, when you look at the range of skills – it’s pretty extensive and clearly shows just how broad the Learning Professional’s skill set has become.
Many of the skills identified in the Capability Map are easily recognisable as being part of the ‘traditional’ L&D skill set, for example, face-to-face training, content creation and design. However there are skills which are relatively new or have not been considered part of the L&D remit such as developing collaborative learning, performance support and marketing/communications.
Join us on Thursday 16.00GMT/11.00EST/08.00PST to chat about how the skills of the Learning Professional are changing in order to meet these new challenges. Are these ‘new’ skills becoming a core part of the L&D role rather than a ‘nice to have’? If L&D needs to change, does that also mean we have to take new approaches to what would be regarded as the more ‘traditional’ skills?