Catching the Wave

This week’s post comes from Dr. Greg Ketchum. Dr. Greg is a former clinical psychologist-turned CEO and media workplace and career coach. He presides over an executive talent firm, providing coaching and recruiting for executives and Fortune 500 companies. A unique mix of psychology and coaching expertise gives Dr. Greg a great understanding of people and what it takes for career success. You can find him at 
TalentPlanet® |, and on Twitter @drgreg. You can also find him in his KPIX & KRON TV Workplace & Career Segments on YouTube and his Workplace and Career Talk Shows from CNET & XM Satellite Radio.

Catching the Wave:

How to Catch the Wave of Massive Change Happening in Enterprise Learning and Development


Summarized from webcast delivered with Andrew Bateman at Human Capital Institute July 14, 2015

View the PDF of Webcast slides here: Catch the Wave or Get Left Behind

Rapid Development of Learning Technology:

The rapid development of technology enabled learning is driving major changes in how learning happens inside the organization and in the role of the Learning Professional. This evolution is causing learning leaders to confront and examine a number of questions about the future direction of learning within their respective organizations. Here are some of the questions that we will examine today.

  1. Traditional Vision of the Role of Learning: The traditional view is that the learning
    function assesses the learning and skill development needs of the organization and
    then either creates or acquires the appropriate learning resources to fulfill those
    needs. In this view the business leaders and their business goals are the main
    customers of the learning function.
  2. Emergent Vision of the Role of Learning: The emergent view of learning is that your employees are your main customers and that the role of learning is to help them maximize their potential. It’s best summed up by these quotes from Bridge’s

    1. “Rather than shaping your employees into a particular mold that achieves an
      organizational goal, L&D now focuses on helping employees reach and discover their potential — it’s about growth and personal aspirations.”
    2. “L&D now focuses on helping employees with personal growth and aspiration.
      Developments in collaborative, blended, and social learning help make learning
      interesting, engaging, fun and continuous.”
  3. What is Your Vision? Given these two starkly different visions of learning what is
    your vision of the role that learning plays in your organization now and in the
    future? Without clarifying your vision of the role and goals of learning in your
    organization both now and in the future no amount of dazzling learning
    technology will help you. This is the bottom line.
  4. You’ve Got Your Vision and Goals: Now What? Once you’ve nailed down the
    vision and goals of learning how do you make those key decisions on what kinds of
    learning technology, content, and programs you’ll deploy to drive your goals?

    1. The Fundamentals of Learning: With all of the advances in learning technology it’s easy to lose sight of the enduring fundamentals of learning. That is, how does the best learning happen, what role does learning play in each of our lives, why do we seek learning, do we learn better alone or in interaction with others, etc. These questions aim to look at how we’ve evolved as creatures and what role learning has played in that evolution. If we didn’t learn that certain plants are poison, or that lightning can kill you, or other things like that we would have never survived as a species. From this perspective learning is what has kept us alive as individuals and a species and that suggests that the drive to learn is as strong as any other native drive such as for food or shelter. This is a rich and deep area to explore: How do we learn? Why do we learn?
      • Darwin quote……“I believe there exists, & I feel within me, an instinct for the truth, or knowledge or discovery, of something of the same nature as the instinct of virtue, & that our having such an instinct is reason enough for scientific researches without any practical results ever ensuing from them.” — Charles Darwin.
    2. Mix of Modalities: What mixture of technology, in-person, classroom, social,
      self-directed, crowd sourced, casual, on the job, and other learning modalities
      will you employ and for which groups and individuals?
    3. Laying the Ground Work: Before you bring in any new learning technology
      what ground work do you need to do to ensure that the solution you’ve chosen
      is right for your organization and that you’ve set yourself up for success?
    4. Realistic Expectations of Learning Technology: What can learning technology do and not do? What’s realistic to expect as to the benefits both to the individual and the organization from technology enabled learning? What role does human interaction still play as an essential element in learning?
    5. Leadership Development, Bench Strength, Succession Planning: If learning is increasingly becoming an end user, self-directed exercise how do you achieve your goals for these three areas?
  5. The Big Question Remains – Engagement: Given all we’ve discussed, one of the
    biggest questions remains as to how you get your employees to engage with any of
    your learning solutions whether they be technology, classroom, person-to-person,
    virtual, or group based?

    • Our View: Building an engaged audience for your learning solutions starts with
      having compelling content, and with understanding the natural role that
      learning plays for us as individual human beings. Without either those building
      an engaged learning audience just isn’t going to happen.

So, what do you all think? Do you agree with these steps as a process to “catch the wave” of change?

Join in and discuss these and other questions during #chat2lrn this week on 28 January, 2016 at 08.00 PST/11.00 EST /16.00 GMT. Hope to see you there!

Is L&D a real profession?

This month is #chat2lrn’s 4th birthday!  Our conversations together started in January 2012.  We spend our working lives supporting others….helping our colleagues develop skills that will improve their individual skills and impact on organisational and business performance. So to start the year, lets first take time to reflect and ask a very basic question…..

Is L&D a real profession?

This week’s post comes from #chat2lrn crew member, Judith Christian-Carter B.Ed (Hons), M.Phil, FLPI, Chartered FCIPD. Judith is a Director of Effective Learning Solutions, a UK-based learning services company. You can find her on Twitter @JudithELS

chat2lrn judith image

I imagine to some people, the very question “Is L&D a real profession?” is nothing but akin to sacrilege! However, as the term ‘L&D Professional’ or ‘Learning Professional’ is used a lot these days, the time has come to ask whether L&D is a real profession and, if not, then should it become one?

The importance of being a professional

Many occupations and trades have their own professional organisations, such as architects, engineers, lawyers, doctors and nurses. The reason for this is simple; it helps to make them an established, recognised and respected group of people. Anyone, in any area of business, usually wishes to be recognised and respected for what they can do, and my guess is that L&D is no exception in this regard.

Recognition is probably the key aim in terms of being regarded as a true professional. Others are naturally drawn to those whose professionalism is recognised, and are prepared to put their trust in them and to use their services. The term ‘cowboys’ is often used to describe unqualified, non-professional people who require payment for their services. Whilst there are those who are quite prepared to take a risk and employ such people, most migrate naturally to those who have professional qualifications and experience, even with the knowledge that they will have to pay more for the latter’s services.

What of L&D?

In all probability, the need for L&D to be seen as a real profession has never been more needed or important than today. With changing organisational structures and functions, with greater demands on budgets and financial spend, and with an increasing emphasis on workplace performance, this all means that the role and achievements of L&D are continually under the spotlight. If L&D is to have its place at the top table then it has to show that it is a real profession and to behave like one.

But what, exactly, does this take to achieve? Accredited and relevant qualifications (of which there are many), membership of a recognised organisation (such as an institute or an association), postnominal letters, conformance to standards/an official code of conduct, appropriate knowledge, skills and experience? Some of these, or all of these?

The current state of play

So, how do you think the land lies today? Does L&D need to be a real profession, is it one already and, if not, what needs to be done to make it one that is recognised world-wide? 

Join in and discuss these and other questions on 14 January, 2016 and let’s kick-off our 5th year in true #chat2lrn style!  08.00 PST/11.00 EST /16.00 GMT