Practitioner’s Viewpoint: Can L&D meet demands of the workplace?

Sukh Pabial gives his views on how L&D can change to meet the demands of today’s workplace

Classroom-based learning isn’t going anywhere. Photo credit: Fotolia 
I’ve long been an active observer and commentator on the world of modern learning solutions, theories and models. There is a lot that gets written about models and theories like 70:20:10, social learning, digital learning, neuroscience, behaviour economics and so much more.
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What concerns me about all this new knowledge is that it’s just too hard to know where to start, and it’s even harder to know how to make a difference when we’re constantly being told that what worked yesterday won’t work today.
I’m a big advocate of modern learning solutions and, importantly, supporting those in the profession to be as great as they can be. Here are my insights into how we can continue to be great and, at the same time, prepare ourselves for the changes that lie ahead.
Talk time
We’ve long been guardians of the personal development plan and learning needs analysis. Let’s start to really understand the needs of the business by going out there and talking with business leaders about the challenges they’re facing, the skills they need for their teams and how they’re currently achieving them.
The likelihood is that you’ll end up talking to them about solutions which stretch beyond you as the sole arbiter of delivery and collaborating in devising a relevant solution for a business need.
Social networks
With social media, it’s all too easy to create an account, mess around with the social network for a week or two, then decide it’s not for you. I, and many others in my personal learning network, use social media to regularly read and learn about learning models and theories. It doesn’t mean I’m an expert in any of it, but I’m learning – debating and discussing with others about their relevance and how they can be used better for meeting those business needs.
Digital solutions
It’s important to learn about digital solutions for learning, and I don’t just mean e-learning. If you haven’t heard of them already, look out for tools such as Slack, Basecamp, Scoop It, Twitter and WordPress and understand how they have applications for L&D. There are so many ways we can help people gain access to content and it doesn’t involve hours of design or layouts, and is just about curating content for ease of access.
Get together
Classroom-based learning isn’t going anywhere. With technology enabling many other forms of content delivery, getting people together becomes even more focused as an activity and means we can really play with why they’re getting together at all. I don’t mean a business case for running face-to-face sessions, I mean what is it they’re actually doing when they’re together that they can’t just do on their own?
All of this is a learning journey. I’m fortunate enough to be among a group of people who help me to learn and with whom I have good and useful debates. If you want to get involved, reach me on Twitter @sukhpabial or send me a LinkedIn connection and we’ll meet for coffee or have a Skype chat. 
About the author 
Sukh Pabial is a Learning and Organisational Development leader, follow him on Twitter @sukhpabial
Sukh Pabial on the #TJwow webinar
You can speak with Sukh in our engagement webinar on Tuesday 11th October.


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