Trends in Learning & Development


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Trends in Learning & Development

  1. 1. in Learning & Development“The future of organizations today is primarily related to their capacity to learn.” —George SiemensDoes L&D in your organization develop the “capacity to learn?” Organizations have alwaysneeded to learn, and Learning & Development has traditionally been the owner and providerof learning. But George Siemens is saying more than that: The capacity to learn, not thesubjects of learning, will define organizations of the future. So what does this imply for L&D?Shifting Focus of L&DLearning is still fundamental. And it is still most efficientlydesigned and delivered by Learning & Development, if itis to enable consistent and differentiated highperformance across an entire organization.The exciting future for L&D lies in applying its expertise inadult learning and instructional design to the worker andthe workforce, in addition to the program and theclassroom.Applying the Principles of Learning, From 1978 toTodayForum’s first research paper on the six principles of adultlearning appeared in 1978. Several times since thenwe’ve revisited, revalidated, and reapplied the principles.Though they have been refined slightly, the fundamentalsremain constant. The principles were recently explained and applied to take account of developments inbusiness context, neuroscience, and technology: 1. Link learning to value for the individual and the organization 2. Connect action and reflection in a continuous cycle 3. Address learners’ attitudes and beliefs in addition to their behaviors 4. Provide learners with a balance of challenge and support 5. Create opportunities for participants to teach as well as learn 6. Design and cultivate learning communities as well as learning mediaIn the past, any good classroom program design needed to apply all of these principles if it was to ensurereal learning and performance outcomes. For example: an experience in which a salesperson tried out a newhandling-objections skill with a learning colleague while another colleague provided input, after which theexercise was debriefed in a facilitated, supportive discussion and then repeated with learners switching roles.Almost all the principles came in to play in such an effective learning experience.In today’s workplace, the principles can be applied to a cohort of workers. A series of designed activitiesmight now include: skill practice in small experiments interspersed with regular coaching conversations withmanagers and peers that aim to reflect on and improve the experiments, social networks in which learnersshare and teach their experience and learning with and to others, and face-to-face meetings that seek toobtain alignment, voice concerns or opportunities, and galvanize collaboration. While these activities notnecessarily “new,” the role that L&D play now ensures conscious learning as the principles of adult learningare applied in deliberate, tactical ways.L&D for the 21st CenturyL&D has an opportunity to make a significant impact on the organization of the future. Its emerging focus onadult learning and its application of learning design to the actual workplace will enable organizations to growand to thrive.
  2. 2. Join our webinar on Sept 1st to learn more about: 1. Trends driving the changes required of L&D 2. The principles of adult learning 3. How the principles have been applied in Forum client situations