How Can L&D Professionals Lead The Way? (Part 2 of 2)
By Caleb Johnson, Director of Strategic Accounts, Expertus
In Part 1 of this series, we looked at the challenges that disruptive technologies pose for the learning function in today’s rapidly changing workplace. In this post, I’ll suggest ways that L&D professionals can prepare and participate in business transformation.
A Learning Consultant’s View
Organizational learning visionary, Jane Hart, sees the role of L&D shifting “from learning gatekeeper to learning concierge.” She notes that as technologies redefine how people work, learning can no longer be contained within legacy LMS environments — or even within organizational walls. And in this shift toward informal, self-directed learning, it’s no longer relevant for L&D to focus on “control.” Instead, she recommends that L&D professionals add value by guiding those who are organizing their own learning experiences.
There’s clearly a need for advice and support as disruptive technologies redefine daily life in the workplace. So, what’s holding training professionals back from “being the change” they want to see in the world? Here’s a key concern: To lead others in new modes of learning, L&D professionals need know-how in evaluating, selecting and applying next-generation technologies. However, first-hand experience is in short supply.
How Can L&D Catch Up With Innovation? Learning Resources
1) Professional Peers The rise of social media has created a highly efficient marketplace to find, share and compare ideas. Use that to your advantage. Tap into professional communities and join a technology discussion — or start a thread of your own. You may be surprised at the generosity and responsiveness of community participants. Some suggestions:
2) Technology & Services Vendors Vendors are an obvious source of advice and tools to help plan learning infrastructure and determine key requirements. But of course, it’s important to consider the source. Materials from some vendors are more biased than others.
Elsewhere on this blog, we’ve offered some guidance of our own, to help you navigate uncertain technology waters. For example, see:
3) Learning Technology Analysts Numerous technology analysts offer a broad spectrum of technology reports and updates to help learning professionals make informed decisions. However, as with vendors, it’s important to consider the source. Most organizations provide detailed information only to their research subscribers. Several well-known firms include:
Some analysts offer free tools to help L&D professionals evaluate and choose learning technologies. For example, Craig Weiss at e-Learning 24/7 just launched a detailed LMS RFP Template that reflects his 15+ years as an LMS selection consultant and elearning advisor. It’s based on Excel macros, so anyone can easy create a customize RFP, and manage the entire process. (Learn more in the template overview.)
What Is Your Learning Department Waiting For?
For learning professionals who have historically relied on legacy systems to deliver training, the risk of embracing next-generation technology may seem overwhelming. But L&D professionals can’t afford to be left behind as social, mobile and collaborative innovation leaps forward. Knowledgeable resources are within arm’s reach to help practitioners strengthen and expand their expertise. So what have you got to lose?
Tell us your opinion: Do you think learning decision makers are growing more risk averse, as innovation cycles accelerate? Do L&D practitioners lack expertise to drive workplace learning transformation? How can learning organizations become more “future ready”?
Note from Caleb: To discuss your learning technology challenges, or to see if a cloud-based continuous learning platform like the ExpertusONE LMS makes sense for your organization, visit our website. Or contact us anytime for a personalized consultation and demo.
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