Along with the cover story about Igloo's cultural transformation, this issue of TD examines two science of learning topics: metacognition and unconscious bias.

Metacognition, although not widely used, is a powerful learning strategy that helps people become better and more self-sufficient learners. In a rapidly changing work environment, metacognition "helps people become more aware of and more in control of one's thought and learning processes," Patti Shank explains in her article.

As she puts it, "instructional professionals intentionally use metacognition strategies to help participants become owners of their learning." But, she admits, it is not an often-used strategy because "people who design and deliver instruction aren't aware of how powerful [these strategies] are for improving learning outcomes."

Shank's article includes learning activities and questions that can help learners reflect on how they think, and connect their thoughts and actions to outcomes. I know that the brain science of how people learn can be difficult to put into use in your learning programs, but once you understand the science behind learning and the ways you can incorporate it into your programs, the power you give your learners to own their learning will be undeniable.

In "Tunnel Vision," Cary Bailey-Findley discusses unconscious bias. His reasoning behind why budgets and time to complete projects are underestimated is that unconscious biases are affecting how talent development professionals scope, design, deliver, and measure employee development programs.


"Our brains are naturally wired to remember things as easier than they actually were, mainly because our memories work as a condensed highlight reel," he writes. "We remember that it took a couple of days to build the slide deck, but we fail to remember that we brainstormed at night, researched for a few days prior to starting construction, and had four rough drafts that we shared with colleagues."

Information about unconscious bias has exploded recently, but what sets this article apart is Bailey-Findley's examination of unconscious bias as it applies to instructional designers and other talent development professionals. "If we are going to help our business leaders and employees make unbiased decisions, then we need to remove our biases throughout the development project phases," he writes.

Brain science is here to stay, and it is time for talent development professionals to get on board—and fast. These two articles give practical advice on how to incorporate metacognition into talent development and how to rid the brain of unconscious bias. Take advantage of this valuable information.

Paula Ketter