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3 Ways to Stay Ahead of the Learning Industry


Mon May 15 2017

3 Ways to Stay Ahead of the Learning Industry

Each year, Deloitte conducts a survey of human capital professionals that documents the most pressing trends. In 2017’s report, the number one issue on the participants’ minds was building the organization of the future (88 percent). These high-performing, future organizations will “operate as empowered networks, coordinated through culture, information systems, and talent mobility.”

For future organizations’ success, a workforce with the proper skills is needed. Additionally, the way people learn is constantly evolving as new technologies emerge; keeping up proves challenging. To be prepared, talent development teams need to be aware of upcoming changes in both organizational needs and the way employees learn. In 2015, ATD and the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) conducted research on the future of learning; of the 405 talent development professionals surveyed for Learners of the Future: Taking Action Today to Prevent Tomorrow’s Talent Crisis, only 38 percent said their learning functions are prepared for 2020.


How can L&D professionals start preparing themselves now to be ready when the future arrives? The following three points are options for future preparation, according to ATD and i4cp.


Understand Current Capabilities

**ATD and i4cp recommend preparing for the future by ensuring that your current learning organization is working at high efficiency. If the learning function isn’t performing well now, it could fail future learners. Some questions to consider, according to the report:

  • Does the learning function regularly meet its L&D goals?

  • How does L&D support achievement of the organization’s business goals?

  • Is learning delivered efficiently?

  • Is learning delivered effectively?

  • Is the learning function applying newer technologies to solve business problems?

  • Is the learning function staying on the cutting edge of new technologies that could potentially solve business problems?

Establishing a baseline of learning effectiveness provides a foundation for future development and improvement opportunities.



Collaborate to Prepare

**ATD research data suggest that organizations are more effective when business and learning goals are aligned. L&D professionals should join business strategy conversations and learn how they can build their organization’s talent pipeline in a way that will help reach goals.

Talent risk management is a tool to assess future talent needs. This process allows professionals to access, prioritize, mitigate, and monitor talent risk by understanding the workforce’s ability to respond to future organizational needs. L&D should begin by reviewing the company’s business strategy and workforce financial data, scanning the labor market, and conducting a supply-demand analysis.


Educate Yourself and Experiment With New Tools

**While it is impossible to predict what the future of learning will look like, you can improve your preparedness by testing out new learning concepts, designs, and technologies as they emerge. Have your team pilot social, mobile, or microlearning programs if you do not already have them.

Explore these blog posts to learn more about cutting-edge tools and approaches: 5 Learning Tech Trends to Watch in the Next 5 Years; The Future of Learning Is Not Training; Be Ready for the Learning Space of the Future.


Looking for more on the future of learning? The full report, including graphs, interviews, and insights, is available for purchase.

ATD members, the whitepaper of this report is free for you! Check it out and let us know how you compare with your peers.

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