ATD Blog

Are You Part of a Modern L&D Organization?

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Being part of a modern learning and development (L&D) organization can be easier than you think. It does not mean you have to buy and learn to use all the latest high-tech apps, software, and e-whatever. Instead, it means looking at the role of L&D through a different lens.

Most L&D organizations are caught up in the rat race of trying to deliver more and more training to help employees stay up-to-date with their job needs. For L&D people, the job is overwhelming! We get one training program deployed only to discover that it’s already out of date because of a new software update or competitive market change. 

 Further, employees are not very happy with what L&D is delivering. Only 7 percent say that L&D even influences their learning. Now look at employee satisfaction ratings for L&D. Some studies show that 18 percent of employees respond favorably when asked about their L&D organization, but 44 percent respond unfavorably! Who wants to work in an organization with such numbers?

Corporate leadership wants L&D to succeed. They are giving us more money because they don’t want there to be any capability gaps in the workforce. Spending on training increased 15 percent in 2013; the highest growth rate in seven years.

We in L&D need to rethink our job and take a different approach. We need to stop thinking that we can control all the learning content, create all employee training from scratch, and be the one-source provider for our employees. This is step 1 in becoming a modern L&D organization.


Step 2 is deciding to orchestrate learning solutions that go beyond formal classes (online or face-to-face), include social content sourcing, and enable immediate learning when the need arises. Step 3 is gaining legitimacy for L&D to operate in an all-new way. Using new scorecard measures, such as the Net Promoter Score, is a starting place.

Modernizing is more than just upskilling; modernizing is rethinking what we do and deliver, all with the common goal of improving workplace performance for the benefit of our employees and our business.


We welcome your thoughts on the work of a modern L&D organization, and the measures we can use to track our progress and success.

Interested in learning more about how to make the shift to a modern L&D organization? Join us for the LearnNow: The Modern Learner workshop.

About the Author

Crystal Kadakia is a two-time TEDx speaker, author, and consultant on Millennials and the modern workplace. Her company, Invati Consulting, champions what she calls “talent-driven organization design” to modernize the workplace through speaking, training, and consulting solutions. Her mission is to enable organizations and talent to work together to revolutionize the workplace for today’s digital world. She reshapes the conversation on Millennials by providing a strong Millennial voice in a sea of Boomer and Gen X perspectives. She is the creator of the acclaimed virtual blended training program on generations, Generation University, and the Modern Culture Assessment, which drives organizations to strategically shift culture for the needs of modern employees. Crystal was named One to Watch by the Association for Talent Development and is a co-author of Your Career: How to Make It Happen. Before starting Invati Consulting, Crystal led multiple multimillion-dollar projects as a chemical engineer at Procter & Gamble. She transitioned successfully to training and development and led multiple global programs, including renewing the new hire technical university training program and standardizing onboarding globally. Today, she has given more than 50 talks and has influenced more than 1,000 leaders to shift their paradigm on the modern workplace. She is also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and the Human Capital Institute.

About the Author

Lisa M.D. Owens is a learning expert who applies learning sciences to create training programs that move businesses forward. She designs training for the in-person and virtual classrooms and the web. Lisa founded Training Design Strategies LLC in 2012 to help companies achieve their goals through the power of training. Beyond her current client work, she is an instructor for Ohio University’s instructional design graduate program and on GC-ASTD’s Executive Advisory Board. She is co-author of the college textbook Your Career: How to Make It Happen, the books Leaders as Teachers Action Guide and Lo start-up di una Corporate University, and a series of articles for CorpU on creating corporate universities. Lisa holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and a master’s degree in education.

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