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Starting Trouble
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
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There are a number of changes that L&D is failing to address, such as changes in how business are managed, changes in understanding how people think and perform, and even advances in our own the understanding of learning.

This seems to be my year for making trouble. And one of the ways I am doing so is by talking about what L&D is—and isn’t—doing. There are a number of changes that L&D is failing to address, such as changes in how business are managed, changes in understanding how people think and perform, and even advances in our own the understanding of learning. 

Indeed, most L&D really seems stuck in the Industrial Age, but we’re working in the Information Age. And this just doesn’t make sense to me!   

L&D practitioners should be the ones in their organization who are most eager to adopt technology, stay abreast of new developments, and seek innovative tools to support our organizations. We should be leading the charge in being learning organizations—following the business precepts of experimenting regularly, failing fast, and reflecting on the outcomes.  Yet, that doesn’t reflect what I’m seeing. 

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Bottom line: L&D needs to do more. To address business needs, we need to consider performance support and social networks. In fact, I argue that these should be our first line of defense, and courses should only be used when a significant skill shift is required. We should leverage technology more effectively, looking at semantics and content architectures, as well as mobile and contextual opportunities.   

More important, we need to be more strategic about how we’re helping the organization and evaluating our efforts—not just efficiency but our effectiveness and impact. 

This is just the start of a series of activities to inject a sense of urgency into L&D (step 1: change management).  To discuss these ideas more fully, join me for an ASTD Webinar “Looking Forward: How L&D Needs to Change” on Thursday, February 6 11:00 a.m. PT/2:00 p.m. ET!

 

 

About the Author
Clark Quinn is the executive director of Quinnovation. He provides strategic performance technology solutions to Fortune 500, education, government, and not-for-profit organizations. He earned a PhD in applied cognitive science from the University of California, San Diego, and has led the successful design of mobile, performance support, serious games, online learning, and adaptive learning solutions. Clark is an internationally known speaker and author; his most recent title is Revolutionize Learning & Development: Performance and Information Strategy for the Information Age. He has held executive positions at Knowledge Universe Interactive Studio, Open Net, and Access CMC, and academic positions at the University of New South Wales, the University of Pittsburgh’s Learning Research and Development Center, and San Diego State University’s Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education. He blogs at learnlets.com, tweets as @quinnovator, and works as executive director of Quinnovation.
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