As I reminisced about the history of ASTD in its 70th year, I uncovered information about when ASTD became truly global. The valuable relationship that comes from partnerships with countries around the globe started in the 1950s when ASTD formed an affiliation with the Far East (Japan) Chapter on December 21, 1956. This affiliation was first highlighted in the March-April 1957 issue of the Journal of the American Society of Training Directors (see image).
Japan recognized the value of the partnership, writing, "One of the biggest advantages to be gained is the ready exchange of training and management materials and ideas through the members of the organization."
During the next 56 years, ASTD's commitment to countries around the globe has been evident with a membership of more than 4,800 international members (as of 2012) and a presence in more than 100 countries.
This month's issue highlights global learning and development, and the biggest trend emerging is the challenges many countries are facing in hiring, training, and retaining highly skilled employees. Gaining knowledge in best practices will help global learning professionals address barriers to people development and offer steps to advance the profession worldwide.
People around the world are bound together by their interconnectedness, Katherine Holt and Kyoko Seki wrote in the May 2012 issue of T+D. That interconnectedness is forcing organizations to find global leaders who can navigate this complex global environment. It is up to workplace learning professionals to develop a strong knowledge of what it takes to lead globally, and then create development programs to help cultivate successful leaders.