Press Release

Develop a L&D Playbook to Successfully Navigate Technological Change


(Alexandria, VA) July 6, 2021—In L&D’s Playbook for the Digital Age (ATD Press, July 2021), Brandon Carson calls for a wholesale reorientation of business’ learning and development functions based on the technological forces driving organizations to accelerate how they acquire, develop, and retain their workforces.

With technology changes and advancements as a given for all businesses, the emphasis should no longer rest simply on changing technology trends but rather on how corporate L&D efforts must evolve to navigate increasing demands businesses are facing due to technologies’ impact.

Carson contends that the digital age is forever altering how business gets done, thereby changing the role corporate learning plays in delivering business value. He states that the primary challenge is not about the technology trends but about the people on L&D teams and their capabilities, the decisions they make, the methodologies they use, and the strategies they formulate to continue to navigate this often blurry and never-before-seen acceleration.

Carson urges companies to create a new “playbook” for L&D and shares how to assemble one that focuses on how to bring an applicable solution and measurable return to the workforce and businesses. Now more than ever, it’s critical for companies to have the best, most capable talent at every level.

The big three technologies of the digital age—AI, the cloud, and data—are the underlying drivers of the digital transformation. These innovations are profoundly affecting how businesses deliver products and services to customers and are changing business and workplace rules for the 21st century.

Carson explains, “To successfully navigate this technology tsunami, we must first understand what these technologies are and their business value. With this knowledge, we can leverage the right learning technology strategies to ensure the workforce can successfully use, support, and apply the technology as necessary in their work.”


Organizations can respond by constructing new labor models and job architectures and can prescriptively focus on how to bridge the capabilities of intelligent machinery, software, and robots with human capability, ensuring the preservation of the humanity in work.

“L&D must recognize what this means in the context of the workplace culture, as the digital age is fundamentally altering the employee experience,” states Carson. “One of the most critical roles for L&D in the digital age is ensuring the workplace remains a human-first environment as more technology, intelligent machinery, and automation is integrated.”

Carson outlines a series of strategies L&D can create to help the workforce adapt to the inevitable shifts in how the work gets done:
• Offer continuous learning opportunities and work to develop a growth mindset across the employee population.
• Focus on developing deeper problem-solving skills.
• Provide avenues for employees to learn how to effectively communicate and share their ideas across work teams.
• Foster a sense of collaboration as critical to the success of the work team.


About the Author
With more than 20 years of experience in talent and organization development, Brandon Carson is an accomplished leader in maximizing employee engagement and performance. He is a seasoned expert in corporate learning and talent management and has extensive experience in creating global workforce development strategies, leading teams, and implementing learning technology at scale. His recent books include Learning in the Age of Immediacy and L&D’s Playbook for the Digital Age. He speaks about topics related to training, learning technology, leadership, and talent management. Currently, he is the vice president of learning and leadership at Walmart US. In previous roles, he was the head of learning for airport operations with Delta Air Lines, and he led training design for Home Depot. Before taking on corporate roles, he was a learning consultant for Apple, Microsoft, and other Silicon Valley companies. Brandon holds a M.Ed in educational technology, a BA in business, and certification in advanced analysis.

About ATD and ATD Press
The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is the world’s largest association dedicated to those who develop talent in organizations. ATD’s members come from more than 120 countries and work in public and private organizations in every industry sector. ATD Press publications are written by industry thought leaders and offer anyone who works with adult learners the best practices, academic theory, and guidance necessary to move the profession forward. For more information, visit

L&D’s Playbook for the Digital Age
ISBN: 9781952157585 | 192 Pages | Paperback
To order books from ATD Press, call 800.628.2783.

To schedule an interview with Brandon Carson, please contact Kay Hechler, ATD Press senior marketing manager, at [email protected] or 703.683.8178.

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