Are L&D keeping up with the pace of change?

I have recently been digesting the information from the Towards Maturity report on “Preparing for the Future of Learning“.

It talks in depth about how L&D teams and professionals may be falling behind the pace in terms of how fast the learning world is changing.

Here are some of the stats that I pulled out regarding putting technology on the learning agenda:

  • 23% of L&D leaders think their L&D teams have the right skills to exploit technology for business advantage
  • 50% still say that L&D staff lack knowledge about the potential use and implementation of technology
  • Only 28% believe L&D staff are confident in incorporating new media in learning design

In terms of Thinking Digital, there were some further stats:

  • 34% have the skills in house for live online learning delivery – 37% plan to increase this in the next two years
  • 20% have the skills in house for facilitating social and collaborative learning – 46% plan to increase
  • 32% have the skills in house supporting ongoing workplace performance – 46% plan to increase

Also, there was some information on whether there was a proactive investment in new L&D skills:

  • 67% are expected to join external networks and/or professional bodies
  • 54% of organisations provide CPD for their L&D staff
  • 55% know what questions to ask of their external providers
  • 25% are training classroom trainers to use technology to extend learning beyond the classroom
  • 26% expect L&D staff to keep skills up-to-date on their own

Now these percentages all seem to be on the low side. With only a quarter of organisations stating that they expect skills to be kept up-to-date, it certainly seems that there is a significant skills gap in key areas such as technical ability for some L&D professionals.

As stated in the report, “Technology will play a significant role in realising the vision now widely held about the future of learning, one in which learning and performance is supported at the point of need, responsive to change and leverages the power of community. Yet a fundamental lack of confidence in digital learning solutions and in the capability of L&D professionals to use them to transform learning and development still remains. In too many organisations, digital transformation is simply the translation of in-house training models to online platforms.”

As a professional within the Learning and Development industry, this is of great concern to me. The role of all L&D professionals needs to change rapidly to embrace new technology and methods for delivery of learning.

Whilst there can be many external factors that can impede the self-development of an L&D professional, such as being far too busy supporting others to take time to develop themselves, organisations must recognise the wider impact this will have going forward in terms of L&D being able to effectively support those others if they do not have the skills and tools to do so.

I encourage you to read the “Preparing for the Future of Learning” report and see for yourself how this environment is changing at a rapid pace and how the role of L&D is morphing into a “performance consultant” rather than the traditional “training provider”.

 

 

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