Reflections on L&D – 12-31-2016

Nine Areas of Quick Reflection on the Field of L&D

I have reduced my blog postings and activity in SM this past few months as my semi-retirement becomes less semi. But I do read and try to keep up with where L&D seems to be going based on what’s being published – and granted that can be two extremes of a continuum.

My #1 Issue with the field of L&D remains the same: A lack of focus on “terminal application/ Performance/ back on the job” – and then how that is best measured “on the job” and in associated “Learning/Training/Qualification systems.”


#2- There is still too much of a focus on delivery technology and media rather than a grounding on getting real about the performance requirements needs to be met, the performance context, and the learning contexts that are possible.

#3- And then what needs to be learned/mastered ASAP versus what can be deferred and what should the timing be about that.

#4- And then what can and should be more bite sized versus full course offerings … including advanced organizers, content of INFOs, DEMOs, and APPOs, and then timed and random reinforcement and performance testing?

#5- Too often the focus does seems to be on trying to meet real business needs with Awareness and Knowledge only – without Skills development and then the more important on-the-job Performance Competence development and support and reinforcement.

#6- Targeting is too often the low hanging fruit for the masses, versus targeted leverage of critical performance for the few. If politically you need to do both, don’t measure them both the same – and be clear about the tag for each for every effort. Call the one Communications and the other Training, and both lead to Learning. The key ? is, Is That Enough?


#7- Hit the right level of need for the segments of the target audience: You might be able to only Communicate that every customer gets 10% off, and gold card members get 25% off … and THAT would be sufficient. But to Communicate how to design and estimate costs and labor for multi million construction projects may not be sufficient … and you might need Training.

#8- Build for the critical target audiences only and then reuse those designs and content to extract the unique to the critical job out, and deliver the remaining sharable content and use as is or after modification but only if that meets some critical business issue itself. Otherwise – simply focus on the critical performance requirements of the business and the target audiences associated with each. IMO.


#9- This continuous writing and sharing and selling online of “Learning” as if all jobs are equal … only makes business sense to sellers. Not to buyers.

Your thoughts?

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