The Future of Corporate Learning and Development

Question 5: How Are Learning Professionals Preparing for the Future?

It’s little surprise that the people who are dedicated to developing skills in others are also focused on developing their own skills. The skills that our survey respondents say they want to develop reflect much of what we’ve seen so far: an eye toward learning’s increased place in the greater talent management function.

Clearly, learning leaders and professionals have the experience to go big and take learning to the next level. Combining that experience with some skill development is going to be key to taking that next step. The most important skills that survey respondents want to develop:

  • 45% Maximizing learning effectiveness
  • 38% Integrating learning and development into broader talent initiatives
  • 33% Partnering with business leaders to achieve better talent results
  • 32% Increasing knowledge in learning technology
  • 31% Developing leadership skills
  • 30% Organizational development and culture
  • 27% Learning management strategies

The Starr Conspiracy’s take:

Understanding the business impact of learning is going to be a critical differentiator for strategic thinking learning and development leaders. Executives aren’t satisfied hearing that learning is making a difference that’s difficult to track. They need data provided by solution providers, analysis done by you, and an element of storytelling that brings learning back to the most important people: the employees who have to go do something with this valuable knowledge.

Brandon Hall Group’s take:

The critical success factor for learning and development leaders going forward is developing their competency as a predictive analytics guru. Too much of learning today has not been measured — and though this is true, it is not the whole truth. The missing element is that learning measurement has been based on lag measures — how much do we learn by looking up at the scoreboard at the end of the game? Learning and development leaders must rebuild their learning metrics into lead indicators that provide a look into the future and help set the direction for where talent needs to go in the organization to rapidly meet evolving business conditions. Organizations use predictive analytics to forecast all the other aspects of their business model — why not their talent needs? You’ve heard about HR big data? It’s not a fad — it’s a reality. Transforming data on how people are learning into business intelligence to predict the future status of talent in your organization is powerful. As a learning and development professional, you must become a master of analytics and visionary for your organization.