Thursday, February 23, 2012

What do I do?

There are lots of Memes going around with 6 pictures
What my friends think I do.
What my mom thinks I do.
What society thinks I do.
What (someone or something related to the meme) thinks I do.
What I think I do
What I really do.
See here for more stuff on this.

I think it might be missing an important question in there.
What do I want to do?
I got asked that recently and after some thought came up with this, which I now share with you, my loyal, unknown, never responding to please for comments, multitude of readers.


I want to make a difference, to the people I lead, to the people I help train and to the company I’m part of.

My Team

I have found so many people in the workplace learning arena seem to have got there by default. They were good at something and got asked to show someone else. They were good at that and enjoyed it and so they became a trainer. For me Workplace Learning and Performance is a profession. We have a responsibility for our own professional development. Ever since I moved into the field I have continuously been a part of professional organizations, SEAL in the UK and then IAL and ASTD in the US. I have learned about learning, attending conferences and other professional development opportunities, and last year I dedicated a considerable amount of time and money to obtaining my professional certification. The Workplace Learning and Performance field is changing all the time. Areas such as Social Learning and Mobile Learning that were virtually unheard of 2-3 years ago are today’s hot topics. As professionals we need to know about the trends in our industry and look to use the best tools to serve our learners and other stakeholders. When I lead a Workplace Learning and Performance team I’ll do everything I can to ensure that they grow and develop.

My Learners

Simply put I get a kick out of helping people learn. When they start the class they don’t know how to do something (or often don’t know that they know) and when I’ve finished with them they do. The new knowledge and skills they have allows my learners to expand their lives. From being able to use the software on their computers easier or better to do their work, to being better able to communicate and interact with their colleagues or customers, these things improve people’s lives. I love being a part of that.

My Company

We are seeing a seismic shift in the workplace. The generational changes in the workplace mean that organizations are faced with an increasing challenge to find and retain talent. Millennials see the world, and the workplace, in very different way than the generations before them. If companies are to succeed over the next several years they have to take this into account. I’m not saying that companies will have to change entirely to meet the wishes of the new workforce, but rather that they will have to meet those wishes part way. If they fail to then they will find themselves constantly hiring short term talent and seeing career and succession plans in jeopardy. These things will impact a company’s ability to meet and exceed whatever their business goals are. I firmly believe that Learning & Development has a crucial role to play in meeting these challenges.
  • Firstly L&D can help managers learn to adapt to their new workforce.
  • Secondly as Millennials see development as a key difference when looking at organizations, a strong L&D function will meet the development needs of the employees.
  • Thirdly, and most importantly, L&D needs to be a part of the business. People who lead an L&D function need to meet with the senior executives of a company and ask what the business needs L&D to do. We need to understand what initiatives the company is perusing and look to see how we can help those initiatives succeed.
The classic Kirkpatrick model of evaluation has four levels. The highest of which looks at the impact on the business results. We always need to have those in mind when we design, develop or deliver and workplace learning.

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