Saturday, May 18, 2013

In with the Learning Pros (and amateurs)

I'm writing this at the gate as I wait to board my flight to Dallas for the ASTD International Conference and Expo.
I'm looking forward to spending time fully submerged in my profession and  surrounded by fellow Workplace Learning & Performance professionals.

As my regular reader(s?) will know I'm somewhat annoyed that my professional organization has run away fro the WLP tag and run back to Training & Development. (see previous posting about that here)

To highlight my unhappiness, and because let's face it I'm a trouble maker at heart, I have had 200 ribbons made and will be handing them round for people to attach to their conference badges.

The serious reason behind this little bit of theater is that I really believe that for our profession to move forward and become the respected partner to the businesses and organizations we serve then we need to be about more that 'Training' and focus on more than 'Development'. We owe our customers, clients, employers and learners a focus on performance. 

Over the last couple of years when meeting new people I've been answering questions about what I do with the statement "I'm a workplace learning & performance professional." I freely admit that most of the time this is met with some form of blank stare or question. But I see those questions as a gift. They give me the chance to point out that I help people improve their performance. That it's not about what I know and can train but about what they do and what they can learn. The old concept of the 'sage on the stage' imparting knowledge to their listeners is no longer relevant or acceptable to today's workforce. The demand to be engaged and an active driver of their learning is a hallmark of the millennial generation.    

That is why I'll be wearing the ribbon and making trouble. Because I have no wish to go backwards.

#WLP4Ever & Happy Learning


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