The current round of Cullen Scholefield’s well-regarded ‘Circle of Peers’ meetings is happening around the world at the moment – with sessions in Dubai, the Isle of Man, Crawley and Gibraltar.  Committed and community-minded People and Learning and Development (L&D) professionals have assembled and are assembling in these diverse locations to meet with their peers and representatives from Cullen Scholefield to hear about and discuss where L&D has come from, is now and may be heading in the future.

Maureen has reminded us all of where we came from, the history of how L&D emerged from ancient Chinese, Egyptian and Greek practice, through Vestibule Training, Role Playing, Apprenticing, Sitting with Nellie, Job Instruction Training and now Learning & Development via Process Manuals, CBT, eLearning and blended learning.  Her cautionary advice about not forgetting this history, not throwing ‘the baby out with the bathwater’ in favour of the latest fads resonated with many in the room.

I was delighted to have been asked to share my thinking on how I see current and future trends in business, technology and data insights impacting on the future of work and thereby the future of learning and development.  The good news is it’s not all doom and gloom for L&D; the opposite in fact!  In my view 2016 could well be the year when we start to see business leaders, managers, learners and L&D itself aligning their thinking and their mutually beneficial outcomes!  The evidence is there in reports like the Towards Maturity Benchmark Report for 2015 “Embracing Change”, their Learner Landscape survey and the Good Practice “Secret Learning Life of UK Managers” reports.  The future is here and it’s socially digital!  As a result the challenge I see for L&D is to upskill ourselves in the digital, social, curation and collaboration skills that will ensure our engagement with and value-add to our business partners and our learners.

What's Coming?

What’s Coming?

At last week’s Sussex Circle of Peers meeting in Crawley, we were also pleased to be joined by Nebel Crowhurst, Head of Learning & Talent at River Island.  Elaborating on a similar theme, Nebel shared her take on current and future trends in learning (informal, social, collaborative, mobile and online) and where L&D should be positioning itself to be responsive to business needs as enablers of learning, rather than just managers and providers.

So Maureen, Nebel and I left our attendees with some questions.  What are the lessons from history that we need to bring with us as L&D moves into the new learning future? How ready are we as learning professionals to deliver business value in this new digitally social world.  And what is our digital learning strategy to get us there?

We’d love to hear your answers to those questions and your suggestions about how to take some positive action that moves your L&D offerings closer to your business in the socially digital future.

Please find links to the Circle of Peers presentations here:

Maureen Scholefield: The Future Has Arrived

Niall Gavin: The Future of Learning

Nebel Crowhurst: River Island

And don’t forget that Cullen Scholefield is here to help you every step of the way, either to assist you and your team to develop the necessary skills and qualifications, like the new CIPD L&D qualifications, or to provide impactive consultancy services to work with you on your journey.

Upcoming Circle of Peers dates:

April 5th Gibraltar 12:00 Circle of Peers Lunch & Discuss
April 6th Gibraltar 17:00 onwards Circle of Peers Casual Networking