Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Changing Face of Learning and Development

With the continued rapid increase of global teams which often operate virtually, the way learning and development is delivered is also changing. I often receive requests from organizations regarding advice on trends and new techniques that they can use to build human capital (individually or in teams) in the rapidly changing business and global environment.

Technology continues to reshape how learning is delivered, and in recent months there have been some very interesting articles on how major corporations are leveraging technology to enhance learning and human capital management.

A number of larger US firms are now delivering training via podcasts. Noted for their adaptability when learning needs to take place, podcasts have the ability to deliver training just-in-time.

Another area which is garnering attention is the use of Second Life by many companies, both as a marketing tool and also as an innovative way to deliver training (typically informal). If you or your company are using Second Life, I’d love to hear from you--- what’s your experience been? How do you leverage it for learning and development opportunities?

The emerging generations (which include Gen Y and Gen X) have added to this push for the introduction of newer technologies for learning and development – which are more meaningful and relevant to the. This whole area is fascinating, and as some researchers are finding the way our brains operate is changing through the generations. I will continue build on former blog posts on intergenerational management in the future – from recent organizational requests it seems that this issue is continuing to be a hot one.

Recent Statistics are showing that learning budgets and hours of training for workers based in the US is continuing to increase (2006 ASTD State of the Industry Report). With an estimated $109.25 Billion being spent on learning and development annually, American companies are spending anywhere from 2 – 2.7% of their payroll on learning and development initiatives. This equals anywhere from $1424 to $1616 US/worker.

In contrast a number of recent studies here in Canada are showing that learning and training budgets and priorities are continuing to shrink (2007 Conference Board Learning and Development Outlook). In 2006 the Conference Board of Canada reported that on average 1.75% of payroll was spent on learning and development, or approximately $944 Cdn/employee. The 2007 figures released a few months ago show a slight decline in these figures.

What are the trends that you are seeing in the field of learning and development? What can be leveraged in your organization? What new initiatives would benefit your human capital pool.

As always, I welcome your thoughts and comments --- please feel free to do so below.

With best wishes,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP, CPT
Potentials Realized
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960
Email: info[at]potentialsrealized[dot]com

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