Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Mixed messages at World Of Learning

I have attended the World of Learning for the last few years, and I have to say that yesterday included some of the most inspiring and interesting conference sessions I have ever heard here.

As is common with many conferences there are themes that run through several sessions. This year that theme was social learning.

There is an increasing trend for organisations to look to cut budgets and yet engage learners like never before. One worrying factor that manifested itself was the fact that many people at the conference had very limited access to the internet at work (as shown by a live audience poll). While we may expect employers to restrict many employees, as thinkers and change agents we (the L&D profession) cannot afford to be insular, and the most cost effective way of providing CPD for our profession is access to knowledge and thinking via the internet.

There was a certain level of double standards in that we are expected to do more for less... in many cases a lot more for a lot less, and yet our employers are not giving us the tools to do this effectively.

Bias against technology? as a regular tweeter and blogger I capture much of what I hear in electronic form directly, however it seems that many presenters and indeed audience participants do not mind people taking notes on paper, and yet are distracted by people doing the same on their phone, tablet or laptop. Is this a technology problem, or a mistrust that the person is not taking notes but doing other things - i.e. showing a lack of respect.
Personally, I find it harder to concentrate and take notes and interact about the topic live, so in many ways it requires more attention as to what is going on. If L&D is to grow and change, we need to learn to adapt to individuals own preference for data and note taking.

In the final keynote of the day, Charles Jennings led a session on training governance. A good insight as to what training specialists need to do to engage stakeholders fully. If we cannot influence the business... then in time we will not have a profession left.

Mike Morrison is director of RapidBI, A learning & organizational effectiveness consultancy. He has been involved in HR, OD and strategic development for over 20 years. He can be contacted via © This article is copyright RapidBI 2006-2011 – it may be copied providing the authors are credited and direct links maintained Blog - Management and Business Blog Twitter - @rapidbi

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