CIPD Leaders in Learning Feb 2017: Time for L&D to take action


CIPD Leaders in Learning is a free to attend network for L&D leaders and I am lucky enough to attend their events, learning from and networking from L&D peers and thought leaders.

At the most recent meeting on the last day of February the agenda was focused on two areas; L&D as a brand, and Data driven learning improvement: The 2016 Towards Maturity Benchmark

The L&D Brand

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Learning Technologies 2017 Day 1 review

Optimus Learning Services had the pleasure of attending both days at Learning Technologies this year. Here’s a quick round-up from Managing Director Blake Henegan from Day 1. Day 2 is covered by Les Heath.

Mind was blown. Sensory overload. Lively debate. The future of learning has arrived.

AI and Jill the chatbot
Away from the main exhibition, I had the pleasure of listening to Donald Clark, one of the experts in Artificial Intelligence (AI). A very informative seminar, with a balanced view of what AI can do compared to us humans and what it lacks. What was very clear was how much AI is all around us, and perhaps we don’t even realise.

It’s already impacted on learning and is going to continue to do so. Donald recalled a great story of when a US Tech professor built a chatbot to be his teaching assistant to a class studying AI. He named it Jill Watson and was that good the students nominated ‘Jill’ for the tutor of the year!

VR and embracing technology
I had the pleasure after hours of attending the Learn Patch bar camp with my fellow peers. Time spent discussing ways of engaging employees, pushing back when being asked for ‘training’ and a very level headed discussion around the pros and cons of VR with Immerse Learning.

So how can L&D use technology?
The use of learning technology will only grow, the key challenge is to know when and how to use it. Remember, consider your organisation’s culture and how it embraces (or doesn’t) technology. If it struggles to embrace new technology then perhaps this is the first thing to be fixed, before introducing any new tool.

For our review of Learning Technologies Day 2 read more.

Learning Technologies 2017 Day 2 review

Wow, this year was the best so far.

The exhibition was enormous with what appeared to be more exhibitors than ever. This year I attended with a mission; to find out what is new in Learning Management. Alongside this I chose 3 seminars that best related to our clients’ challenges:

  • How to prove ROI and gain organisational support for L&D
  • How L&D becomes a trusted business partner
  • The science of motivation: Why workplace motivation is so hard and how to overcome resistance.

Learning technologies seminar takeaways

Return on Investment: It’s not rocket science!

The first seminar, delivered by Steve Finch, Head of Business Development for CDSM Interactive Solutions Ltd, we were given thought provoking insight into measuring and maximising ROI, covering topics such as Kirkpatrick and Blooms Taxonomy.

The most important thing is to know what the purpose of the learning is and how it is expected to impact the business and develop the evaluation model from there.

We are not just TRAINING

Paul Matthews, Managing Director, People Alchemy Ltd led the 2nd seminar, posing the question – How as L&D practitioners do we become trusted business partners?

I think that this can most easily be expressed as ‘We are not just TRAINING’. Challenge the business when they approach you for training. Put on a new hat, become a performance consultant and clearly identify the ‘issue’ to be resolved. Focus on performance and that training might not always be the answer. There may be a need for a process, system or environmental change to resolve the issue.

For L&D practitioners it’s all about demonstrating your value. By giving good advice early on the business will see us for what we really are, a business-critical resource.

Motivation, it’s not about the money

Lastly, from David Meade, Saba, the message was clear: Motivation; It’s not about the money!

In companies where staff are most highly motivated it is because they are engaged in the business, they are involved, appreciate and treated as individuals. How has this been achieved? Enable employees to, at speed, access people and information they need to do their jobs – and to acknowledge their contribution with a heartfelt ‘Thanks, we couldn’t do it without you.’

LMS or LEP’s?

For my second objective of the day I was keen to see what’s new in the world of LMS systems. The first thing I came across was that the emphasis is not on ‘Management’ so much. Management implies control. In the past L&D were the owners of learning and controlled the application of learning. Now, people can learn in so many ways much of which is not managed; YouTube, Google, Yammer and a myriad of other platforms.

All the stands I visited on the day still included an element of learning management but were clearly adopting a new approach as ‘Learning Engagement Platforms’ (LEP’s: You saw it here first folks!)

It’s all about providing the access to, capturing and sharing of information. Systems that allow you to be key contributors to you companies learning.

The impact on L&D

Making sure I had time to consider the information I was absorbing, I considered the impact of these learning technologies. They are supporting learners in a way that L&D have always wanted – easy access and reinforcing learning for example – and making it easy for people to learn.

Embrace these technologies and learning and development will begin moving away from managing training to the valuable governance of learning.

For our review of Learning Technologies Day 1 read more.


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Mid-Sized Businesses Failing to Adopt New Approaches to Learning

Latest research from Towards Maturity reveals that mid-sized businesses are failing to capitalise on the benefits of learning technologies, but brings hope by identifying opportunities for success within these organisations.

Towards Maturity’s latest Sector Benchmark Report, Modernising Learning in Mid-Sized Businesses, launched today, shows that just 40% of mid-sized businesses (MSBs) are delivering learning solutions in time to meet the needs of the business. Only 10% understand and can demonstrate the value of learning in their organisation.

Continue reading “Mid-Sized Businesses Failing to Adopt New Approaches to Learning”

Learning and Talent Development 2013

The CIPD recently released their well respected, annual survey report on Learning and Talent Development. The report is a fantastic resource to use throughout the year and is packed with data regarding all areas of L&TD. It is certainly worth reading fully over time but below is a summary of the main findings from the study that can be read over at will. The full report is available here. Continue reading “Learning and Talent Development 2013”

Benchmarks, Trends, and Analysis of the UK Training Market

Bersin by Deloitte recently released an extensive report on the learning and development industry called ‘The UK Learning Factbook 2013’. The report looks extensively at everything from budgets to learning delivery and is good indication of the current state of the market. Below is a summary of findings; the full report is available to Bersin by Deloitte members or for purchase here.

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Unlocking Potential – Towards Maturity’s 2016-17 Learning Benchmark Report

Lack of progress on learning impact prompts Towards Maturity to provide a new statistical analysis, focusing on evidence-based shortcuts to business success.  Continue reading “Unlocking Potential – Towards Maturity’s 2016-17 Learning Benchmark Report”