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The 2017 L&D Challenge: Shifting The Focus From Content To Delivery

We’re happy to have a guest post today. Lotus Yon is an experienced human resources and organizational development professional with a focused passion in leadership and employee engagement. She’s held several different roles within HR and OD, and blogs at OD Advocate where she enjoys challenging leaders and other professionals to think differently about the world of work.

We live in a time that is more instant and social than ever. Not only can we get any piece of information with a click of the mouse, but we’re starting to enter a digital landscape where we can obtain information simply by looking. How? Social media feeds!

By merely scanning your social feeds for a few minutes, it’s easy to see how vast and overwhelming the amount of online content can be. We’re starting to see content that is no longer restricted to simple text, and much more digital media such as video, Snapchat posts, live broadcasts via Periscope, to name a few.

What does this mean for learning and development professionals? It means that, more than ever, we have to change our mindset about content. We must let go of the traditional obsession that we own content. Content may have been king before, but our digital work environment has made it free and widespread. If L&D professionals are going to be successful in 2017, we need to transition our focus to delivery and innovation rather than on content.

Just because anyone can find anything on the Internet these days—sites like Coursera let users obtain a college degree—it does not mean that we no longer need learning and development opportunities in our organizations. In fact, we need them more than ever, but just in a different way.

While content may be free, its accessibility can sometimes be complex and daunting. People struggle with sifting through all the available content, as well as the process of determining what is valuable, credible and accurate. That’s where L&D comes in!

Learning and development professionals should be familiar with the latest tools or risk falling behind. To easily gauge the current state of your training, ask yourself these four questions:

  • Is the bulk of your training still delivered in person?
  • Are you confused when you’re asked about Articulate Storyline, Adobe Captivate, learning management systems (LMSs), Audacity, Flash, Photoshop, Animate, Illustrator and Dreamweaver?
  • Do you raise your eyebrows when you’re asked how you use social learning in your training strategy?
  • Are you still assessing learners with traditional tests and quizzes?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, it is time for a change!

In 2017, we must be more than just trainers and instructional designers. We need to be graphic designers, web designers, subject matter experts, content professionals, L&D techies, learning consultants, social media gurus, and animators. It’s a lot to expect from L&D professionals, but it is what today’s world of learning needs. Those who do not keep up with this fast growing climate, will be passed up in favor of those who know how to innovate and find creative approaches to the new problems that 2017 will bring.

So, start spending time on the things that are important to the future of learning and development. Focus on training delivery methods, technology and tools, automation, improved online learning, better design, social learning and libraries of learning options (as opposed to only mandatory training).

Becoming fluid and forward thinking is a must for the future. It is our challenge this year to abandon our traditional way of thinking that we are content owners and begin innovating and adding a different type of value for our learners. Here’s to a year of amazing learning transformations!