Seismic Shift in the Training and Development Landscape

Although I haven’t felt the earth move or experienced seismic tremors, there is a fairly big shift taking place in the training and development landscape for education, business, organizations, and individuals.

Last week Doris blogged about the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s approach to embracing working out loud by using technology and digital media to connect diverse groups, engage in dialogue and discussion, share information, and engender new ways of thinking and doing. This new model of leadership has a belief in the power of nonhierarchical online convening. Creating mechanisms including online spaces to allow for open exchanges of ideas, resources, information, and sharing is evidence not only of their smart technology use, but also of their commitment to diversity of people and ideas.

The Robert Wood Foundation’s approach of distributed leadership for sparking new and innovative ideas for learning and doing has been trickling down to the professional development field as well. Just recently, one of the largest international training organizations changed its name from the American Society for Training and Development, ASTD, to the Association of Talent Development, ATD. The name change announcement materials from May 6, 2014 make it clear that technology, the global economy, and adapting to rapid change on a continuous basis calls for talent development, not just content training. Content will become outdated quickly, talent development embraces opportunities for change and learning how to change, as well as becoming a lifelong learner to acquire new skills to meet new challenges.

Cartoon by Virpi Oinonen from

Cartoon by Virpi Oinonen from

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Sighting Leadership Networks in Action

At the Studio, we try to “work out loud” whenever possible.  We agree with Harold Jarche that “The most effective learning in the new world of work will be when engaged individuals regularly share their knowledge. Working out loud is the primary way people can share in their networks, communities, and workplaces.”  This blog is part of our workplace and where we share our insights most often. If you are reading this post, you may be part of our Studio network or a first-time visitor.  Welcome!

Doris_birding_300px_1991While working on an unrelated project, I became excited like a birder sighting a rare species in an urban parking lot, when I spotted the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation role modeling how to work out loud online. I saw a CEO who is quite transparent about redoing their leadership development work to foster a national “culture of health” in the United States. This huge organization exemplifies (IMO) how to encourage its thousands of associates, most of them not employees, to work out loud through its blogs AND Twitter, Google+, podcasts, and discussion groups online among other social media.

I’d like to share what I have learned so far. There are lessons here for big and small organizations as well as for DIY learners who are connecting online to ultimately make big differences offline. Read more