It Isn't Revolution; It Is Learning - Barry Johnson


The title of training units is changing. Training & Development is now more commonly known as Learning & Development; as a result many people think that training itself is changing. Well, they might be right. T&D is going through a ‘learning about learning’ phase. That is, trainers are being encouraged to change the way they are running learning events to help the organisations’ employees learn. Not only are training events changing, much more learning is occurring on-the-job and by distance learning.

This isn’t just a good idea; it is necessary due to the changes occurring in the world of international business and manufacturing. These changes are continuous. Strategies are shifting, driven by technology, social communications, and new entrants into market places, and are due to different political agreements, competitive challenges, new product initiatives etc. The list goes on.

Is this new? Definitely not. But the rate of change has increased, the depth of change has increased and that has led to a revolution in the need for learning that requires the understanding of how people learn. In turn that has shifted the way learning is implemented and the change in the requirements from managers, their shift to be leaders, the prioritisation of learning in their departments, and their involvement in the facilitation of learning.

Is what we have said above accepted? It depends on the culture and leadership of the organisation. The leading edge companies are well into action. Some are thinking about it, and some are just not listening, or can’t see what is before their eyes. Why? It could be that they don’t believe, or believe they know better than those taking action. They could just be poorly or historically led, or are frightened by change. Perhaps some are not led at all.

The base question is: where is your organisation in this spectrum? If nothing is happening what are you going to do about it?