Monday, 25 February 2008

"Training", "Learning & Development", "Leadership & Talent" ......or ????

At the recent Strategic Learning & Development Conference I found myself reflecting on the various titles we use to describe our profession.

While it is widely recognised that most workplace learning occurs outside of formal training - and hence to maximize our impact we need to think broader than 'Training' ... I'm struck by the lack of precision in the phrase 'Learning & Development' does 'Development' differ from 'Learning' ?

It could be argued that we 'develop' the skills, knowledge, & behaviours of others - while learning is undertaken by the individual. Equally, the phrase 'personal development' is widely used.

No doubt, this is also a reason that other terms such as 'Leadership & Talent' are also used

My suggestion is to consider 'Performance & Development'

In my view, this would capture the essence of the outcomes we seek to deliver, namely:

  • Performance Improvement (learning solutions to address current needs - based on understanding the skill gaps for delivering current business goals)
  • Development of Talent (learning solutions to position key individuals to be skilled to meet predicted future business needs, and to enhance the adaptive capabilities of the organization)

Maybe one day we will be refered to as P&D Professionals ?!

NOTE: This topic is something that has it's foundations in an earlier post relating to the Ulrich model of HR [interestingly, this has proved to be the most read post on this blog to-date this year]