It’s interesting being on a panel, never quite knowing what you will be asked. It’s also fascinating where the discussion can go. I learn a lot from the flow of the conversation, and there are always ideas that stand out. One that immediately springs to mind from the World of Learning Conference, where I was part of a panel discussion, is Andy Lancaster’s statement that L&D should be considering the management population in their organisation as an extension of L&D. It’s obvious that managers have a significant role helping learning transfer into the workflow, but I had never thought of them as ‘part’ of the L&D department.
The role of the manager in ensuring that learning is applied is underestimated. It’s clear that people acknowledge this, and yet so few people in L&D take much in the way of proactive steps to enlist the help of the managers of their delegates.
The discussion was looking at how to integrate learning into workflow, and branched into how to ensure that people were applying that learning. Lorna Leesom reminded us of something we often forget. Adults are goal-oriented learners, so it’s crucial that they have a reason to learn, and then apply that learning. People go to work to do their job, and although it could be argued that learning is part of that job, most employees don’t think of it this way.
This reminded me of the old aphorism that ‘you can take a horse to water, but can’t make it drink’. Actually, if you put enough salt in the horse’s oats, the horse will want to drink, and that is that wanting that is critical.
Robin Hoyle, in his inimitable style, added his own expertise to the discussion and kept things flowing. For me, it all seemed to end so quickly. Several delegates came to our stand at the show afterwards and said they had got a lot from the panel discussion. A few even had some more questions, so those are some interesting phone calls coming up in the near future 🙂
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