5 Trends for L&D in 2013 (#6TrendsLD) Webinar…Could a corporate library service be the answer?

Donald Taylor yesterday went through five trends for Learning and Development that acted as a nice lead in to the upcoming Learning Technologies Exhibition I blogged about last time.

Don’s 5 themes were the below:

  1. Globalization & big picture changes
  2. Integration
  3. Data
  4. The role of L&D
  5. Performance

It was point four which perhaps interested me most.  The suggestion was that the LPI Capability Map and survey results are suggesting a skills gap in the areas where L&D focus can be seen as moving towards (and away from course delivery)…

  • Curate (find/filter/interpret/share)
  • Community management
  • Performance consulting
  • Research
  • Networking and influencing

Now I do not think these are really unique to L&D, but they are interesting to me considering I have come to L&D from an information/education background.  Indeed at the most basic level you may well say that resource management and building a community around the recommended materials are what libraries have always been about.

There are parallels for others too, including marketing professionals who will be experiencing similar ideas in needing to manage a social network around the brand rather than standalone marketing campaigns, which might be seen as the traditional equivalent of a L&D learning event.  Other aspects would be generic to any industry – everyone should research where they are in comparison to colleagues, competitors, etc. with appropriate networking and influence for their department to achieve its aims.

The decline of corporate libraries is well documented, elsewhere they have survived through a focus on competitive intelligence, knowledge management or sector/client research.  The question then is does the current L&D landscape mean investment in a ‘library’ service could be worth an organization’s time and money?  The answer – perhaps not a library but certainly a clear manifestation of supporting learning via different mediums, suggesting different ways for people to develop in the way the business needs.

Finally, how best to do this?  It might be that a learning management system with embedded social features – treating people (and communities of practice) as a resource alongside courses, reading, videos, podcasts, etc etc. or other similar platform?

Capability models – useful structure in an unsure world

CILIP have recently published a new ‘Professional Knowledge and Skills Base‘ for uses including:

  1. Self-assessment tool for planning personal and professional development
  2. Demonstrating your skill set to employers
  3. Framework for in-house learning and development
  4. CILIP’s own course validation and standards processes.

CILIP are set to back this up with “some guides to different sectors” to show how the PKSB applies to different library and information roles across the various industries they appear in.

However, do such guides really help members identify their expertise or ignore the wider trend in a period of austerity and redundancies?

I would argue that these high-level guides are very useful to set out the areas involved in a professional identity, which can then be filled out with more detailed knowledge and skills specific to a job.  It should also help with the mapping of learning outcomes from development activities to ensure they are indeed improving knowledge or skills.

The problem may come with the proliferation of professional organizations as a result of disillusionment with the cost of professional membership against the independent opportunities available via social media and local activities.  The other issue is that as professional boundaries break down with new roles I would marry skill sets from, amongst others, CILIP, LPI and CIPD.  As such, perhaps the most interesting thing is the variation in approach between bodies.