Three people with one vision for learning

In this month’s “Stimulearning” magazine, you can find my article on the L+D Talks that took place in October of this year, translated into Dutch. I wrote about the event and the content of Charles Jennings’ and Donald H Taylor’s speechs. Kristof wrote about Manon Ruijters. This post delivers the English translation of my part… Enjoy!


In the last few years, there has been somewhat of a revolution in the learning world. Training professionals are repeatedly being told that training doesn’t necessarily lead to learning and that learning is not only about training. The possibilities are infinite to help people build their competence at work.


Donald H Taylor says is time to change. If learning professionals continue to sit in the training ghetto, moving more slowly than the world around them, they will eventually face extinction when they could have been driving the organisation forward. The major changes in technology and how knowledge is handled have created a new environment with new demands; demands which it seems the learning profession itself admits to not being able to face today, and which organisational leaders claim indispensable to achieve the growth they need to face the challenges of tomorrow.


In the September issue of the StimuLearning magazine Dr. Manon Ruijters, a consultant at Twynstra Gudde, already underlined that we need to stop focussing on pushing training and formal learning to people and focus instead on creating conditions in which people can bloom. Our obsession with creating standardised professionals (who tick all the right boxes in the competence framework) must develop into a more holistic vision that pulls up and supports on-going learning from the ground up. Supervisors and employees must learn together what is right and wrong, what works and what does not and the ways in which we can develop. The role of the learning professional must therefore evolve into a more conversational style, supported by effective workplace support and encouragement that can take best learning practices from everywhere for the benefit of the whole organisation.


Charles Jennings says that learning is a far more diverse activity than training professionals have suggested in previous years. Only 10% of workplace learning actually happens via formal intentional organised education sessions that are structured by someone other than the learner; 20% of learning happens via our non-formal interactions with other people; the other 70% on a day-to-day basis (sometimes without intention) through our experience of day-to-day tasks, challenges and practice. Yet in contrast, the majority of our learning budgets remain driven towards creating learning tracks that seek to deliver competence to the learner in a formal way: Training, e-learning and such. If we want to reap the potential benefits of the full 100%, L+D people need to focus more on creating and supporting learning environments that capture and support learning through social exchange, work narration and a plethora of other work-based media and approaches.


With these three visions of learning, the singular message is clear: We need to do things differently. That was the subject of the Stimulearning L+D talks in October…




About Dan Steer

Wandering corporate trainer, learning and development consultant, conference speaker and professional El-Magico. I help people get better at stuff by creating and facilitating Infinite Learning © opportunities. The world would be a better place if everyone was doing what he loved and doing it well. I am working to bring out the "El Magico" in everybody. Training in presentation and communication skills, leadership, social media for learning and marketing, learning and development management + personal effectiveness.

Posted on December 13, 2013, in Learning Management and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: