4 Corporate Learning and Leadership Development Trends for 2014

4 Corporate Learning and Leadership Development Trends for 2014

I had the privilege this week of attending another outstanding conference orchestrated by the Human Capital Institute – their annual Learning and Leadership Development Conference in Boston.  As I reflected on all the great conversations from the event on the flight back to San Diego, 4 learning and leadership development trends emerged for professionals in 2014.4 Corporate Learning and Leadership Development Trends for 2014

1.       “The conversation is the content.”

This simple statement from panelist Ellie Gates, Head of Global Management Effectiveness & Learning Strategy at Adobe, really resonated with the audience.  Ellie continued by saying that L&D professionals must create an environment that encourages real conversations on actual business issues among leaders, rather than simply providing content and curriculum.  The learning medium has changed and experiential methods have taken center stage.

2.       “We must explosively change the learning model – we should provide context, not content.”

Sandra Edwards, Senior Vice President of the American Management Association Enterprise, kicked off day 1 with these thoughts.  Again, the focus moves away from simply providing great content for organizational learning and more towards providing a learning model that allows for continuous, ongoing and applied learning provided within the context of the business.  Further, Sandra argued, we should introduce measures of job performance and impact on the business, instead of superficial learning satisfaction surveys.

3.       “What can happen if we have a healthy disregard for the impossible?”

Google’s Suzanne Martin inspired us by asking this question and encouraging learning professionals to seek “moonshots” or “10x thinking” when designing new programs.  As you might expect, Google strays from the traditional learning model by encouraging peer-to-peer learning as a primary method of employee development.

 Suzanne highlighted that ideas can come from anywhere in the organization, and this kind of thinking is what engages and motivates employees to be creative, seek new ways of solving problems, and will ultimately keep Google at the forefront of innovation.

4.       “L&LD professionals should encourage healthy interactions among leaders.”

HCI’s Chief Learning Officer Dave Forman always provides incredibly clear and concise observations at these events, and this time was no exception as he shared his top 3 themes and trends he expects to see more of in 2014.  Not surprisingly, Dave’s areas of emphasis aligned well with the central themes from the conference:

      • Collaboration

Companies must seek new ways of encouraging and rewarding collaborative efforts – both through technology and everyday personal interactions.  Those who successfully weave collaboration into the core of their organizational culture will enjoy better outcomes.

      • Peer-to-peer learning

Establishing methods and measures of peer-to-peer learning will serve today’s organizations well.  Several other speakers and panelists touched on the value of the knowledge that already lies within the organization – L&D professionals simply have to find a way to leverage that knowledge to the benefit of the team.

      • Relationships

As leaders collaborate and share more with each other; they will undoubtedly build stronger social ties.  This increase in social and relational capital will serve them well as they move through the organization and lead into the future.

It was certainly an inspiring and engaging couple of days, and it was nice to see how the conversation has shifted to a more holistic view of developing leaders through improved communication, stronger relationships, and thinking big!

Category: Leadership Talent Management


Avatar About the Author: John Ruzicka

John Ruzicka is the Manager of Senior Executive Programs for Vistage Inside.  Prior to joining Vistage, John was with the University of San Diego, where he spent five years mar…

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