Simple question - if you're working in Learning and Development today, what are the three key skills that you need? Once upon a time maybe there was a simple answer to this question - today, I'm not sure there is.

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Good one. and yes, I had assumed that too. That it went without saying..... are we wrong to make that assumption? I recently worked with someone who had the title of Learning & Development Manager 'for the world', yet knew very little about learning theory and what's more didn't want to hear it, however much there was a track record within the firm to prove it was key to the success of projects.
Hi Jonathan,

The trouble is that, in my experience, you can't assume that learning professionals have that understanding...


And that's the scary thing! You wouldn't expect a Doctor to have inadequate knowledge so why allow L&D people to operate without some form of learning knowledge?

That said, I've also come across people who've had little in the way of learning theory behind them who have made excellent managers. They rise above the theory in the knowledge that other members of their team will deal with this. They focus on the needs of the business and this, in my view, is always where we should start.
Agreed totally. That works when there's a team of people working to design a solution, led by a business-focussed manager.
Not in any particular order:

> Don't be afraid to challenge and change the way you are doing things now.
> Putting yourself at the receiving end of what you're providing for your users - would you honestly be happy with it?
> Don't stifle creativity. If someone wants to try something in a different way, encourage them.

For me the three are:-
1. Talk and deliver Performance and not Training
2. The ability to deploy learning pull rather than training push, and
3. The ability to engage stakeholders within the operation

This is all about how to integrate learning and work and creating an environment in which people really do work smarter!

There's an interesting corollary to this question - what are the top three skills that an L&D Professional needs to unlearn!
Great final question Alan!

My response to the top three skills L&D Professionals need to unlearn would be:

- That your perception of how the learning/training should happen is the 'right' way

- It's not 'us and them' we are learners too! Always try to walk in the shoes of the learners

- If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got. Be open to doing things differently.
Open your heart and mind to effective learning across lots of ways: traditional and via social
networking: don't feel threatened by it, but rather learn to embrace it.
Hi Don

I agree with you that this is no longer simple. My understanding of the future L&D professional is
1) A business analyst who can partner with line to identify learning issues in the context of business priorities
2) A process driven strategist who can translate identified needs into a learning value proposition that utilises the full range of modalities and platforms now available to the profession and which has clear business impact. This isncludes a new range of expertise for the professional - that of being technology savvy
3) A creative person who is able to convert (self or others) necessary content from line and SME's into exciting, relevant delivery that addresses the learning styles and preferences of the target audience
Not so simple, but I would say;

Flexible - Be able take on a variety of tasks.

Analytical - Be able to research, assess and evaluate different requirements.

Creative - (which can conflict with the above). Be able to add flair and interest to learning and development, after all, often it is not just the content, but the presentation that counts.

I was originally going to say, the ability to take an holistic approach, but that I guess could be kind of saying everything.




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