This weeks guest is Alex Watson – Alex has been involved with and/or immersed in some form of training, learning and technology based work for the last 15 years and is now owner and Director at SQUISH Media.
In your opinion what is the biggest anxiety within the world of learning and development at the moment?
I’ve recently come out of working in a corporate environment to working in the Learning Profession for myself, so it’s been interesting for me to see how my own individual anxieties have mainfested. But I do think a big anxiety is fear in the world of L&D is almost of being seen as the Emperor with New Clothes, offering nothing tangible, nothing of real value, and nothing new. It does often seem like there is a fair amount of money for old rope solutions knocking around. However, its about working out people are going to need in a world that is so rapidly changing and so disparate. I think the anxieties within L&D are a mirror of anxieties faced in wider society. Economics, that kind of thing. It seems the L&D world is really invested in the corporations to provide for our collective future and I suppose there is a sustainability aspect to that.
Who or what is informing your thinking around L&D?
A lot of what is informing my thinking is 70:20:10 methodology. In terms of thinking about how people really do learn. Where can their there time invested most wisely and how do we make things as practical as possible? How do we keep learning experiences authentic? Also, although I seemed to have moved away from it for a while due to the nature of the projects I have been working on, but I am going back to thinking a lot more about the use of video as a learning and communication tool. Video is a powerful yet simple medium to master and distribute to a wide variety of audiences, whether inside or outside of a firewall.
What is the most exciting innovation on the horizon for learning?
I think the most exciting innovation, if people harness it well is we could call it ‘social’ but I’m going to call it ‘holistic’. People bringing more of their true selves to the world of work and life, and that combined with the technology could be really exciting and beautiful.
What “game changers” would you like to see and why?
I’d like to see more equality and diversity in the workplace. I’d like to see an end to workplace discrimination and improved organizational knowledge around cognitive dissonance. I suppose it would be interesting and the world of work and society in general might benefit from diversity of thought, and how that can impact innovation and contribute to providing solutions to challenges and meeting demands.
What do you think the world of L&D will look like by 2020?
We have things like google glass, augmented reality 3D printing. These types of technologies will affect some workplaces more than others. L&D covers a wide range of diverse industries and sectors. However, so pervasive is technology becoming in all our lives, I often think the question is not what will L&D look like…but what will we look like?
I honestly don’t know the answer to this, but I would like to think L&D would be part marketing dept. in terms of campaign spirit. Like a finance dept. in terms of thinking about cost efficiencies and planning. Like a Customer Services dept, in terms of customer and client focus and a little like a Citizen’s Advice Bureau as being a place to get support and advice
What advice would you give your 21 year old self?
I often wish she was here to give advice to me!! I would tell her to believe in herself. To listen without prejudice but to trust her own opinion as equally valid. Also, I’d tell her to get on the Housing Ladder asap.
Follow Alex on Twitter @s0ngb1rd – or check out her blog by simply clicking here
Next week we catch up with Simon Gibson – Director Learning & Organisational Development at NBC Universal inc