In this weeks QuestionTime we hear from Andrew Jacobs,  Talent Management and Organisational Development Manager at London Borough of Lewisham.

An L&D professional with many years experience in the learning field. Specialties: People and team management, training design in different media, facilitation, evaluation, coaching, mentoring, management development, WYSIWYG elearning design, employee engagement, business focused learning solutions, people management

Andrew writes a blog covering Learning and Development, management, and other random topics – to follow simply click here 


In your opinion what is the biggest anxiety within the world of learning and development at the moment?

L&D is worrying so much about whether it has a seat at the table, whether it’s part of HR, whether it’s a profit or cost centre that it’s losing credibility with the business. The culture of navel gazing has started to diminish, but there are still many L&D professionals who are more focused on their activity than the business.


Who or what is informing your thinking around L&D?

I’ve always been a magpie and look for inspiration from a range of sources. Twitter is my starting place but also make sure that I’m gathering ideas from 50+ RSS feeds, contacts within all areas of education and from experts in digital, comms and business. 


What is the most exciting innovation on the horizon for learning?

The word innovation is becoming overused as people start applying it to things that are, more accurately, improvements. What I am seeing is more younger people able and willing to take on responsibility for their own learning and finding paths to information themselves. This excites me as it firmly places the challenge at the feet of the L&D function to be more innovative in supporting people.


What “game changers” would you like to see and why?

I think that the parts to changing the game are already there – social, meaning, gamification, technology, social, mobile, etc. The game changer will be the schema to take all these pieces, put them together in a coherent, sensible and low cost way. I’ve a real fear that the tail of technology is wagging the dog of the L&D professional at present. A period of pause and reflection is necessary so we can get back to basics of why we do what we do.


What do you think the world of L&D will look like by 2020?

Probably much the same as it is now. That’s only in 6 years time, and we have a generation of managers to move on within business from calling for courses and classes as a first option. We’ve  a generation of L&D professionals to move on from supplying these courses and classes as a first resource. We need to move the regulatory and statutory bodies on who expect a course or class as a first solution. We need to help technologists and providers understand that more efficient delivery of courses or classes isn’t in everyone’s benefit. Simply put, a child aged 12 now will be a school leaver in 2020 – will you still be offering face to face induction for them?


What advice would you give your 21 year old self?

Challenge more. Take nothing at face value. Invest time in learning about technology. Network outside your company and profession. Buy shares in Amazon.