Today we launch L&D QuestionTime – a weekly series of interviews whereby we delve into the thoughts of learning and development leaders from across the community – we begin the series with Edmund Monk the Managing Director of The Learning & Performance Institute.


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

I would say the biggest anxiety is the fear that formal training could be diminishing, and the need for learning professionals to be multi-skilled is creating challenges. People involved in learning are now expected to be performance consultants, designers, virtual classroom trainers, analysts, and subject matter experts. If you are not prepared for change and not able to embrace the new learning landscape, this can cause a great deal of anxiety.


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

As always in learning, there are many great thinkers. Currently I am enjoying reading Daniel Kahneman’s “Thinking, Fast and Slow“. I also think Steve Peters’ book “The Chimp Paradox” can teach us a lot about how we learn and interact with people. There are some fantastically disruptive, challenging bloggers I make sure to read too including the likes of Julian Stodd, Sukh Pabial, Andrew Jacobs and Steve Wheeler.


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

Although it is quite abstract, the most exciting innovation for me is about empowering the digital learner. We live in an age where information is everywhere; it is disposable and varies in quality and reliability. Becoming a part of that emotional and educational transaction is key to learning professionals maintaining their indispensability. Learners will learn without a trainer more and more. This is an undeniable fact. Innovation has never been more necessary for learning professionals. Julian Stodd is a pioneer in this space and I would encourage people to read his book “Exploring the world of social learning”.


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

Again pretty abstract, but as learning professionals we need to force our way into the business. In the late 1990’s many trainers had fallen into the role as subject matter experts who were tasked with imparting that knowledge to others. A few years into the 21st century and many trainers were still delivering training with no measurement, or evidence of change. In 2014, as a profession we must ensure we can prove the difference we make, and become the engineers of performance improvement by embedding our work within business.


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

Employers will contract with high performing students using analytics to cherry-pick candidates; corporate universities will begin to fall away. Mass consumption of learning online will be adopted by many companies. Tuition will be predominantly in the virtual classroom rather than classroom. Examples such as MITX and TedEd will represent the future, providing access to key thinkers, and disseminating knowledge to the masses. Content distribution and appropriation will dominate L&D. Preference matching algorithms will be used to match personal skill levels with company skill level requirements.


What advice would you give your 21 year old self?

Keep going, never look round.


Follow Ed on twitter @edmundmonk


Next week we discover who or what is informing the thinking of Clare Haynes of Wildfire.

Would you like to take part?  if so simply email Michael Strawbridge (Head of Member Services) –