Fiona Leteney is a member of the LPI, she has worked in the e-learning industry since 2000 in various multinational organisations.  Her focus has been on learning management systems and ensuring an organisation has chosen the right one according to their requirements and budget. Her views here are personal and do not reflect her current or previous employers.

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

Probably the biggest anxiety within the world of learning and development is how to stay or become aligned with a company’s business objectives. If it not an anxiety then I’d suggest it should be!   Many businesses think of L&D in terms of the formal learning and specifically the required mandatory or compliance training rather than L&D facilitating capability development to improve business performance. It is an ongoing battle to break this mentality both inside and outside of L&D departments.

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

Personally, I find that networking and talking to other L&D professionals informs my thinking; this networking can be either face to face or virtual on social networks, twitter being my preference. This information falls into two categories: the theory of how we think it ‘should be’ but also how in reality it ‘actually is’. The challenge is then bridging the gap and converting the theory into something practical that will work in our own organisations. As every organisation is different, the challenges can be similar but the ultimate solution will be unique.

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

When we get to the stage of combining the 70:20:10 model and the Experience API (AKA TinCan) technology  ‘naturally’ without the learner being aware that either exists, we might just have cracked it!

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

The game changer in my view is people having the opportunity to own and control their own DATA (whether that is learning, health or social). Currently, an individual’s learning records (data) is held by education institutions, qualifications boards or in employer’s Learning Management Systems. When we have the opportunity to own our data and add to this our performance data (validated skills and experience) we will be able to share this both formally and socially to our own and our employers benefit. We will be able to receive the recognition for informal  and external learning which could improve recruitment/promotion decisions, efficiency once in the role and enable the production more easily of personal development plans .

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

If the above game charger occurs by then, I would hope that L&D would naturally be part of the whole employee lifecycle with more integration with the business. Learning would be personalised based on validated and evidenced experience so there’ll be less sheep dipping making it more efficient. [I seem to remember hoping that e- learning was going to stop the sheep dipping back in 2000! Oh well, onwards and upwards!]

What advice would you give your 21 year old self?
At 21 I was on my first career which was engineering. I’m now on my third but would not change my journey! So my advice would be “keep going, believe in yourself and your choices, it will all pan out in the end. Follow your passions, don’t be afraid of making changes; ensure you enjoy life and the people you meet … your life will be fascinating”. Actually, it’s the same advice I give myself each morning!!

Connect with Fiona on Twitter @fionaleteney