In this weeks L&D QuestionTime we catch up with consultant and LPI Fellow Jim Parish.

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

One of, if not the biggest anxiety that L&D must be facing at the moment, and it will get worse before it gets better is keeping up with new L&D developments and approaches. L&D innovations in techniques, processes and particularly technology to support learning (continuous and otherwise), learning development, learning management, talent management etc. As an example, only today did I come across the following example developed from the management of the ‘Bitcoin’ world.

There is such an array of ‘newness’ that it is virtually impossible to a) keep up with the latest techniques in L&D and the technology that supports it b) work out what is best for the organisation both in terms of effectiveness and budget. One idea is for L&D to adopt approaches adopted by other parts of the business, for example applying ‘Agile’ processes to L&D strategy and development and not sticking to a ridged strategy only reviewed every 6 months or a year. An ‘Agile’ strategy employed by L&D can ensure training services are constantly and consistently in line with business objectives and needs and at the same time, deploying L&D technology to add real value to the business.

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

I like to explore the Internet for new ideas and as well as belonging to a number of special interest groups including the eLearning Guild and Learning, Education and Training Professionals Group for creative discussion, I subscribe to Chief Learning Officer magazine from the US and follow the likes of Daniel Pink, his book ‘Drive – The surprising truth about what motivates us’ is well worth a read and Dr Patti Phillips from the ROI Institute who has done some great work on L&D ROI.

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

Today, embedded Performance Support. While the concept is over thirty years old, it is finding its way into main stream L&D now. With increased focus on ROI by Learning and Development teams and businesses seeking clear and demonstrable gains, the usage of Performance Support environments is finally gaining momentum. No one leaves training as an expert. Research shows that a significant portion of material learned in formal training – if not applied right away on the job – is forgotten. A performance support system can play a critical role in improving on-the-job performance after formal training takes place.

When designed correctly, a performance support tool gives your people immediate online access to the learning content they need, without ever leaving the flow of their work.

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

For me a real ‘game changer’ would be to see more L&D professionals coming from the business with organisations seconding their best people to L&D for a year or even longer, I say best people as without the business recognising the value of L&D as a real contributor to an organisations success it would just be the people they can afford to loose for period, the best will be able to work with the L&D experts to see what, where and how training, development and support can best be harnessed for the good of the organisation.

What do you think the world of L&D will look like by 2030?

My feeling is that AI and Deep Learning will be the platform for most if not all learning in the future. Learning, experience and performance support will be at your fingertips and available to every sense we have in terms of hearing, seeing, feeling and tasting. We can start to see the developments now with the likes of Alexa, Virtual Reality, predictive eLearning, embedded performance support, intuitive LMS platforms etc and with the speed of technological developments and skills 2030 will be a very different world for L&D than today.

What advice would you give your 21 year old self?

Embrace change and take opportunities when they are presented in both your personal business life and if the opportunity turns out to be a mistake do not regret it but learn from it. It is better to take the opportunity and learn, than not taking them and regretting that you didn’t.

About Jim Parish:

Jim is a decisive and articulate business professional committed to assisting organisations maximise business performance through innovative learning strategies and solutions.

He is a perceptive and practical consultant with good technical and client relationship skills, fully understanding the importance of good communication, listening to client requirements/need addressing these needs and building long term mutually beneficial relationships.

He has worked as both a L&D consultant/Project Manager and training technology business development manager for over 30 years and has experience of strategic and tactical learning and development management both in the UK and internationally (mainly Middle East and Africa).

Jim believes that the success of any change to process or system in an organisation depends completely on the competence and confidence of staff and management in being able to effectively operate within their new environment and that investment in effective change, training and performance support is imperative for achieving the required ROI. In order to achieve these levels of competence and confidence there is s requirement for innovative, sustainable, adaptive, responsive and economically viable learning and development strategy and organisation to support and implement this strategy.

Jim is also an Approved Accreditation Mentor at The learning & Performance Institute – further information click here

Connect with Jim via LinkedIn