This week again we have an international flavour to QuestionTime as we catch up with Tiffany Price – CEO & Chief Performance Officer at Prince Performance LLC based in Chicago.  Tiffany is a an experienced Change Practitioner and Leader whose expertise ensures global performance is maximized to enable the realization of strategic goals, through the alignment of capabilities and methodologies.

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

I see that our profession is at a cross road and is struggling with a perception problem. Now more than ever we need to be creative, agile and innovative with our solutions and not just “order takers” when requested to deliver training. As we know, training is not the solution for every problem (in fact, not for most problems especially by itself) so we need to act as a consultant with our customers, either internal or external, to identify the reason for the request or perceived problem in the first place. This will allow us to do a bit more analysis of the situation and uncover potential causes for this issue. These conversations can be tricky but if we do not become business partners with our customers, we will not be in business for very long ourselves.

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

I am highly intrigued by the resurgence in human performance techniques & methods. It resonates with me as building more strategic relationships with our customers. I recently read a great book by Clark Quinn titled, “Revolutionize Learning & Development: Performance and Innovation Strategy for the Information Age.” I highly recommend others in our profession to read it and there is a call to action which I am hoping more of us will join. I am also involved with a few professional associations like ATD (Association of Talent Development), ISPI (International Society of Performance Improvement) and LPI. I find that volunteering and getting involved with these organizations, I am closer to what is changing or better able to identify trends within our profession.

What is the most exciting innovation on the horizon for learning?
I am excited about the new research looking at neuroscience and learning. The better we know how the brain works and what works for our learners, the better we will be able to serve our customers to make the most of our recommendations. I am also excited about new models for designing & developing training such as SAM (Successive Approximation Model). I felt that ADDIE really needed a revamp to respond to the ever shifting scope and requirements from our customers. I was recently at a conference and spoke to a team that was struggling to keep up with new corporate software development and the team that were using an Agile methodology for developing software [which is developing the smallest viable product to launch and test to customers]. When I asked what method are you using? They responded we are still using ADDIE. I found it interesting that they felt no need to adapt even though they will never be able to keep up with their software team. This is because the software is allowed to change up until the end so trying to develop training after the software is developed will never work…it is too late. We just won’t have enough time. We need to shift our process and thoughts around how to accommodate for this new way of creating products and be more nimble because, let’s face it, we are not going back to the “good old days”.

What “game changers” would you like to see and why?
I would love to see more organizations understand and accept the value of human performance technologies. I was recently participating in a LinkedIn post around this topic and the subject was why do we have multiple names for essentially the same methods, i.e. HPE (Human Performance Engineering), HPT (Human Performance Technologies) and HPI (Human Performance Improvement). If we as L&D professionals are confused/not on the same page about the terminology, how do we think others will react or be expected to have a chance to understand? I would like to see the L&D profession consolidate our terminology (essentially pick one) so we can be better at actually doing the good work with organizations and not spending so much time trying to explain what it is in the first place.

What do you think the world of L&D will look like by 2020?
If you think about it, 2020 is not that far away. I think there will be more pressure to provide thoughtful, blended learning strategies for our customers. This will include virtual, social, mobile, eTraining, MOOCs, COOCs (which is the corporate version of the MOOC), and finally classroom. I don’t see the classroom going away but I do feel it will be more targeted and shorter. Gone are the days we can spend days on end offsite at a training center or hotel to deliver training. We will see a mix of modalities to best accommodate the learner and the content. I feel those who are creative and are sound on their adult learning principles will develop some amazing programs for their audiences.

What advice would you give your 21 year old self?
Learn from those who have been doing this for many years…they have the scars to prove it. Make sure you are constantly keeping up with our industry by researching and getting involved in discussions on social media. Join and volunteer for professional organizations. You will be amazed what you can learn and it is a good way to build your professional network. Have fun and find your passion! Finally, don’t be afraid to try out new things, some will fail and others will go according to plan but there are lessons in both.

You can follow Tiffany on twitter @Prince_Perform

Next week we hear the views and opinions of Paul Cliff – Head of Learning & Development at Surrey Police.