Summary of Revolutionize Learning & Development

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Clark N. Quinn, an expert on corporate learning, proposes a total revamp of the learning and development (L&D) industry. He identifies recent technological and social changes, and blasts the field for ignoring them. Calling for L&D to transform into “Performance & Development” (P&D), Quinn both outlines an idealized model and discusses practical issues in P&D implementation. Though at times wordy and wandering, his message is an alarm clock for the industry, a challenge to awaken and update where necessary, but without undermining learning that works. getAbstract recommends his change guidebook to corporate learning professionals.

About the Author

Clark N. Quinn, a proponent of technology’s role in education, is a principal in the Internet Time Alliance. He writes about innovative solutions to organizational learning challenges.



“A Call to Arms”

Organizational learning must not stagnate. In many cases, today’s learning and development (L&D) industry is relying on counterproductive practices and not focusing enough on improving performance. Many employees dislike tests and feel anxious or unhappy about performance reviews. A Learning and Performance Institute survey found that its members’ weakest areas – “coaching, mentoring and performance support” – are most crucial to training’s new priorities.

To be satisfied with a learning experience, people need to accomplish something concrete and practice it until they get it right. In fact, 97% of learning takes place on the job. Yet L&D practitioners seldom prioritize the need to support performance and provide job assists. At worst, they focus more on the efficiency of training than on its effectiveness.

Current industry myths contend that trainers should design programs to suit employees’ “learning styles”; that different generations need different learning approaches; and that everyone in the wired generation is a skilled technologist. Though L&D needs to progress, stakeholders don’t promise much help in its reform. Successful...

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