Now that the jetlag has worn off, I am reflecting on my recent visit from Scotland to the US where, amongst other things I attended the Association for Talent Development’s 2015 conference. Having attended previous ATD events, I was intrigued to find out about the latest trends and innovations. The conference was marketed as bringing training and development industry to life. The people and vendors that I met were fantastic and we had some great discussions, but the atmosphere felt a bit flat and it seemed like a number of key vendors were missing.
There was an abundance of tools, many which seemed to be taking a quirky approach and incorporating elements that were all about fun, but I came away feeling like it is time to bring the serious back to learning! Making things fun and comical language seems to be the trend, however the sector is in danger of undermining its credibility if we don’t get serious!
Leaders in our fast evolving sector need to consider the approaches we take rather than jumping on the latest ‘trend’. Tools are great, we all need them, but if you are looking to embed an online learning solution that truly brings positive change (no mean feat!) then a single tool is not going to be the catalyst for change. A blended approach, with an adaptable and flexible solution that truly meets the needs of the organisation is what enables L&D to enhance profit and productivity, talent management and cultural behaviours. It would have been good to see more vendors offering these comprehensive solutions.
The ATD is a great community with a vast amount of knowledge and willingness to share. The evening network event at Universal Studios was fantastic although the vast space to wander made networking in the traditional sense a bit tricky. We have just joined the ATD Atlanta Chapter and look forward to getting to know people in and around Georgia that are like minded L&D/technical champions.
After the ATD event I headed up to our office in Athens, Georgia. A 9 hour drive in 100F created a day that never seemed to end, even with air conditioning but more information on this part of the trip to follow…