Learning Cuppa from the UK
Hi everyone this is my first post and I’m really pleased to be part of Learning Café. I hope to bring you a view of things that are happening in the UK L&D world. In fact I hope to write about anything that might interest and generate discussion with fellow L&D professionals. So here goes, I should start by saying I love Twitter and use it a lot, although I’m not quite an addict (honest)! I find a lot of great information around learning and education, technology, gadgets and I find most news items of interest via this channel. I also connect with a lot of fellow L&D professionals through Twitter which I really enjoy doing as it’s helped me develop and further my own knowledge as well as develop great relationships with some fantastic characters and experts in different fields. If you’re on Twitter, I’m @mikecollins007 – it would be great to connect and share.
So what’s a hot topic in the UK? Well there was a lot of interest from my network surrounding the press release from the Institute of IT Training (IITT) earlier this month. The press release stated that on the 14th September the IITT would complete a planned name change to become the Learning and Performance Institute (LPI). The response from the L&D community within my network was overwhelmingly positive with lots of re-tweets and replies to that effect. The official launch will be at Learning Live on the 14th September. Sadly I’m not attending as I’m on holiday and fitting a bathroom (another new learning experience).
So what’s prompted the change?
Learning and Performance Institute Chief Executive Colin Steed has said of the change “For IITT members, becoming the Learning and Performance Institute is about being part of a body which is transforming itself to meet the needs of today’s learning professional.” Colin goes on to say “The industry is constantly changing, and in the midst of the economic climate, the speed of change has never been greater. As an institute it’s our job to keep one step ahead and bring our members along with us – that’s what we intend to do.”
So what does this mean?
For some time I’ve been reading articles and blogs from industry professionals, like Jane Hart on the role of L&D and it’s ability to demonstrate the impact (or lack of it) they have on organisational performance. In my time in L&D I have been involved in a name change myself from being in a Training & Development team to becoming a Learning & Development team. This was evolution really from a team who’s primary focus was on event based training to a team that focused on supporting learning as a process, of course in both cases the outcome of the training or learning was still some sort of individual development or change in behaviour. This development or change in behaviour would then (ideally) lead to better performance and in individuals being able to do their jobs more effectively. From a business perspective the key word of course is performance, it’s a word that is synonymous with business strategy and objectives and is a word that explicitly means something to the Chief Exec down to the first line managers. Learning and development are of course important words to any business but open to interpretation in terms of what the outcomes are going to be, and subsequently can be much harder to measure and provide hard evidence for. Learning and Performance however leaves you under no illusion that the outcome of any learning activity will impact on performance and therefore could be measured in similar ways to traditional performance metrics meaning L&D could ‘prove’ they are adding more value? So is this the next phase of L&D evolution and does it go much deeper than just performance metrics?
In my opinion this change in name does embody and signify a shift in thinking from a major player within the industry. For the IITT to change their name to the Learning & Performance Institute not only publicly supports this thinking but advertises this shift in thinking to the wider L&D world. A bold move and one that I think demonstrates a clear shift in strategy and focus from the Institute. That said, a change in name could be viewed as a relatively superficial change and the cynics amongst us could even go as far to say this is purely a marketing ploy by the institute to gain new ground with a newer and younger audience. What ever your views I am looking forward and very interested to hear from existing members what this change actually means for them and the benefits it brings. It might take time for this change to filter through but I expect the institute will outline what this means for its’ members and what they can expect from the LPI at Learning Live on the 14th September, so watch this space (or follow the hashtag #LearningLive on Twitter on 13th/14th September)!
What do you think of the change in name and what this signifies (or doesn’t signify) for its’ members now and in the future? Is this a sign of things to come in other Institutes or Professional Bodies or even something you can see happening within organisations? Could you see your L&D team become the L&P team? Be great to hear your views…