>L&D? That’s not what I do.

>A few things over the last couple of days have inspired me to re-think what I’m trying to achieve professionally. In reading the December issue of Harvard Business Review, a lot of articles in their resonated strongly with me about the need to look at the way a business functions and building the right support networks to help those needs. Be it a wellness programme, how to use social media to engage with your customers, whether or not your staff are allowed to use social media, or looking at what leadership looks like in your organisation, there’s clear discussions that need to be had about the best ways to enable any and all of those.

I shadowed an external trainer yesterday to gain an understanding of what he was helping a group to understand and achieve. The topic matter was straightforward enough and in fact we are well placed as a business to deliver this same topic ourselves internally. He used a few models and exercises to provide context and direction, but it’s nothing new or licensed to the trainer, he just saw a few good models from his career and is using them in training. Nothing wrong with that.

And I watched a video post by Nick Shackleton Jones about Affective Content and how we’re really only open to training when the right motivations are in place. This is a fascinating post about how ineffective learning is – be it traditional stock and trade, or be it e-learning. True learning for most people takes place when the emotional need is highly motivated. For example, when you start a new job, we often describe it as a steep learning curve, because we are literally engaging the brain to learn a new way of behaving. After a given amount of time though, this will plateau and any learning after this point will most likely come from on the job experience.

So what is it I need to be doing? Become a business consultant and advise how an organisation should be structured? Hunt down external trainers who charge obscene amounts of money for training that could be facilitated internally? Wait for employees to self-realise that they need to engage in some learning and then come find me?

Although facetious, those are serious and searching questions. L&D is now no longer about training, or about developing courses, or about how good a facilitator you are. It’s about sharing knowledge. Businesses are so busy in this day that a lot of departments have become siloed and worried about staying alive. Businesses have always been guilty of that in fariness, there just seems to be a greater lens on it at the moment. And that’s where L&D needs to really come into its fore. I don’t know everything, and I shouldn’t know everything, but I do know how to get the knowledge from Bob to Bert. And that’s what I do.