Many years ago, I was accused of not knowing the realities of learning design. It’s true that I’ve been in many ways a theorist, following what research tells us, and having been an academic. I also have designed solutions, designed design processes, and advised orgs. Still, it’s nice to be grounded in practice, and I’ve had the opportunity of late.
So, as you read this, I’m in India (hopefully ;), working with Upside Learning. I joined them around 6 months ago to serve as their Chief Learning Strategist (on top of my work as Quinnovation, as co-director of the Learning Development Accelerator, and as advisor to Elevator9). They have a willingness to pay serious attention to learning science, which as you might imagine, I found attractive!
It’s been a lot of marketing: writing position papers and such. The good news is it’s also been about practice. For one, I’ve been running workshops for their team (such as the Missing LXD workshop with the LDA coming up in Asia-friendly times this summer). We’ve also created some demos (coming soon to a sales preso near you ;). I’ve also learned a bit about their clients and usual expectations.
It’s the latter that’s inspiring. How do we bake learning science into a practical process that clients can comprehend? We’re working on it. So far, it seems like it’s a mix of awareness, policy, and tools. That is, the design team must understand the principles in practice, there need to be policy adjustments to support the necessary steps, and the tools should support the practice. I’m hoping we have a chance to put some serious work into these in my visit.
Still, it’s already been eye-opening to see the realities organizations face in their L&D roles. It only inspires me more to fight for the changes in L&D that can address this. We have lots to offer orgs, but only if we move out of our comfort zone and start making changes. Here’s to the revolution L&D needs to have!