CSTD Montreal Symposium

I will speaking this week in Montréal at CSTD‘s Symposium. Please note there are two Harolds as keynote presenters! My topic is The Future of the Training Department.

Here’s the set up.

Most training activity for the past century assumed that you could prepare people for the future by training them in what had worked in the past. Yesterday’s best practices were the appropriate prescription for today’s problems. That worked when the world was stable and things remained the same over time.

At this point in the 21st century, the game is changing. Complexity and our interconnectivity have rendered the world unpredictable. The orientation of learning is shifting from the past (efficiency, best practices) to the future (creative responses, innovation). Workplace learning is morphing from blocks of training followed by doing the work, to a merging of work and learning. Change is continuous, so learning must be continuous.

To justify its continuing existence, the training department must shift direction in three areas:

  • Embrace complexity and be open to uncertainty
  • Move from a Push to a Pull orientation
  • Adopt new frameworks to support learning in the workflow

I’ll be discussing a potential framework for the future training department this Friday.

One final thought. In the future, it will not likely be called the training department and may not even be a department.

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