Many industries are in the throes major disruption. There were plenty of people who saw it coming and prepared themselves and their organizations. They are not only still in business today, they are thriving. Others saw it coming and thought that waiting until the dust settled would help them avoid any risky ventures that could tank their business. Others still do not see it happening and are locked into a state of ‘getting the job done’ and are not aware that the world around them is changing rapidly.

Staying ahead of the ‘trending’ curve will keep you relevant and your skills sharp. Learning to recognize ‘trends’ from true change provides valuable insight in preparing organizations for the future.

Where are you? Are you prepared and moving forward with vigor? Are you still a bit cautious and are waiting to see if the latest ‘trends’ will pass? Or are you so busy doing your day to day tasks that you don’t have time to acquire new knowledge, learn new skills or see the rapidly changing landscape in the world of learning?

For decades the role of the instructional designer has been to create formal learning experiences. The way we have done that has not changed much. We have tweaked it around the edges to make it more ‘engaging’ rather than knowledge based. We have talked for the last twenty years about how to make it performance based and measurable, but that was only at conferences or sometimes around the water cooler.  In case you haven’t had time to step outside the production bubble, all that talk is becoming reality, finally!

Here are some of the latest headlines from CLO in their webinar series of “how to’s” :

Prove the Impact of Your Learning Programs

How will the Fourth Industrial Revolution Impact HR and Learning & Development in the Future?

Here is a Webcast from Leo Learning

Leading the learning revolution

A Full Conference Devoted to Analytics: Corporate Learning Analytics (A New Membership Group)

What’s new and trending in Corporate Learning Analytics? Discover all the latest techniques and technologies at our event. For the past four years, CLA has helped organizations large and small overcome their inertia to learning measurement.

Elliott Massie Webcast:

Learning Trends and Realities with Elliott Masie and Dave Barone

A New ATD Certificate Program

ATD Master Performance Consultant

This is just a small sampling of all the information that is out there defining the future of learning. I received these in my inbox over the course of three days.

In the late 1990’s I embarked on a journey to create a distance learning program for people using voice recognition technology because it was not cost effective to train individuals one at a time in remote areas. The program eventually was patented and is still used widely today. In the early 2000’s, online learning became a widely used means of delivering learning.

I implemented one of the first learning management systems (LMS) in 2005. The LMS has undergone rapid change over the years and is still a key piece of most organizations’ learning programs. I continue to work with a multitude of vendors and implement their technology.

I went back to school in 2008 to learn more about the world of gaming to ensure my knowledge of how to build effective learning using games was up to par before the rush to incorporate gaming in to the corporate learning space was introduced.

From about 2010 – 2015 I slowed down my attendance at learning conferences because I got tired of hearing people talk about all the new and innovative ways to create meaningful learning and not seeing much traction back in the workplace.

I have spent those years and many more fine tuning all the skills I had developed over the years and experimenting with various implementation in my own environment and at various workplace locations to iron out the wrinkles. I have been actively involved in writing about the future of learning and delivering workshops to prepare interested instructional designers for the coming tsunami of change in the learning world.

We are finally here. We are in the midst of disruption and change. I have since switched my focus from helping organizations to helping individuals who truly want to learn more about the future of learning. I am not an industry giant, a PhD educated individual, nor do I have any special credentials. I have gained all my knowledge in furnace of affliction and in the real world of the workplace. I am not an expert. I am your peer. I am not here to teach you anything, I am here to share your journey and collaborate with you as you navigate the turbulent waters ahead. I will share the vast amount of knowledge and experience I have acquired and will get down in the trenches to help you problem solve and propose solutions. I will walk the path with you.

I took this path because I believed strongly— and still believe—that learning is a noble cause. It is learning that has enabled human civilization and growth. It is learning that enables individuals to excel and thrive. It is learning that holds the promise of the future. If learning is so important and our task is such a noble one, don’t we, as learning professionals, have an almost sacred responsibility to do our jobs well?  Will Thalheimer

Join me on my journey to creating a culture of learning because a culture of learning IS not a trend. It is the future of learning. Together we can define what that looks like for you, your organization or the groups with which you work.

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