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What L&D Leaders Need to Know Now

Curating, upskilling, knowing contexts: the latest handbooks and guidebooks for organizational learning leaders.

What L&D Leaders Need to Know Now
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

We are all affected by the digital transformation and the shift to a hybrid working world – but the people who are currently being tested in particular are the ones who are supposed to ensure that everyone else in an organization can not only keep up, but also drive the change forward with profit. To help navigate the subject, we have summarized the latest guidebooks and present the most important lessons:

1. Stop Making Everything Yourself

Learning’s evolution away from the in-person, classroom and formal model toward a self-directed, blended, social and digital approach is well underway, learning consultant Michelle Parry-Slater writes in her comprehensive guide to the new world of workplace learning. 

Image of: The Learning and Development Handbook
Book Summary

The Learning and Development Handbook

Get need-to-know insights into modern workforce learning in this end-to-end guide for learning professionals.

Michelle Parry-Slater Kogan Page Publishers
Read Summary

While classroom learning remains the best approach in some circumstances, an organization’s overarching strategy should guide its approach to L&D. Parry-Slater advocates for L&D to be more consultative than prescriptive; more inclined to curate content than create it; and more comfortable with analytics, AI and measurement. Follow these basic principles:

  • Learning should align with and link to organizational strategy.
  • Executives, line managers and workers are responsible for learning.
  • Steer stakeholders to consider a range of interventions.
  • Start and end the process of learning design with evaluation.
  • Encourage social learning.
  • Consider all forms of learning and blend the best mix for the learner and circumstances.
  • Embrace digital learning; make it relevant and engaging.

Learn more regarding these principles in the following exclusive interviews:

2. Go Digital

It may sound a bit anachronistic after almost two years of the pandemic and virtual workplaces, but it’s time to digitize your training just like you digitize other business functions. Your colleagues need knowledge to understand change, and new skill sets to add value from it. Exactly what the mix looks like is very company-specific. What is equally applicable to all: a structured approach to find the screws that turn the big wheel.

Image of: L&D’s Playbook for the Digital Age
Book Summary

L&D’s Playbook for the Digital Age

Future-proof your workforce for the digital age.

Brandon Carson ATD Publications
Read Summary

Here is what you need to do:

Find out more about the details behind these bullet-points in two exclusive interviews:

3. Motivation Is Everything

To create a culture of learning, no classic top-down maneuvers will help. Empowerment and intrinsic motivation are much more powerful – and there are plenty of organizations that have already demonstrated how to ensure engagement.

Related Summaries in getAbstract’s Library
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Podcast Summary

Skills Obsession

You can enhance your salary and employment prospects with five hybrid skills.

Stacia Garr The Skills Obsession Podcast Read Summary
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Book Summary

Flat, Fluid, and Fast

Your best workers are on the move. Don’t be left behind.

Brynne Kennedy McGraw-Hill Education Read Summary
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Book Summary

Love ’Em or Lose ’Em

Treat great employees like friends you want to keep: Respect them, challenge them, have fun with them and don’t tell them lies.

Sharon Jordan-Evans and Beverly Kaye Berrett-Koehler Publishers Read Summary

The magic: Your people will be intrinsically motivated to learn a new skill if it improves their employability or salary. As Microsoft’s global general manager for talent and learning, Karen Kocher, explains in a wide-ranging conversation on RedThread Research’s podcast, there are five essential hybrid skills to keep people employed in an uncertain job landscape:

4. Setbacks Are Your Daily Business

Whether a business transformation is as minor as a new software system or as major as a merger, pushback and griping from the ranks is inevitable. Kathryn Zukof spells out what managers need to know about leading people through periods of learning and uncertainty. 

Image of: The Hard and Soft Sides of Change Management
Book Summary

The Hard and Soft Sides of Change Management

Change is hard, but you can manage it better.

Kathryn Zukof ATD Publications
Read Summary

She reveals the power you gain when you understand how and why people resist change, and she demonstrates ways to ease their fears. According to Zukof, managers make five common mistakes on the hard side of implementing change:

  • Not communicating the motivation behind the change.
  • Not grasping the complexity of the change.
  • Not asking for feedback from the right people.
  • Not considering the extra time and effort required by change.
  • Not adjusting on the fly.

To avoid these mistakes, here’s what you should do:

  • Break training into small portions – No rule says training must happen all at once and in one giant serving.
  • Plan training around short-term wins – Teach employees what they need to know for the next step in the process.
  • Set up hands-on training centers – Everyone learns at a different pace. For workers who need extra coaching, establish drop-in classrooms where they can receive tutelage and get answers to specific questions.
  • Tap superusers – Find a few workers in each department who can learn new software and help coach their colleagues.
  • Schedule training as part of staff meetings – Your employees probably attend weekly or monthly staff meetings – they are ideal setups to reinforce the teaching delivered during formal training sessions.

Learn more about managing organization-wide change:

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