Many years, children and grey hairs ago I worked as L&D Adviser on a Nuclear site. Whilst in this role I developed my passion for using technology to help me perform better in my role and in turn help others perform in theirs.
I attended every L&D-tech related conference, workshop, seminar, webinar (you get the idea) that I could – surrounding myself with like minded people.
We all had the same challenges. We all whinged about the IT department. And we all nodded sagely when people spoke about social, mobile, 70:20:10… You get the picture.
Gatecrashing The Marcomms Party
As my focus become increasingly tech focused I was moved into the Internal Communications team. Within weeks of changing roles I came to a startling realisation: The Comms Team and L&D were often trying to achieve the same thing; a change in thinking and in turn, behaviour.
It quickly dawned on me that Marketing & Comms were better at it than most L&D teams I’ve worked in! They were having a greater impact than many of the people I’d seen speak and had met during my many attendances at Learning Technology events.
They had, of course, been attending their own events… Had their own whinges… Nodded sagely in their own circles.
So I decided to gatecrash their party. And it’s been so worth it!
Breaking Your Bubble
Let’s be honest, many L&D professionals look inward toward their own field for professional development. While this approach certainly has its merits, it also has its downsides, such as: the likelihood of groupthink, reduced exposure to other disciplines, and minimized opportunities for thinking and acting differently to name but a few.
None of these downsides are sound ingredients for ensuring that you, as a professional, are as well-informed as you should be.
So what can you do?
Well, if you’re attending the Learning Solutions Conference in a few week’s time, you can join me for a session centered around ‘Breaking Out Of The L&D Bubble’ in which I plan to take a whistle stop tour of my ‘Bubble Breaking’ activities over the past few years. (Session ID: LS1007 Management and Strategy, Friday at 1100-1200).
I’ll share my experiences on how it’s provided me with fresh ideas, thinking, perspectives, and on many occasions, rock solid actions to help me enhance my own practice around areas such as content marketing, performance support, mobile, social learning and neuroscience.
Who knows what you might learn when you look outside the bubble!