The importance of taking the time to reflect, connect and learn.
By one definition, the role of Learning and development is to “handle the learning and professional development of an organisation’s workforce; and to equip staff with the knowledge, practical skills and motivation to carry out work-related tasks”.
To L&D professionals, this role is taken on with passion, purpose and a desire to see people grow, develop and thrive…often though, the organisation doesn’t see it that way. Preferring to see their L&D teams as order takers, rather than strategic partners.
The discussion about how to get a seat at the table has been raging for decades, and will inevitably continue, however, what has been noticeable in the industry is a significant change in how L&D is viewed as a profession. L&D is no longer, the training component of human resources. Staff selecting these positions are choosing to join the profession, rather than fall into it, and in turn, the objective and scope for L&D across organisations, on the whole, has become more aspirational.
What is evident from the interaction ILP has had with its members over the last decade is that most are seeking, nay begging, for ways to improve their knowledge, develop their skills and re-invigorate their organisation’s (or their client’s) love for L&D, so that they can, in turn, add real value to the business, beyond the people metrics.
At the start of this year (2018 for those reading in the future), ILP partnered with Bellvista Studios to start an L&D Professionals Meetup in Brisbane. With the rise of social and professional networking events, Meetups provide an opportunity to connect and collaborate with L&D professionals who would otherwise unlikely connect. So naturally, ILP jumped at the chance.
Since our first monthly meetup in April, the event has evolved. From a more formal facilitated session, providing advice and expertise (from the group) on two or three topics, to a more relaxed roundtable mastermind, with attendees offering up questions to be answered by the group.
At our last meetup, that has prompted this blog, we recognised even more so, the value of our monthly connection. In 90 minutes or so, we tackled everything from “how to do you get a client to pay on time”, to “how do I get my supervisor to recognise the value of a L&D framework over ad-hoc training and development requests” and a lot in between.
This evolution occurred as the participants began to relax and recognise the Meetup provided a ‘safe space’ to ask questions, enquire, learn and to develop.
What was clear from this month’s meet up is that we all need people, mentors, friends to help guide us, share wisdom and learn. We all have a desire to learn and grow as professionals, beyond formal learning, cert IVs, diplomas and the like.
Ultimately learning is about transformation and the sharing of knowledge.
As L&D Professionals, we do this every day for our clients, but often, we can forget to take the time to learn for us. To take the time to reflect on our strengths (and weaknesses). To grow and find new ways of working.
Regardless of your level of expertise or years of experience, we encourage you to do this every day. To grow your mind, consider accessing content curation tools like #AndersPink to help curate new articles and information or subscribe to new #podcast. To grow your skills and knowledge, check out the #ILP resource page or perhaps join a #mooc. And, to grow your network and expand your views, join a #meetup.
The L&D Professional Meetup – Brisbane meets the 1st Tuesday of the month at the ILP Learning Hub in Herston from 5:45 pm. Click here to see the dates for all ILP’s Professional Meetups and Networking events across Australia.