Friday, April 26, 2013

The future of the Learning and Development profession

This is the question I frequently post to fellow L&D practitioners, whether that be online, at events or in my own team. It's a valuable question that contains a subtle assumption: that the profession will change and it does have a future, however it seems that the need for change is becoming urgent, as the pace of social media as well as individual empowerment and capabilities is hot on the heels of the greater global changes happening around us.

So what does this future look like? The Centre for Creative Leadership, through another thought-provoking newsletter, discovered that the role of "learning and development professionals within organisations will remain crucial. But those roles are likely to change significantly to focus on creating new structures and processes for development — so that people have access to the options and opportunities that matter most to them." Nick Petrie spent a year at Harvard talking to experts about what they see as needing to change, and the resounding response was to stop sending people on courses they don't want to go to. This sentiment goes to the heart of the 70.20.10 learning model, which states that 70% of our learning comes from 'on-the-job' or experiential learning, 20% from coaching, mentoring and feedback, with only 10% of our learning coming from formal, classroom-based programs. 

My fellow L&D practitioners agree that the future of how learning is conducted is squarely in the hands of individuals, who need to be educated and supported in taking responsibility for their own development. However, as Petrie discovered, "many people still have the sense that it is someone else's job to tell me what I need to get better at and how to do it."

Alongside this change to how people learn, the learning and development profession will undoubtedly involve building and maintaining systems and structures that support peoples' learning experiences. The question for our profession becomes:

How can we ignite the power of curiosity-driven, self-directed learning?

What do you think? How will people learn in the future? What is our role in this - to support? Connect? Facilitate? 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Gift of my Gran's Passing

I recently spent almost 7 days retreating from the world and spending the most wonderful time with my family after the death of my dear Gran. Of course, not the wonderful as in, heaps of fun and photos, but the kind of wonderful you get when you feel nourished, enriched and whole again. Gran's passing has meant that we needed to come together to remember her, and share our stories about her, and in doing so, we have added chapters to our own life stories.

The family connection and returning to one's nest is but one part of what Gran's death offered me, but with the death of a loved one comes a whole new perspective on life, especially if you've been caught up in the world of career, parenting, housing and being a wife, on the treadmill in a major city, battling traffic, runny noses, stale bread, starving chooks, hairy legs and a garden in desperate need of a weed.

So what has Gran's passing gifted me? The gift of non-attachment. Materially - "you come into this world with nothing, you leave with nothing" said my mum as we were packing up Gran's room at the nursing home. All her belongings, so much a part of her in life, were left behind. Emotionally - I have never come so close to death, my Pop having been the only other person who passed away while I was overseas when I was 12. But I faced death front on, holding Gran's hand the weekend before she died, telling her that it was okay to let go, that she needn't hold on any longer. Spending time with Gran in this way helped me to experience an emotional non-attachment to my own fate. That yes, we will all die, including me, my family, my friends. This is obvious in writing and intellectually, but is a difficult battle to accept emotionally for many people.

Finally, Gran's death propelled my spiritual growth which is a gift in and of itself. I dived into the spiritual classic, Sogyal Rinpoche's The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, reading and re-reading passage after passage on spiritual help for the dying, meditation practices for the dying, the practice of pho-wa and tonglen and the physical and metaphysical processes of death and dying. I felt honoured to have had this opportunity to practice my spirituality with my grandmother. The book is perfect for anyone needing help to come to terms with the death of a loved one. 

Yes, that's her on the couch with Archie, a photo I call 'the two fatties'.

How has the death of a loved one affected you? Have you had any exposure to The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying?

Friday, April 12, 2013

First Get Clear on How You Want to Feel

I am very excited to have purchased Danielle LaPorte's Desire Map! What struck me about this wonderful program and awesome chick is the simplicity of the idea: Instead of going after goals, hoping that you will feel a certain way, start with getting clear on how you want to feel in your life, and reshape your day, week, month, around activities that will get you to your goal of feeling that way.
"Knowing how you actually want to feel is the most potent form of clarity that you can have. Generating those feelings is the most powerfully creative thing you can do with your life."
This has really struck a cord with me and I have begun work in the workbook. When you purchase the program (if you do decide to - please use my links to her site as I am an Affiliate Partner), you'll get a whole bunch of cool stuff, including immediate access to the audio for both theory and workbook.

I will be sharing my learnings from my deep, soulful work that I will be doing. I've started from the beginning of the workbook (and am listening to her awesome playlist as I do, which you also receive), limbering up my soul with the first section being 'Rapid-fire starting.' The affect of answering questions here has been like a wake-up call to my deepest longings - I crave me time, feeling strong and full of energy, connection to like minded people, getting to yoga. Other than time or money, I want more of yoga, more inspiring others when I'm at the front of the room facilitating and delivering, and more laughter.

I really loved the question 'What do I do naturally, even though I don't want to?' This was a great question to help get in touch with strengths I possess that I'm not aware I had. Good one Danielle!

Things that bring me alive and remind me of who I am are inspiring music and videos, meditation, yoga, inspiring talks, when I deliver sessions that bring out the best of me and others, presenting something that I'm passionate about, seeing the faces of my learners as they experience fear, joy, confusion, understanding, acceptance.

What depresses my spirit: rules, boredom, politics, naysayers, mediocrity, global pain points (injustices to children and animals, poverty). People who are ungrateful.

So I've begun a different kind of journey to any that I've done before, one that is centred around how I want to feel in life.