I’m very much looking forward to joining Con Sotidis for an #Ozlearn tweet chat on Tuesday 10th February at 8 pm Melbourne time, 9 am London time. Together, we’ll be discussing something that’s become increasingly important over the past few years: the L&D skills gap.
L&D, like many professions, faces dramatic changes today, changes with their roots in technological, economic and geopolitical shifts that began in around 1990. Like most professions, however, we are still largely equipped with structures, attitudes and skills sets suitable for the world as it existed before that date.
So just what is our current L&D skills gap? How short are we of the skills we need to be effective in the new, connected, global age? For an answer, I’ve looked at data from the LPI Learning Capability Map. The Capability Map is a description of the 27 skills of the L&D profession, arranged over 4 levels. Nobody suggests you need all 27 of them individually, but a department should certainly have access to them all, whether internally or via partners. (You can self-assess against the LPI Learning Capability Map here: http://bit.ly/LPICapMap. It’s free.)
Just 6 months after the Capability Map was made public, we published an initial report on the first 980 people who had assessed themselves against it (click to download the report). We are now preparing a 30-month report for March this year, based on some 2,000 self-assessments.
The results from the 6- and the 30-month analysis are entirely consistent and show that – perhaps unsurprisingly – the highest ranked skills are those in areas where L&D has traditionally operated, and continues to do most of its work, such as face-to-face delivery and content design. There are strong signs, however, that the skill of virtual/online delivery of courses is growing far faster than these traditional skills.
In contrast, some of L&D’s weakest skills are in the newer, but essential, areas of social learning and developing collaborative skills in others. Hearteningly, however, this also appears to be where we’re developing our skills fastest.
‘Communication, marketing and relationship management’ remains among the seven least popular skills, and yet to my mind is now essential for every L&D department and professional. The reason: it’s core to performance consulting – an essential facet of L&D today.
I cannot pre-empt the entire 30-month report here in the limits of a blog entry, but I am looking forward to exploring this topic in more detail with Con and his #Ozlearn cohort on Tuesday. Here are the questions that I’d like us to reflect on for our hour together:
1) What skills do you feel L&D needs for the future?
2) How do you know where you and your L&D department skills are right now?
3) Where do you see classroom delivery in 3 years? Will it be online delivery, e-learning, self-access resources or something else? Whatever it is – are you ready?
4) Does your organization management, workforce and L&D department view social learning the same way?
5) How do you currently handle communication, marketing and relationship management with the rest of your organisation?
Con, of course, is an expert at running these sessions and will provide the precise wording of these questions. If you’re in the right time zone, please do come and join us for a discussion about what I believe is an essential topic for everyone in L&D today.