Video Roundtable: L&D's Changing Role in the Organization

It's an exciting time to be a learning and development leader. The growth rate for L&D budgets reached a nine-year high and new technologies make micro-learning, mobile learning and other informal learning activities easier than ever before.

These technological changes usher in a paradigmatic change in the way in which people learn—from instructor-led classroom training to just-in-time, on-demand virtual learning opportunities.

Patrick Conway, chief knowledge officer at the U.S. Army Combined Arms Support Command described this shift as instructors moving "from a stage on the stage to learning facilitators or guides on the side."

As a follow up to our first-ever benchmarking report, we gathered three L&D experts—Conway from the U.S. Army, Beth Gates, director or global learning at Philips Healthcare, and Blake Melnick, chief knowledge officer at the Knowledge Management Institute of Canada—to discuss the findings on the report and how they're measuring knowledge investment at their jobs.

Check out the full video roundtable above. Below, we've excerpted a few choice quotes from the roundtable panelists.

-3:02: "We're being asked to do more with less—more with less people. We're being asked to invest in infrastructure and tooling to be more effective, but have less L&D staff. So it's a change in investment." —Beth Gates

-7:50: "I'm starting to see a lot of organizations using some pretty advanced-level technology to capture instances—maybe their faults, maybe their failures—in the field and translating those dynamically into the classroom, so the people in the classroom are working on the same things as their counterparts in the field." —Blake Melnick

-11:14: "The investment in some of these other avenues has got to catch up with the classroom instruction. Our instructors, as an example, move from a sage on the stage to learning facilitators or guides on the side." —Patrick Conway

-12:40: "Measuring knowledge is a science. There are so many factors that could disrupt the measure: gender bias, motivation, design of the instrument itself." —Beth Gates

-22:18: "When you're looking at the focus of learning, a competitor, for lack of a better term, is the other avenues that are available for an individual to learn from. A competitor, to me, is if an individual is able to access a social media tool and access that more fluidly and easily and learn within the context of that tool. Then, we are behind the power curve in leveraging that technology. What you'll find is our population will migrate to it." —Patrick Conway

-30:20: "We might just work ourselves out of the job. The L&D department is now tasked with working and embedding learning into the organization, taking it out of the L&D department and moving it back into a function of the organization's themselves. I do think we'll always have a place, but our jobs and objectives are going to change." —Beth Gates