How Corporate Learning and Development Can Impact Mutually Meaningful Work Engagements, with Christopher Lind, Ep #53
44 min

Those who work in the field of corporate learning and development are uniquely positioned to add tremendously to both the culture and the efficiency of a company. Theirs is a role that equips and facilitates skill development for everyone on the team. When done right, it’s a role that can greatly enhance the mutually meaningful work engagements within the business.

My guest today is a corporate learning and development professional. Christopher Lind is head of Global Digital Learning at GE Healthcare. He is accountable for the digital transformation of learning and talent development GE Healthcare’s global commercial and marketing teams. His experience and his education make him the perfect guest to speak about the power of mutually meaningful work engagements in the wake of the digital revolution we are experiencing currently. I hope you join us for this episode.

Corporate learning and development is changing daily

If you’ve been in a corporate work environment for any length of time, you understand the role of the learning and development department. They are the people responsible to create and implement training for a variety of disciplines across the organization. If you’ve been involved in corporate training of any type you were likely participating in something the corporate learning and development team had its hands on.

But if that training happened more than a few years ago, Christopher Lind says you should probably throw away your concept of what it entails, because it’s likely changed.

Today’s technology has empowered learning and development (L&D) to a greater degree, enabling all kinds of learning environments and tools to take the place of long, in-person meetings that slow down work and in many cases are not entirely effective. Listen to this episode to hear the changes and challenges facing L&D.

E-learning and Digital Learning Development are different

When E-learning was first coming on the scene, most virtual or distance learning platforms were attempts at cramming the classroom into a PowerPoint deck as an E-learning course. For real learning to take place much more is needed. The classroom interaction and mentoring that happens in a live environment is missing entirely in that scenario - and it’s not what digital L&D is aiming at.

The digital approach to Corporate Learning and Development is about looking at all the different ways to achieve outcomes and adding to the existing approaches. Technology has changed the rules about how learning can be done and out of all the specialities within a company, the L&D team has a great opportunity to make use of it. 

At the core of great L&D is the ability to deconstruct what learning looks like with a view toward figuring out what elements of the education process work and what aspects need to be modified or removed. It’s about doing everything better so that team members can be better equipped and bring their unique skills to their work.

Current trouble spots in the way corporate L&D is done 

Christopher says that many Learning and Development practices are not effective because those leading the way get caught up in tactics and delivery platforms, forgetting what they are trying to achieve and how they are going to achieve it. In his words, “If you don’t know what you’re aiming for, there’s no way you’ll be able to hit it.

When L&D practices are stuck in the past or focused on the wrong things rather than accurately assessing the outcomes needed to meet company goals, another gap opens up - L&D begins to miss the need people have to engage in actual experiences that facilitate learning. This happens because Learning and Development has its origins in academia, so many of the methods commonly used in the classroom are what are still implemented in L&D programs. That means they are often content focused - which doesn’t provide the hands-on experiences that are effective and needed.

With the digital age comes many challenges for L&D

When it comes to mutually meaningful work engagements, the Corporate Learning and Development arena has unique challenges to address. Many people who were previously happy working in Learning and Development roles are finding that the advent of digital is causing them to lose their enthusiasm for the roles they fill - because the nature of those roles is changing.

For example, Christopher says that many people got into L&D because they didn’t like technology - and now they can’t avoid it as digital becomes more and more critical to how L&D does its work. 

Another challenge L&D faces is the stereotype that “learning people” are a certain way or that those who work in the realm of corporate L&D have a limited or specific skill set. Digital has expanded the needs of L&D exponentially. It is now one of the most dynamic and diverse industries there is. Designers, data analysts, instructors, and more are needed as part of a growing L&D team - and the rewarding nature of these roles could bring greater job satisfaction to many who are looking for a more people-oriented or personally satisfying role within their company.

Join me for this great conversation with Christopher Lind, on this episode of The Development Exponent.

Outline of This Episode
  • [1:03] Getting to know Christopher Lind
  • [5:20] How parenting 5 children relates to Learning and Talent Development
  • [6:50] Who is the targeted customer of an L&D professional?
  • [9:10] The most needed but missing things in L&D 
  • [23:45] How Learing and Development is one of the most dynamic industries
  • [27:25] A defining “toe to toe” moment in Christopher’s career
  • [33:40] Data shows how L&D can help provide mutually meaningful work engagements
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