It’s a New Year! Like most people this time of year puts us all into a mood for reflection on the coming opportunities. We like to look at every new year as a bundle of unopened opportunities that could change the way we work and manage our day to day lives. It’s no different for a community or even an entire industry, reflection allows us to think about the possibilities. The Learning and Development community, of all communities, understands the importance of reflection.

Learning and Development has been on a difficult journey for the last few years, trying to find its footing between talent management, operations, and even extended audience training needs. The business world has swung back and forth between elevating the learning function to the highest levels, down to outsourcing all but the most critical functions.

This year the focus for learning functions will be on solidifying their role as a conduit to business success – not through better program design, but through better infrastructure, information access, and adaptable learning opportunities. This new direction setting will be supported by some big issues and major shifts in thinking that we’ll begin to see in 2013:

  • Learning ecosystems become realities. It can’t be emphasized enough: the learning functions’ role isn’t to create programs and courses.
  • Understanding relationships becomes key. Organizations are going to realize the value proposition of relationships.
  • Tracking learning activities and experiences becomes the holy-grail.  Experience API (or you might have heard them called TIN CAN API, after the original project name)  is a standard that is worth watching and learning about.
  • Content Management takes on new meaning. This year you’ll see a resurgence in the learning content management discussion, with authoring tools, LCMS’s, LMS’s, and even marketing content tools all getting into the mix.
  • Big data will go more granular. As organizations look for real value from their LMS reporting that goes beyond metrics on attendance and registration, they’ll find the value proposition in more granular data.
  • Extending the Learning Audience – This year we will see an additional focus on internal learning functions supporting the needs of extended learning audiences and a growth in external learning tools and programs.
If you’d like to learn more about how these issues might impact your year of opportunities and possibilities, feel free to join us for our first webinar and open discussion of the year –New Year, New Directions: 2013 Predictions, where we’ll be sharing some in-depth research and insights on issues that should factor into your own new year planning. All registered attendee’s will also have access to our newest Research Brief 2013: New Year and New Directions as well.

Looking forward to seeing everyone and hearing about your own thoughts on the possibilities and opportunities for 2013!

David Wentworth

Brandon Hall Group

David Wentworth

David Wentworth has been a senior research analyst in the human capital field since 2005 and joined the Brandon Hall Group in 2013. He has authored reports and articles on various human capital subjects with an emphasis on workforce technology. He has contributed to several reports published by ASTD, including authoring Mobile Learning: Learning in the Palm of Your Hand, The Rise of Social Media: Enhancing Collaboration and Productivity Across Generations, and Instructional Systems Design Today and in the Future. His work has also appeared in Compensation & Benefits Review and T+D Magazine.

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