Last week, I spent two days in Belgium including the beautiful town of Ghent, pictured above. The reason for my visit was to collaborate with my colleagues at Haldex when starting our e-learning efforts globally. Since they are subject matter experts and I have a background in professional education, including instructional design, we could find a mutual road forward. Frankly, I was so glad to return to the e-learning discussions again after spending years with intranets and the digital workplace. Then it dawned upon me that those two big areas in my professional life are merging, which I also wrote about in a LinkedIn post that sparked quite some interest.
The reason for this interest is probably since a lot of people also feel Learning & Development (L&D) is about to take a big leap forward in the coming years. People such as Jane Hart and Harold Jarche (see the LinkedIn post for their profiles) have long been advocating Modern Workplace Learning and Personal Knowledge Mastery as an integral part of working. Meanwhile, my focus the last years, the digital workplace, is taking big steps in this direction too. By using Delve for AI-driven profiles, Yammer for supporting communities of practice, and SharePoint to structure files so staff can re-use them, L&D and the Digital Workplace are merging. Add a modern Learning Management System (LMS) that includes modules for performance support and can be integrated into SharePoint, and you have a solid ground to stand on.
I used to work as an instructional designer, and now work as a communications manager with a focus on building a learning organization based on knowledge management and the digital workplace. I guess those professions will merge more and more and that the formal titles will mean less. No matter if you are an instructional designer, L&D manager, or communications manager, your role is to help others understand the world, work smarter and learn better. I so look forward to the coming years when much will change for the better.