Employee & Professional Development Ideas from the CLO Breakfast Club

At the Chief Learning Officer's recent Breakfast Club event in Boston, I had the opportunity to hear about the challenges facing Learning and Development leaders today. The key lessons of the morning were summed up, for me, in an incredible quote from roundtable participant and Pluralsight CEO Aaron Skonnard: "The only sustainable competitive advantage is your ability to learn faster than your competitors?"

It may seem a difficult task to create the kind of learning culture that begets a competitive advantage and creating a business culture is an ongoing process. But the event's discussion also identified some important ideas for leading an evolving employee learning and professional development function in the 21st century.

Tips for Employee & Professional Development

  • Plan learning for the challenges you'll face tomorrow, not the ones you faced yesterday.

  • Our businesses are evolving rapidly, and the impact of globalization and a customer-centric mentality are profound. It's important to think forward to new challenges instead of crafting learning and employee development opportunities that address historic problems.
  • Take advantage of the powerful ways new technology enables learning opportunities.

  • The internet and social media allows each employee to customize learning to their own unique schedule, and helps people adapt new ideas to their learning style. These are wonderful, powerful changes, and the best L&D teams actively leverage technology for learning and development opportunities, whether it is formal or informal.
  • Actively look for ways to engage your middle 60% in learning.

  • High-potential employees often create their own learning opportunities, but businesses need to engage everyone in their workforce to see the maximum results from their investment in learning and development.
  • Redefine "learning."

  • Building on the way technology has expanded the definition of learning beyond traditional classroom experiences as well as the need to engage everyone as a learner; we should redefine what it means for employees to learn at work and recognize the learning opportunities that happen all around us. For example, following a leader on Twitter is a form of one-to-many mentorship, and can provide small learning opportunities every day for better professional development.

Inspire Employees with Opportunity

As we build tomorrow's engaged workforce, the theme of the CLO Breakfast Club was clear: Everyone has a responsibility to learn, as well as the responsibility to teach for better employee development and knowledge transfer. The most impactful learning and development leaders will be the people who actively educate, empower, and excite their teams to learn and teach every day.

Written by: Bright Horizons Blog Editor

About the Author

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The Bright Horizons Blog Editor frequently posts on the real solutions that meaningfully support employees, advance careers, and drive the world’s leading brands. The Editor curates the latest news, trends, and challenges facing HR pros because your time is scarce. Follow the Bright Horizons Blog to receive this insight in your inbox.