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Our Top 10 Picks to Keep You On Top

L&D is an ever-evolving world and staying on top of it all can be a monumental task. But don’t sweat it, because Degreed’s got your back. We went into our shed, grabbed the pickaxes and shovels, and dug deep to find the best L&D articles, podcasts, and videos out right now. This top-10 list is jam-packed with insight, tips, and info to expand your mind and keep you ready for whatever’s next. And the best part is, they’re all free. Let’s dive in.

Read This

Harvard Business Review’s, “Great Businesses Scale Their Learning, Not Just Their Operations,” by Deloitte’s John Hagel and John Seely-Brown. Most learning strategies are built to share existing knowledge. However, more and more people – especially in white collar jobs – are spending most of their time at work on non-routine tasks and solving unforeseen problems. To counter, organizations should be shifting toward solutions that allow workers to create new knowledge. It’s not explicitly about L&D but it’s relevant to the purpose and role of L&D teams.

LeapGen’s “Digital Learning on the Road to 2020” report. LeapGen is a new, forward-thinking HR technology consulting firm who has put together a series of interviews digging into what the world’s most innovative companies are doing when it comes to digital learning. It’s a great summary of leading-edge practices and how they influence investment priorities.

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RedThread Research’s “Learning Technology Landscape: The Wild, Wild, West” report. RedThread is an up-and-coming research and advisory firm started by two of Bersin, Deloitte’s top analysts. This report is a simple, clear analysis of what learning technology vendors are offering. And it includes a simple framework for understanding how to categorize vendors based on how they help L&D teams do their jobs.

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Medium, “How Airbnb Democratizes Data Science With Data University” and “How Airbnb is Boosting Data Literacy With ‘Data U Intensive Training”. These two posts tell the story of Airbnb’s approach to developing data fluency across its workforce. What’s most interesting is how they highlight the emerging role of L&D teams. Airbnb’s Data Science team led the development of the curriculum and content, while the Global Learning team provided the tools — including Degreed — and guidance on the experience design. It’s a great example of how an innovative L&D team is giving power to what John Hagel and John Seely-Brown described in the HBR article above.

Listen to That

Deloitte’s Capital H podcast, Episode 3: Learning in the Flow of Work. The whole series is worth checking out, but this episode is the most attention-grabbing. Meriya Dyble, Director of Connected Learning at ATB Financial, has two great reminders. First, learning has to be connected to career growth. And to do that, L&D’s role has to be more than just supplying content. Second, learning in the flow of work is so much broader than just integrating learning systems with workflow tools like Microsoft Office or Slack. It mainly happens on the job and through interactions with other people — like getting feedback from your team or manager.

Advantage Performance Group’s Talent Development Hot Seat podcast, Episode 69, Managing a Global Digital Transformation and Connecting Learning to Strategy with Julie Dervin from Cargill. Host, Andy Storch, has interviewed 80+ top-level L&D leaders from a wide range of companies on their current challenges and solutions. Of the ones we’ve listened to, this one sticks out because of how Cargill, a very traditional company, is hyperfocused on accelerating the speed at which their L&D function moves. This is not your grandma’s approach to L&D.

We also recommend Episode 72, with BMO Financial Group CLO, Gina Jeneroux. In this episode, Gina — the only CLO we know of with a drone in her office — shares another great story of transforming “a pretty traditional, formal learning shop into a very different place, with one foot in today and the other in the future.” This episode stands out in covering everything from how BMO connects its learning strategy to its business strategy (spoiler: chandeliers) to how BMO layers business metrics on top of L&D and HR data to help make smarter “choices about where we go from here.”

Watch These

Data-Driven Learning Design, Lori Niles-Hofmann (Degreed LENS 2017). Lori, who formerly headed up instructional design at KPMG and digital learning transformation at Scotiabank, gives a great talk on how L&D teams can take the first steps toward more data-driven decision making by tracking and reacting to “digital body language.”

How Capital One is Architecting the Learning Team of the Future, Capital One’s Head of Enterprise Learning, Louise Welch (Degreed LENS 2018). Louise shares details about how Capital One — one of the 50 most innovative companies according to Fast Company — is reorganizing its L&D function, evolving existing roles and processes, and creating new ones.

The Infrastructure of Building Skills: Cisco’s Approach to Launching Degreed, Cisco Senior Manager of L&D, Josh Clark (Degreed LENS 2018). Forget the title. Like Louise Welch from Capital One, Josh shares how Cisco is reimagining and reengineering its L&D function, including adapting existing roles and processes, while creating new ones. How many corporate learning teams do you know with their own software developers?

The Playbook for Putting People First, McKinsey & Company Partner, Carla Arellano (Degreed LENS 2018). Carla shared McKinsey research and analytics to make a compelling case for how to link investments in talent to business value.

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