At the Learning Technologies conference in London at the end of January, a panel comprising Donald H Taylor, Chairman, Learning and Skills Group & Learning Technologies; Charles Gould, Managing Director, Brightwave; Laura Overton, Managing Director, Towards Maturity, and Kenny Henderson, Head of Talent Development Operations, Sky, examined learning and development’s capability to support UK plc’s upturn strategy. It also discussed the role learning technologies can play.

The audience also had the chance to express their views, using live electronic voting.

Issues covered in the debate included the role learning technologies should play over the next ten years to help staff perform at their best; what technologies can help us step up, and whether learning professionals have the right skills to provide the required level of support to business.

According to the audience:

  • 55% thought learning technologies had a critical role to play in improving workplace performance over the next ten years
  • 36% thought social media / collaborative tools would be the technology that would make the biggest impact by 2020
  • 47% thought a positive learning culture was the most important thing to put in place other than technology
  • 31% thought Google / the power of search would be the trend from our personal lives that would have the greatest influence on workplace learning


Comment: ‘Vox populi, vox Dei’, of course but, in the sentiment – if not the exact words – made famous by Mandy Rice-Davies during the Profumo scandal in the early 1960s, ‘They would say that, wouldn’t they?’ A representative sample of CEOs, CFOs and other Boardroom giants would be unlikely to see things the same way as an audience of learning and development/ learning technologies professionals – and therein lies the learning technologists’ dilemma.