Hi, LCD Community –

Wow, what an amazing week at #atd22! I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to meet with so many of you in person. For those of you who were unable to attend live, I missed you but hope to catch up with you live soon.

Being immersed in the conference gave me a snapshot of how much evolution leaders are driving more broadly. The level of strategy, modern thinking, and progress that you are making in the L&D space is inspirational! I am so grateful that Learning Cluster Design Group is a part of your journey. We are co-authoring what it means to drive modern learning in your organizations, with your teams, and within the L&D community.

Below are the few highlights that stood out over the four days.

Our Own Approach to the Conference was a Learning Cluster

Not surprisingly, we had our own Learning Cluster for ATD. The Social, Immediate and Formal learning touchpoints were sprinkled throughout the week. From our booth design to the learning activities we created, we engaged with attendees (and now you!) across many different touchpoints. Even after the conference, we have ways to keep learning together. It gave and continues to give us the opportunity to see how Learning Cluster Design Model has helped so many.

Social Learning

It’s a conference so social learning comes first and is the highest priority. We made sure there were many opportunities to build relationships, not just with us personally but between modern learning champions, too.

Starting on Sunday with the Designing for Modern Learning book signing and the LCD Offload and Networking, we had the opportunity to meet many new learning creators and further build our relationships with others.

Our booth was designed as a hub for social activity, including featuring guest speakers. Special thanks to Jess Almlie, Jack Phillips, Andy Storch and Dave Sayers for giving their time to share their wisdom with the LCD community.

We also hosted daily “Offloads” to give space for attendees to debrief their day and meet new people.

It’s not just about the social learning we hosted, however. We also built community at other events, including an external consultant gathering hosted by Elaine Biech, the ATD Senior Leaders Forum Networking evening, and Transperfect’s social.

Building deeper relationships was one of our primary goals and I feel like we knocked this one out of the park!

Formal Learning

One of the biggest highlights of the conference was an opportunity for me to consult with learning leaders on their modern learning challenges in a 20 min session at our booth. We had 11 leaders take advantage of this time and talked through challenges, including:

  • Digital transformation – tackling the last 15% that won’t adopt
  • Career transitions – designing a learning cluster for personally learning to a new role
  • Talent acquisition capability – a learning cluster to different personas involved in identifying and enrolling a quality hire
  • Modern learning – a learning cluster to introduce stakeholders to the new modern learning approach an L&D organization would like to undertake
  • Talent management strategy – how the LCD model can be used to develop an impactful talent management strategy across the employee lifecycle

I also had the opportunity to speak, hosted by EBSCO and the Accel5 solution. The energy in the room was invigorating and I was encouraged to see so many “ah-ha” moments from the audience on the issues with learning as usual and the big ideas that shift us to modern learning through Learning Clusters.

Immediate Learning

In the moment, we used Link.tree to share links about us and about our activities at the conference as an accessible-by-mobile resource. We also used tools like Calendly to facilitate and provide access to other learning assets.

Post-conference, we have assets to help remind and refresh on the learning when back on the job. Along with my speaking session, the guest speaker dialogues and their insights will be posted to YouTube soon, where you can learn the following:

  • From Jess Almlie and I, you can learn a new framework for bridging L&D with Org Dev.

  • From Andy Storch and I, you can learn perspectives on owning your career choices, rather than letting others’ points of view be your excuse for shedding accountability.

  • From Jack Phillips and I, you can hear how measuring collective impact starts with the collective, and then isolating to the individual learning asset.

  • From Dave Sayers and Jen Collins, you can hear how the LCD model has helped him tackle 56 change management initiatives and change on the job behavior. Dave and his team also won an ATD BEST Award this year!

Keep an eye out of those in an upcoming newsletter or subscribe to our YouTube channel to get them right away when available.

Some Unintended, Serendipitous Learning

One of the biggest surprises for me was where the social, formal and immediate learning assets we developed overlapped.

  • We had many people hear about our booth from other attendees and come over to learn more.
  • We had consulting participants meet one another and find they had similar challenges and feel less alone.
  • During my speaking session, it was fantastic to see the learning community we built throughout the conference show up – from those who had been aware of the model far before the conference to those who had just learned about it to those who didn’t know anyone or anything about it and dropped in.

Three Consistent Challenges

More than anything, we continued to hear three consistent challenges that many of you are facing and want to offer a bit of hope for a bright future ahead:

  • “Moving my organization to adopt modern learning is challenging.” We get it. Each team and organization is on their own journey to adopt modern learning. What works for one organization may not work for another. One suggestion is to create a Learning Cluster on why Learning Clusters to help shift the culture of learning within your organization. During the LCD Practicum, which is our best-in-class “learning by doing” training for upskilling on the LCD model, we’ve had multiple participants build a Learning Cluster on Learning Clusters. Here is 5 minute video on Emma Strong’s Learning Cluster on Learning Clusters.

  • “Moving to modern learning feels like a big task.” You don’t have to do it all, all at once. Perhaps you begin by leveraging the model for one of your learning programs. Or leverage the model to apply one or two Actions to an existing learning program. The model is not rigid. Let us help you figure out how to jump in where you need, apply what is best for your organization and then iterate as it makes sense.

  • “I don’t have the time or energy and it’s a lonely road.” You are not alone. So many have walked a similar path before. That is the beautiful thing about community. We can learn from one another and lift each other up. Last week I was reminded of the importance of community in our lives. Life holds so much learning and it’s those experiences that make an impact on ourselves. When we grow, the teams and businesses around us grow with us.

Whether you were at ATD or not, take a few minutes to write down how you are going to dedicate time and pull energy from others to help you along your modern learning journey. Fill your cup.

Thank you for letting me be a part of your journey. I am excited to continue this movement to adopt modern learning in your organizations and are committed to helping you and your teams reach your goals.

Crystal Kadakia

CEO, LCD Group