Learning and development exists to improve workplace performance through learning.
L&D is there to help people get better at their jobs.
It wasn’t always thought of as having such a broad scope.
It used to be called Training, and it was only about delivering training sessions. The people at the front of the room were often called Instructors; their job was to be a font of knowledge – an expert in a specific content area – and to walk people through activities designed to transfer that knowledge.
This is a familiar model based on the schoolroom – and as most of us know through bitter experience, the “sage on the stage” model is not an efficient or effective way of transferring knowledge from one human to another.
Most of us recognise the wisdom in Mark Twain’s pithy quote …
I have never let my schooling interfere with my education
… especially since the development of the Internet that has brought so much knowledge (and nonsense) to our fingertips. I have learnt far more from a couple of hours on Wikipedia or YouTube than I did in several years of schooling, with the added advantage of not being beaten up by the big boys who didn’t appreciate my thick glasses and cheeky know-all wit.