The past few years have proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that learning and development leaders have to constantly adapt and be on their toes. Resting on past knowledge will set you behind, so you need to continually learn by keeping up with the latest trends in L&D.
A great way to stay ahead of the curve is by following well-respected leaders in the field—not just “experts” but people who have a unique perspective. These are people who don’t just retweet and regurgitate what everyone already knows; they push the envelope of learning theory and how it applies to business.
Here’s a shortlist of diverse L&D experts who provide actionable advice you can put to work right away.
Josh Bersin founded Bersin & Associates—now known as Bersin by Deloitte. He’s one of the top leaders in the learning space, and his extensive body of work revolves around topics surrounding the workplace, including talent management, leadership, technology, and the future of work.
Josh is a big advocate of the power of Collaborative Learning and was the first to conceptualize the idea of learning in the flow of work. In addition to sharing the results of his in-depth research and identifying learning trends early, he frequently offers detailed recommendations you can put to work to make your training more effective and engaging.
It’s easy to find Josh’s enlightening takes on the web—he speaks regularly at industry events, is extremely active on several social media platforms, produces a podcast, and blogs regularly on his own website and as a guest poster. He’s also a frequent guest on podcasts and webinars.
Naphtali Bryant has been leading L&D departments for over 16 years, and he’s currently the director of learning and organization development for Netflix. He’s devoted to making sure L&D is accessible and is known for helping leaders keep their teams engaged in the learning process.
Naphtali has developed a method for delivering training programs that he calls EASY, which stands for Engaging, Accessible, Simple, and Yielding to impact. At its core, it’s a guiding set of principles that ensures talent development is always serving an organization’s needs. He’s also devised an INCLUDE model that starts with examining the needs of learners to help course creators design and foster inclusive learning experiences.
In addition to sharing his wisdom on his LinkedIn feed, he’s an instructor on LinkedIn Learning and speaks live and virtually around the world, including at the annual LinkedIn Talent Connect conference. He also makes guest appearances regularly on webinars and podcasts.
Find Naphtali on:
What we’re watching: Creating Inclusive Learning Experiences
Jane Hart is a learning advisor, speaker, and workshop facilitator. She has authored a number of online books that tackle the topic of modern workplace learning, where she focuses on helping organizations and learning professionals modernize their learning techniques.
Through her organization Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies, she offers a directory of learning and performance tools that include instructional, content creation, and learning resources. She also surveys people from around the world and compiles an annual list of Top Tools for Learning. If you’d like to take a deeper dive with her, she leads workshops that instruct on how to support social learning and create a knowledge-sharing culture.
Where to find her:
What we’re reading: Top Tools for Learning in 2021 listed by category
Patti Shank is a trainer, instructional designer, and L&D leader who has won several awards for her innovation in the field of workplace learning and performance. Her expertise lies in studying learning environments and identifying what they need to make them flourish.
She writes prolifically about how to achieve better outcomes through evidence-based learning in the workplace and shares actionable, evidence-based tactics for improving courses through design. In her book, Write Better Multiple-Choice Questions to Assess Learning, she explains in detail how to formulate multiple-choice questions that accurately evaluate knowledge and learning goals.
On top of posting on her website and social media, she's a frequent guest on webinars and podcasts.
Where to find her:
What we’re listening to: Diving into Deeper Learning with Dr. Patti Shank
Jonah Goldstein is our Head of Learning at 360Learning and specializes in L&D, instructional design, and training needs analysis. We admit a little bias, but if you’re interested in learning more about Collaborative Learning and how L&D teams can structure themselves for success, he’s a must-follow.
He not only writes about companies doing L&D right on our blog, but he also hosts the CLO Connect interview series where he talks with other L&D leaders about what’s working, what’s not, and the latest trends you need to know. In addition to his work on our website, he shares tips on podcasts and webinars on the key skills L&D teams need to succeed.
Where to find him:
What we’re reading: How Opendoor Uses Peer Mentoring to Meet Learners Where They Are
If you’re looking for more insights or leaders to follow, you can apply to join our L&D Collective community, where we discuss driving growth and scaling culture through Collaborative Learning. You can also subscribe to our weekly newsletter below, where we share insights and tips from peers.
Discovering other L&D leaders to keep an eye on can also be as easy as asking your peers who they look to—just make sure to ask them why they follow someone and where that person’s specialty lies. In addition, you might be interested in checking out what the leaders above are following, so you can get a glimpse of where they get their insights and what interests them.