By Don Sandel
The science that has indeed become our field has grown in acceptance. There is no disputing that. As a result of Peter Senge’s now classic argument around the “learning organization” or GE’s sagacious and decades-long investment in the John F. Welch Leadership Center at Crotonville, chief learning officers now fill many C-level offices.
And perhaps because of our own improved ability to show the return-on-investment in learning, the value of learning and development (L&D) has never been greater. Moreover, L&D’s stoic response to the current recession is encouraging because, according to the ASTD 2009 State of the Industry Report, average learning expenditure as a percentage of payroll has actually increased. There is also evidence that our confidence as an industry has recovered—in the second quarter of 2010 the Learning Executive Confidence Index reached “its highest value to date.”