So what's your area of specialization? Many of you might chime right in with, "Instructional Design!" or "Learning Facilitation!" And some of you, of course, might just laugh a little.
It seems I am always hearing about today's learning professional who, as part of their day-to-day work, has the fortune of doing eight jobs under one title. How does one even claim a single area of specialization when working in a department of one or two people? Conversely, perhaps you are a part of an exceptionally large department and hold a very specific role. Even then, you probably have areas in which you are interested, but rarely find the opportunities (or the time) to sharpen your skills and broaden your horizons.
So, just how can you heighten your performance while honing your capabilities—whether the you're one-person department or part of a larger functional team? Enter the L&D Community of Practice.
My job as the Community of Practice Manager is to find new and engaging ways to bring to community members resources on thoughtfully targeted centers of interest. At the same time, my goal is to expose people to some fresh ideas, emerging trends, and innovative learning solutions to implement in their organizations. Perfect example: IT training. Not everyone does it, but no matter your specialty in L&D, there are some lessons to be learned—perhaps from software or other high-tech industries.
Another way ASTD can help designers is with ASTD's ISD Network on Yammer. This network can really help this community dig deeper into areas of interest by enabling them to form groups around specific industries or topics. If you aren't already a member, click here to learn more and sign up!
Of course, you can control your own topic preferences, too. In fact, did you know that you can manage (i.e., reduce) email from ASTD? When you log in to your profile, simply click on the link “Manage Email Subscriptions” and use the sliders to indicate the Communities of Practice that are most relevant to you. It is that easy.
On a slightly different note, thanks for those of you who chimed in about post-conference buzz last month. It led to some great discussions. And July promises to be an excellent month on the L&D Blog, with, hopefully, something for everybody. Ruth Colvin Clark will be back with more evidence-based best practices, Willis Thomas will share more of his lessons learned about training project management, Sarah Wakefield will share technical training tips, and Chopeta Lyons will join us to talk graphic design for trainers. If you have any other bloggers to suggest, send me a note. I love hearing everyone's ideas—and I really do use them!
And lastly, for those of us celebrating in the United States, have a safe, fun, and relaxing Independence Day!!!