Leadership in learning development: who & how?
Learning Development (LD) as a profession is predicated upon the values of collaboration and partnership, sharing practice and critical self-reflection. Working within this ethos, it can be difficult to recognise ourselves as leaders – particularly when the idea of leadership is often tied to line management, and promotion often results in movement out of learning development altogether. How, then, do we recognise leadership in learning development, much less embrace it for ourselves?
This presentation outlined findings, derived from interviews with 20 self-selecting members of the LD community, about conceptions and perceptions of leadership in LD. It examined what leadership looks like and who can be a leader by exploring learning developers’ conceptions of professional identity and networking, and confidence in those areas. The aim was to show delegates that the role of a leader has much in common with the values of LD, making it open to anybody with a purpose, a goal, and values. In so doing I posited that this is connected to the theme of wellbeing, as, if we feel recognised and valued for our work, then we are likely to be happier. I hoped to demonstrate that all learning developers have the capacity to be recognised and valued for their leadership.
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