The L&D blogosphere was busier than ever in 2016. Lots of great ideas, thoughts and opinions were aired, along with some inspiring debate and killer questions for our profession to consider. As the year draws to a close, we take a look back at some of our favourite L&D blogs from 2016.

1. Nick Shackleton-Jones - aconventional

Nick’s three-part video blog Disrupting Learning is a must watch. It challenges many assumptions about L&D practice and questions the efficacy of existing approaches to learning design and delivery. From using audience analytics to inform learning design to making the shift from ‘courses to resources’, these short videos are packed with invaluable insights and practical advice. 

2. David D’Souza - 101 Half Connected Things

We’ve had a lot of fun following David’s unrelentingly funny blog this year, and found it hard to pick a favourite post. After much deliberation, we plumped for Rigging your performance review: this works and it shouldn’t. It gives advice about how to influence the outcome of your performance review in your favour. Scary but essential reading for anyone responsible for running performance reviews.

Follow David on Twitter @dds180

3. Sukh Pabial - Thinking About Learning

Sukh’s thoughtful post Learning is complicated served as a reminder that human learning is a highly complex process, and that the development of expertise takes time. The trend for L&D to reduce and simplify the learning process down into bite-sized chunks of information doesn’t address the true complex nature of how deep learning of a subject takes place.

Follow Sukh on Twitter @sukhpabial

4. Julie Drybrough - Fuchsia Blue

We are big fans of Julie’s blog and her honest writing style. In The Heart of Leadership she shared a powerful story about working with a group of leaders to develop their emotional capacity, their empathy and their care for one another. Leadership with emotional maturity and ‘heart’ isn’t recognised or valued nearly enough by today’s organisations, but this blog reminded us all that “Work without heart leads to heartless outcomes.” A great read.

Follow Julie on Twitter @fuchsia_blue

5. Donald H Taylor

Don’s blog on The Grotesque Inadequacy of the 5 Step Classroom Shuffle highlighted the power of the ‘schoolroom assumption’ - namely that the way we learned in a classroom at school has become accepted as how we must learn at work. The aptly named ‘5 step shuffle’ is the bleak reality of L&D provision in many organisations, but Don argues that L&D’s agenda should instead focus on moving away from our schoolroom experiences.

Follow Don on Twitter @DonaldHTaylor

6. Martin Couzins - Learn Patch

The Learn Patch blog is a great resource full of curated information, so we were delighted with the coverage of our research launch event for Google It: The Secret Online Lives of UK Managers. It provides an overview of the research findings, summarising all the best tweets from the launch. Tweeting was so prolific that our hashtag #GPsol was trending on Twitter - thanks folks!

Follow Martin on Twitter @martincouzins

7. Donald Clark - Plan B

Much has been written about the potential impact of AI in the workplace. Donald’s blog 20 ways AI will affect managers - why are HR and L&D out of touch gave us some excellent (and, indeed, eye-opening!) insights about which areas, roles and specialisms are likely to feel the most impact from the advancement of AI.

Follow Donald on Twitter @DonaldClark

8. Helen Blunden - Activate Learning Solutions

Our Australian colleagues Giorgio and Caroline shared a great post from blogger Down Under Helen Blunden, which tackled 4 Ways to Integrate Learning into the Workplace. Written for managers (but with lots of great advice for L&D), it offers a multitude of ideas to help integrate learning into the day-to-day workflow in a way that inspires and motivates each individual.

Follow Helen on Twitter @ActivateLearn

9. Rachel Burnham - L&D Matters

The relationship between L&D and HR is fundamentally important, but one that can sometimes be a bit dysfunctional. We enjoyed Rachel’s blog HR and L&D - Better Together. It reminded us of the great benefits that can be gained when HR and L&D work collaboratively and harmoniously to achieve shared organisational (and not individual) goals.

Follow Rachel on Twitter @BurnhamLandD

10. Ross Garner - GoodPractice

Shameless plug for our very own Instructional Design guru Ross Garner here, but in fairness he made a great job of this article for HR Zone: How will Artificial Intelligence help you at work? Ross raises a number of important issues, not least how to develop a culture where the rise of AI is seen as a benefit and not a threat to our working lives.

Follow Ross on Twitter @RossGarnerGP

11. Jane Bozarth - bozarthzone

Jane’s blog asked a question which flummoxes many L&D practitioners: What Does Social Learning Look Like? She draws stark comparisons between successful and unsuccessful approaches to social learning, and explains why things can go wrong when organisations and L&D feel they have to actively ‘do’ social learning.

Follow Jane on Twitter @JaneBozarth

12. Neil Morrison: Change Effect

Neil’s no nonsense, straight-talking style has resulted in some great blogs this year, but Inclusion Means Acceptance had a simple yet important message. Not everyone wants the same things from their employer, and although this might seem obvious, HR/L&D can sometime be guilty of allowing its own professional values and biases to inform what the working culture and environment tolerates. Food for thought indeed.

Follow Neil on Twitter @neilmorrison

What were your favourite L&D blogs from 2016?

Share them with us @GoodPractice