April 2024

Human Capital Lab™

The March 2024 issue of Training Magazine presents its “Apex Award Winners.” In it you’ll find inspirational stories and perhaps a thing or two you might want to implement in your talent development organization.

If you’re interested in going past performance and actually influencing the HR field, the March 2024 issue of HRMagazine has tips for you in “Become an HR Influencer” by Rita Zeidner. What kinds of methods can you use to get your message out there? What should you consider? What kind of influence can you have? Check out this article for some ideas on how to get started as an HR influencer.

The February 2024 issue of TD Magazine brings us an article on retaining employees’ knowledge, even if they leave your organization, in “Save the Knowledge” by Rachel Teague. When people leave the organization, are they taking their knowledge with them, only to be lost forever? Or are we capturing, storing, and reusing that knowledge? This article presents the basics of Knowledge Management – how we keep what we know from walking out the door. The author focuses not on the technology, but the concepts of KM. We get the types of knowledge – what we know but can’t describe (“tacit”), what we can describe (“implicit”), and what we’ve documented and stored for access and use (“explicit”). The key is to build bridges from the implicit to explicit wherever possible by fostering a knowledge-sharing culture, using KM tools, and remembering to treat people as your greatest asset. AI may be coming, but it hasn’t caught up yet!

Speaking of Artificial Intelligence, some of its uses in talent development are discussed in “AI Meets TD” by Markus Bernhardt in the January 2024 issue of TD Magazine.  (Stay tuned for an Easter egg I’ve included at the end of this review.)

The article explores how artificial intelligence (AI) is reshaping talent development (TD) and learning and development (L&D) fields. It discusses the rapid evolution of AI, its democratization, and the importance of understanding its capabilities and limitations. The article distinguishes between generative and nongenerative AI, highlighting their strengths, weaknesses, and applications in TD. Generative AI is described as a creator of personalized learning content, while nongenerative AI excels in analysis and decision-making. It stresses the need to balance AI’s creative potential with analytical insights while preserving the human touch in learning. The article discusses various applications of generative AI in TD, such as automating tasks and personalizing learning experiences. Challenges like bias and depersonalization are acknowledged, emphasizing the importance of continuous learning and ethical considerations. Overall, it calls for embracing AI to redefine TD, advocating for innovation and leadership in adapting to the changing landscape of work.

Now, for the Easter egg: I didn’t write the synopsis above. Instead, it was written by Chat GPT, an AI generator, summarizing the 2000-word article in 145 words after running it through twice. This demonstrates the powerful potential of an AI generator!

In the scholarly literature, the December 2023 issue of Human Resource Development Review gives us “Virtual Human Resource Development: Definitions, Challenges, and Opportunities” by Rochell R. McWhorter. Virtual HRD is the creation of learning opportunities and pathways that consist of “a strategic, media-rich webbed environment, one that is typically based on one or more intranets, or private knowledge management systems, which become a seamless conglomeration of many things useful for learning and virtually limitless in expandability.” The article examines some of the challenges and opportunities present when developing virtual learning. Because it’s a literature review, you’ll also get a chance to review many related works cited in the article.

Finally, from our own bookshelf and hot off the presses, the “Talent Development Body of Knowledge (2nd Ed.)” by the Association for Talent Development. Ever wonder about the scope of the talent development profession? Not just what we know, but what everyone else (collectively) knows? A mature profession like talent development collects and maintains the skills, knowledge, and values of its profession. The TDBoK is that collection. Published by ATD, it describes the various competency areas for TD professionals based on the Talent Development Capability Model. It’s also the basis for ATD’s certifications: the Associate Professional in Talent Development (APTD) and the Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD). The TDBoK is also filled with sources of this knowledge, helpful for exploring its topics in greater depth. Coming in at 646 pages, this ambitious work not only defines the TD profession, it provides a path for TD professionals to excel within it.