L&D QuestionTime Awards Finalists – Sarah Ratcliff

With the recent announcement of the finalists of the 2020 Learning Awards, we continue this series of the L&D QuestionTime where we hear from this years finalists.

Today we hear from Sarah Ratcliff shortlisted in the Learning Professional of The Year category.

In your opinion what is the biggest anxiety within the world of learning and development at the moment?

It’s a pretty big question so I will answer from my own perspective as we will all have different anxieties depending on where our challenges lie. I think we are in danger of losing some humanity in light of too much technology.

Technology has made things easier for us in many ways and has meant that we can upscale learning initiatives quickly and efficiently. However, if we don’t remember that we are all people who have feelings, emotions and motivations then we are in danger of losing ourselves and potentially people within the organisation as we replace colleagues with tech. In all we do, we must keep the people perspective.

Who or what is informing your thinking around L&D?

People and data combined. I am continually curious at what is working out there in different industries. We are lucky to work in a profession which embraces sharing and it is those people who are writing, sharing and talking about what they are doing who spark and challenge my creative thinking which makes me want to try new things and experiment for better results. Thank you to all who create such conversations.

What is the most exciting innovation on the horizon for learning?
Exciting innovation for me is all the work around brain science and how we use it in L&D. The more we can understand about those we want to make an impact on can only be powerful and mean we are better informed.

What “game changers” would you like to see and why?

I would like to see L&D recognised for the work we do. Whilst things have moved on and some companies embrace the impact an L&D team contribute, there are still areas which need work. In sport, no self-respecting professional would ever not have a coach to develop them further. However, in the corporate world L&D can still be seen as a luxury rather than a necessity and changing this perception would have a fundamental positive impact on all business structures.

What do you think the world of L&D will look like by 2030?

I think that technology will be even further advanced and that VR and AI will be commonplace in our working environments.

What advice would you give your 21 year old self?

Believe in yourself more; stop doubting your ability and don’t care quite so much about pleasing others. All that matters is what you think about yourself and if you think you are doing a good job and being a good person, keep going.

Connect with Sarah on LinkedIn

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