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5 Places to Stay on Top of L&D Trends

As learning professionals, we're often helping others do things new or differently or better, but how do we stay on top of trends to make sure we're doing things new or differently or better?

As learning professionals, we’re often helping others do things new or differently or better, but how do we stay on top of trends to make sure we’re doing things new or differently or better?

Here are five places for you to look if you have a few minutes to develop your own knowledge and skill set this week.

Training Magazine

If you’re looking for a bunch of trends, research and tips to improve your training craft all in one place, then you may want to sign up for Training magazine. It’s totally free and in addition to the digital magazine, you will also have access to research reports, industry survey data (including salary surveys) and webinars.

If you want to know more about Training magazine and just how to stay on top of industry trends in general, come back on Monday when our podcast guest will be Lorri Freifeld, Editor-in-Chief of Training magazine.

Your Local ATD Chapter

A membership to the Association for Talent Development unlocks the largest industry trade group for talent development professionals on the planet, as well as a monthly magazine and discounted access to conferences, certificate programs and books. It’s a great place to stay on top of big picture trends.

If you really want to plug in to your local talent development network, joining your local ATD chapter could give you plenty of bang for your buck. With networking events and monthly educational sessions, you’ll have access to nearby practitioners – both internal training staff and external consultants – who are doing work similar to you and facing challenges you’re probably facing as well.


Reading static articles is one thing, it’s a whole other thing entirely to be able to engage with practitioners and thought leaders from around the world, live. That’s the opportunity that The Learning Guild affords you every other Friday at 11am Pacific/2pm Eastern. Using Twitter as the conversation medium, #guildchat focuses on a different topic each time and brings practitioners and thought leaders together to engage in a tweet-based conversation about anything from learning from your mistakes to project management in L&D to learning from story to maximizing online learning experiences. It’s free and the community is always welcoming.

L&D Podcasts

Perhaps you prefer to digest new topics and trends in an auditory manner. Over the past 14 months or so, our Train Like You Listen podcast (which you can listen to or read a transcript of the conversation if that’s more your preference) has asked guests what folks in the L&D field should be listening to. Here is a list of recommended podcasts from thought leaders across the L&D field (keep in mind that not all of these are directly L&D-related… of course sometimes trends from other industries can be brought into learning and development practices to improve what we’re doing!):

This list of books

Sometimes a good, old-fashioned book is the way to go (or a Kindle book, or an e-book). Like the above list of podcasts recommended by our Train Like You Listen podcast guests, this list of training-related books – many of which were also recommended by podcast guests – may have some fresh voices, trends and practices that you could find useful.

How have you honed your L&D craft? I’d love for you to add to this list by sharing your go-to development resources in the comment section!

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