5 L&D Thought Leaders to Pay Heed to

ICOG - 06-Aug-2022

It would be remiss of us if, while being in the learning and development industry, we aren’t constantly learning ourselves. That is why we avidly follow thought leaders in the L&D space to keep up. 


What are thought leaders and why are they important?

Thought leaders are individuals who have the ability to influence people and organizations, either through their expertise in their fields or through their personality and reputation. They do this by being an authority on a specific topic, which is why they're considered thought leaders in that area. The reason why these people are so influential is because they share their knowledge with others and help them develop new ideas and insights.

Thought leaders share some common qualities:


  • They have an opinion on a particular subject
  • They are willing to share this opinion with others
  • They have the ability to make people care about what they have to say, because they
    have established credibility in their field.


5 L&D Thought Leaders

There are quite a few thought leaders in this field but here are 5 L&D thought leaders to start off with:


1. Josh Bersin

Josh Bersin is probably one of the more well-known L&D thought leaders. He is an industry analyst, educator and researcher in all aspects of HR. He regularly shares his thoughts on his website, Most recently, he’s been speaking about the shift to ‘service-centric industries’ and proposes a systemic model for HR so companies can recruit, retain, reskill and redesign in an integrated manner. Depending on which platform you prefer, Bersin is available on Twitter and LinkedIn. He also offers courses for HR professionals via Josh Bersin Academy


2. Christopher Lind 

Christopher Lind has spent his entire career in the L&D field, starting from teaching and training to course and curriculum design, and now currently serving as the CLO of ChenMed. His passion for the field of learning and development can be witnessed on Learning Sharks where he hosts a weekly series of Learning Tech Talks that streams Live on LinkedIn every Tuesday. He is also available on Twitter


3. Charles Jennings 

Charles Jennings is synonymous with the 70:20:10 model of learning which states that 70 percent of learning happens through actual work experience, 20 percent of learning comes from collaboration and working with others, and 10 percent of learning will come from more formal methods of training. To delve into more details of the model, visit the 70 20 10 Institute site. He can also be found sharing his views on LinkedIn and Twitter.


4. Nigel Paine 

Nigel Paine is a co-host at LearningNow TV, a learning and performance internet channel that just completed its 100th monthly show last month. He has also authored books, speaks at events, blogs on his website, and has a podcast! He brings all forms of media and learning together, so you can take your pick. Of course, he’s on LinkedIn and Twitter as well.


5. Elliot Masie 

We cannot discuss learning in the digital age without bringing up the person credited with coining the term ‘e-learning. Elliot Masie engages in a variety of different projects surrounding learning, technology and innovation, including being involved with Broadway Theater as well! His website is a trove of fun and educational information. You can also follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of the top L&D thought leaders, so we will soon update with more thought leaders. Use this list as a starting point and make it a habit of keeping up with the latest thinking in learning and development. Most thought leaders are generous with sharing much of their resources for free, so why miss out on all the learning!


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