A Publication of WTVP

Introducing a new name for a changing world…

“Change. It happens in big ways and small ways. In great disruptive events and in gradual shifts. It is part of the human experience and is a natural part of work, just as change management is a key component” in talent development, according to CHANGE, published by the Association for Talent Development in May 2014.

Seventy years ago, a group of training directors gathered together because they saw a need for organized training efforts to bridge skills gaps in the workplace. They wanted to raise the standards of the training profession and bring prestige to the education and development of those responsible for training others. That vision remained strong for decades, as the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) became known for outstanding conferences, certification programs and other professional development programs throughout North America… and then, the world.

But as the world changed, so did the needs of business. Over the past seven decades, ASTD’s membership and the broader learning and development profession have had a greater impact and influence than the founding directors could ever have imagined! ASTD adopted a vision to “develop a world that works better”—a vision that permeates every facet of the organization. With a new, global mindset and infinite advancements in technology, the national organization’s directors have begun to look beyond training and corporate learning.

And so, in May 2014—to better fit the needs of membership and more accurately describe the work in which its members and practitioners engage each day—ASTD rebranded itself to become the Association for Talent Development (ATD). At the same time, on the local level, two chapters joined forces to become the Association for Talent Development – Heart of Central Illinois Chapter, which offers programs that cover topics ranging from project management and business communications to coaching others to reach their full potential. The chapter represents a diverse membership that stretches from Peoria to Bloomington to Springfield and beyond, providing members with unique networking opportunities and a broad base of support and resources from which to draw.

Since ASTD was founded in 1943, the training and development profession has transformed dramatically. Today’s training and development professionals are responsible for a wider scope of responsibility, have a greater impact on individuals and their organizations, and have become a critical business partner. While the organization has changed to demonstrate how this profession’s work—and the impact of its members and customers—stretches beyond training, what has not changed is the purpose of the field: to develop people and their knowledge, skills and capabilities. iBi

Sarah Harris Jeffcoat and Jennifer Cross are board members of the Association for Talent Development – Heart of Central Illinois Chapter.