Samir Alam is a writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience across multiple domains and industries. His current areas of specialization include Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) research, Information Technology Outsourcing (ITO) and Data Governance. Samir holds a graduate degree from City, University of London (previously The City University, London), an undergraduate degree from the University of Mumbai.
Top 10 Podcasts for Leaders in Learning & Development
“I was not the greatest student, but I loved learning."
- Peter Mallouk, Principal at top-rated wealth management firm, Creative Planning, Inc., on why he earned four undergrad degrees in a conversation with The Learning Leader Show with Ryan Hawk
There are no limits to the amount of knowledge on the internet. In fact, Fast Company estimates there are over 525,000 active podcast shows with over 18.5 million episodes. Edison Research says that podcasting’s growth as a listening medium has grown by 122% from 2014 to 2019. And it continues to grow every day.
Clearly, listening to podcasts has become an increasingly popular way to keep yourself informed about the latest learning trends. Here are our recommendations for the top ten podcasts every leader in the Learning and Development domain should check out.
Description: The Learning Leader Show is a podcast focused on generating thoughtful discussions and genuine insights as host Ryan Hawk interviews leaders from different fields. Each episode paints a fascinating portrait of its guest, attempting to understand their experiences and uncover the reasons behind their success. With over 300 episodes, the podcast gives L&D listeners access to the life experiences, advice and stories from some of the world’s most interesting leaders, entrepreneurs, business heads, athletes, coaches, and authors.
Recent Quote: “My thesis is that human beings invented a language in order to tell stories. That within the chicken and the egg, the story is the initial mover that generates language. Because we’re taught in schools that science and math are groups of facts to memorize by Friday’s test. But facts don’t mean anything unless you put them into a context in which you can make them useful. And That’s called a story.”
– Adam Savage, former co-host of the hit show MythBusters on the Discovery Channel and author, on “311: Adam Savage – Life Lessons from a Master Maker.”
Description: This bi-monthly podcast does not shy away from controversial learning topics. The host invites leading names in global corporate learning and development to talk about the latest news, views and trends. Executives share their struggles and success stories when it comes to L&D while many learning vendors offer creative solutions for some of the industry’s most talked about challenges. This show offers a recap of some of the industry’s premier learning events.
Recent Quote: “We as customers are not good at asking the right questions [when looking for the right vendor]. For me it’s important that we face what is going on out there in the company with the users. To be honest with you, I haven’t seen any really successful solutions in our company. We’ve got a platform that nobody uses. Nobody in senior management are asking if people are actually learning…We’re not distributing learning. We are just distributing something that they can click through. For me, that’s not really learning. There is a gap between what I see, what vendors are offering and what we really need.”
- Peter Manniche Riber, Learning Leader at Fortune 100 companies, guest from “What Organizations Really want from L&D Vendors.”
Description: If you’re looking for a high-quality podcast that covers corporate learning, educational tech, talent development and how to build a positive learning ecosystem, look no further than The Learning Innovation Podcast. This show provides listeners with new ideas intended to make a profound impact within their own organizations. The two co-hosts frequently feature some of the most innovative and creative L&D leaders in the field.
Recent Quote: “I thought it would be really great if we could connect with the women in our organization without all of us having to come to a sales conference once a year… it occurred to me that a podcast could be the perfect way to connect with people not only with the topic of ‘women in the workplace’ but any topic that’s relevant to our company and our industry. I started exploring this idea…It fits so well with the way my company is structured because we have these sales and merchandising employees driving and flying around to appointments…This podcast was a way to supplement and reinforce everything else that was going on… and bring another dimension to that information by bringing a human aspect to it.”
- Angela Shanahan, Learning and Development Specialist with a sales and merchandising organization, guest from “Internal Corporate Podcasts.”
Description: Connie Malamed’s relaxed style makes The eLearning Coach one of the most enjoyable learning podcasts out there. But more than just fun, the podcast is an ideal source of insights for anyone involved in instructional course design. Once a month or so, Connie invites a specialist to join her for an informal chat as they deconstruct the various aspects of course design to look in detail at a variety of topics, such as gamification, agile development and storyboarding. The focus is very much on practical application and the podcasts are packed with helpful hints, tips and advice that work for anyone in L&D.
Recent Quote: “Game thinking is the art and science of engaging your customers on a path to mastery. Game thinking is all about helping your customer reach their goals.”
- Amy Jo Kim, famed game designer, entrepreneur, and startup coach, guest from “ELC 053: Creating Long-term Engagement with Game Thinking.”
Description: This weekly podcast is hosted by the Good Practice team members who cover a range of topics that impact the L&D and HR communities. Joined by occasional special guests, the podcast covers various topics from the need of analysis and evidence-based practice in learning to the impact of technology on the work environment. With an impressive backlog of over 145 episodes, the podcast covers all the trends topics like bots, virtual reality and artificial intelligence to help you gain an insight into the greater world of L&D.
Recent Quote: “[With regards to bots in learning] You can start to see how they can do some of those simple tasks and possibly do them very well. A U.S. university spent an awful lot time getting faculty input into a bot. To a point where 80% of students couldn’t tell if they were talking to a bot or faculty…There was a huge investment to get it to that level and such a narrow field of response rate…My worry always when looking at technology is that we have a solution looking for a problem.”
- Peter Casebow, CEO and co-founder of GoodPractice, on “What emerging tech has the potential for L&D?”
Description: John Tomlinson’s Trainer Tool podcast was originally conceived as a simple way for L&D professionals to share training tools and tips to help others in the L&D world become more effective at their jobs. However, the podcast has grown to become engaging interviews with experienced learning and development professionals who share their thoughts across a wide variety of topics relating to people working in organizational learning and change. Some podcasts are accompanied by notes or other documents, all of which are free to use, copy, and distribute (of-course with due credit).
Recent Quote: “Initially you don’t have to set out and measure everything. And we don’t. Find one thing about a person’s behavior or performance and show how that impact came from training or learning.”
- Kevin M. Yates, sought after subject matter expert and international speaker, guest from “Identity Crisis! Is Learning and Development Fulfilling its Purpose?”
Description: Created by Danny Seals, the MindChimp podcast stands out from the rest because it offers something different and special. Its first season launched in true Netflix style with a binge-worthy 23 episodes which dropped in May 2018. Each episode is an experience in itself and can be spaced out as per your convenience. Listeners get more than 80 hours of insightful conversation with some of the sharpest and coolest minds in L&D today. Guests include Ben Betts, Jamie Good, Lori Niles-Hofman and many more, talking about their L&D journeys and what they've learned along the way.
Recent Quote: “Digital is still in its infancy. We’ve done ourselves a disservice in the way we’ve approached it…we try and replicate the classroom experience online and that’s just simply not how people behave in a digital environment. Things happen in microseconds and people are jumping around and there are all sorts of competition… so when I see modules that say, ‘click next to continue’ those are the sort of modules that really make me scream.”
- Lori Niles-Hofman, senior learning strategist and author of Data-Driven Learning Design, guest from “A Learning Rebel with a Dislike for Avatars.”
Description: The Training Journal podcast is an extension of the UK’s only dedicated publication for the L&D and training industry. With over 200 episodes, it is a go-to source for new ideas and lively discussions. Episodes are published regularly, but sporadically, so you never know when one of these gems will turn up in your feed. We particularly recommend the show's 'L&D on Trial' series, where hosts Jon Kennard and Jo Cook debate controversial topics like learning styles, millennials and NLP.
Recent Quote: “What can staff do to promote learning? They can discuss the benefits and the skills that they’ll learn. And also, how those practical skills will be housed in the organization… I have a lot of students that share what they’ve learned, how they developed others and how they shared best practices when they’ve gone back to the workplace. It enhances problem-solving and decision-making skills.”
- Alison Watson, Chief Executive of Class Of Your Own® (COYO), a learning program dedicated to growing talent in the AEC industry, guest from “Alison Watson on Learning at Work Week.”
Description: Almost everyone knows about TED Talks. But the TED Talks Education podcast really drills down into subject matter at the heart of L&D. As advertised, this podcast asks the big questions and gives listeners access to some of the most brilliant and innovative minds from across domains. Curated from the hundreds of TED and TEDx events from all over the world, this podcast offers L&D professionals an eclectic range of topics that can keep their passion for learning going. Podcasts are available with an interactive English transcript and subtitles in over 8- languages.
Recent Quote: “The mere presence of comics in the library increased library usage by up to 82%”
- Gene Leun Yang, cartoonist and frequent lecturer about graphic novels and comics, guest from “Comics belong in the classroom.”
10. Kwik Brain
Description: The Kwik Brain podcast is a high energy, fun-loving expression of Jim Kwik’s passion for learning and self-improvement. Kwik, is a brain and memory trainer who’s known for working with celebrities and CEOs alike to help busy people learn quickly. Each episode of the podcast is short and breezy and includes some of Kwik’s favorite tips and techniques that can help listeners read faster, retain more content and “supercharge” their brain.
Recent Quote: “[First step in learning faster] is to forget. Forget what you already know about the subject. Because here’s the thing – a lot of people don’t learn faster because they feel like they already know it. Does that make sense? If your cup is already full of information, then you can’t pour information in. Temporarily forget what you know about the subject.”
- Jim Kwik from “Learn Anything Faster.”
- Webinar: Elevate Performance and Business Strategy
- Article: 4 Steps to Refresh Your Learning Strategy for 2019
- Article: Feedback as Proof of ROI: Best Practices for Using Qualitative Data to Complement L&D ROI