The Learning & Development PodcastThe Learning & Development Podcast

Developing A Learning Culture & Organisation With Nigel Paine

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Nigel Paine is a hard man to pin down to a profile, his  LinkedIn page describes him as Learning Now TV presenter and podcast host but there is lots more,  He teaches on a doctoral program at the University of Pennsylvania, works for the University of Chicago as part of their business school at the London campus and writes books about the world as he sees it. In this episode David and Nigel are discussing his latest book, Workplace Learning: How To Build A Culture Of Continuous Employee Development, David and Nigel explore its themes in the context of the real-life challenges faced by L&D professionals today.  



  • What were you hoping to achieve with this book?
    I usually write my books in a rage and the rage behind this book was the term’ learning culture’ being bandied about by people who did not know what they were talking about and had no understanding of the history behind the term.

    I have tracked the journey and looked at what is happening today to help others understand what a learning culture is and provide them with the tools and ideas to build a better learning culture in their own businesses. 
  • Who decides they want to embark on creating a learning culture?
    The key is not to be able to say that everyone is learning but to be able to say we are making better decisions, move faster, have more ideas and are more innovative, cooperating and working together.

    The dream is clear but how you get to the dream is not clear that’s where the role of L&D is vital, their ability to frame it and offer solutions is critical to the journey. 
  • Usually, L&D teams don’t have the remit, currency or skills to change the culture, and yet so many say they need to how do we get past this initial hurdle?
    You got to understand the frustrations and what inhibits people from doing their best. In understanding this you can begin changing the organisational process through people and eventually more of a learning culture emerges.

    You’ve got to say we will scrap everything and build again based on need. If we know what people really do need help with then we can guide and support them effectively 
  • As a profession are we ready to acknowledge that ‘the course’ is not doing the job we are in organisations to do?
    It’s a recognition that people learn in different ways and recognising that huge amounts of learning takes place in the workplace. Its moving learning and work closer together, that’s when learning becomes exciting, ingrained and integrated into the business.

    You’ve got to have a  vision about the organisation you want to build and then work out what will make the biggest difference. 
  • How do we bridge the skills gap in L&D?
    Sometimes it is important to be able to buy in the specialist skills you require for a specific piece of work or project. 

    Every learning professional should be on their own learning journey to make sure they don’t get left behind by trying new stuff we broaden our horizons.

    A learning culture is one where people take information from  outside and share it quickly turning it into action. 



  • ‘If you don’t lose the mentality that everything has to be a course you can't change and move forward’ 
  • ‘The vast majority of learning is solved by individuals or teams without any reference to L&D, they just get on and do it’ 
  • ‘It’s not about nice learning it's about hard-edged business benefits’ 
  • ‘If you haven’t got sharing you haven’t got a learning culture’ 


Nigel Paine   

Nigel is a prominent figure in the global L&D community and has been involved in corporate learning for over twenty years, including time leading the BBC’s Learning and Development operation.  

He left the BBC in September 2006 to start his own company that is focused on building great workplaces by promoting creativity, innovation, values based-leadership and learning and the link between them.  

He speaks regularly at conferences around the world and teaches on a doctoral programme at the University of Pennsylvania and for Chicago Booth Business School.  

In this podcast, Nigel talks about his latest book (Workplace Learning: how to build a culture of continuous employee development) and how it practically applies to organisations. 

You can follow Nigel via: 

Twitter: @ebase 
Learning Now TV: 


David James  

David has been a People Development professional for more than 20 years, most notably as Director of Talent, Learning & OD for The Walt Disney Company across Europe, the Middle East & Africa. 

As well as being the Chief Learning Strategist at Looop, David is a prominent writer and speaker on topics around modern and digital L&D as well as an active member of the CIPD L&D Advisory Board. 




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The Learning & Development Podcast

This is a fortnightly topical podcast show for L&D professionals hosted by David James and presented 
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