10 Must-Follow Influencers in Workplace Learning

“Which conferences would you recommend?” I was asked this question by someone new to the workplace learning profession during a recent speaking activity. My answer: “I recommend people before events.” Nothing against conferences (I attend many), but I have always found that a personal learning network (PLN) is a better place to start when it comes to getting up-to-speed as an L&D professional.

There are plenty of smart, experienced, generous professionals around the world whom I could recommend you follow. Here’s a starter list of 10 workplace learning influencers who will definitely add to your professional development.


Jane Hart
Website | Twitter | LinkedIn

Jane Hart is the person I cite most in my work. She continuously explores the role of learning practices within the modern workplace. Her perspective is fresh and practical, and her writings are a great place to start for anyone who is looking to evolve their learning strategy to better support the needs of today’s employees. Jane’s annual Top Tools for Learning survey is also an awesome resource for any L&D pro.

David Green
Website | Twitter | LinkedIn

What are people analytics and how can they help you better support your organization? Start with David Green. His Data Driven HR newsletter is a curated treasure trove of resources on how to improve your analytics efforts. If someone is doing something interesting with HR data, David knows about it.


Josh Bersin
Website | Twitter | LinkedIn

Everyone in this industry should be familiar with the name Bersin. His Meet the Modern Learner infographic may be the most widely-presented piece of research in L&D history. Today, Josh remains a leading analyst in the HR space with tons of practical insight into how organizations are solving performance problems through modern workplace technology.


David Kelly
Website | Twitter | LinkedIn

There’s nothing David Kelly likes more than Star Wars, blue shirts and curation. Seriously, if you’re looking for practical examples of how curation can be applied to support workplace learning, check out David’s industry work. With the eLearning Guild, David also explores the ways new technology, such as augmented and virtual reality, can be applied to support learning and performance.


Donald Taylor
Website | Twitter | LinkedIn

When I think of Donald Taylor, I can’t help but think of the word “chairman.” First, Don seems to be chairman of half of the L&D industry activities in Europe. But the term also perfectly describes his commitment to progressing the profession. Don’s annual L&D Global Sentiment Survey provides great insight into evolution of the industry conversation  on a global level.


Steve Boese
Website | Twitter | LinkedIn

Steve Boese co-hosts the most popular podcast in human resources history: HR Happy Hour. He has deep experience on every side of HR technology – as a practitioner, educator and industry evangelist. Want to explore the latest and greatest in HR tech with an entertaining twist? Follow Steve!


Patti Shank
Website | Twitter | LinkedIn

Patti Shank simplifies the complexities of learning research in ways that make it easier to both understand and apply. She recently self-published a book series with strategies on how to improve learning outcomes, and she’s a regular contributor to a variety of industry blogs. Simply stated, Patti is my starting point for all things learning science.


David D’Souza
Website | Twitter | LinkedIn

David D’Souza may be the funniest HR person on Twitter. I know, that’s a pretty subjective comment. Regardless, behind David’s witty comments are solid truths about the realities of the modern workplace. David muses on a variety of topics, from change management to artificial intelligence. He’ll add great insight and personality to your PLN.


Meghan Biro
Website | Twitter | LinkedIn

Meghan Biro’s Twitter is the most value-add resource on social media for any HR professional. She shares a non-stop flow of curated information on a variety of industry topics. She also co-hosts a podcast and Twitter chat series: #WorkTrends. If you are in HR and on the internet, how could you not be already following Meghan?


Mike Taylor
Website | Twitter | LinkedIn

Ask. Learn. Share. I’ve never seen anyone live their website slogan like Mike Taylor. His “Friday Finds” blog posts are an absolute master class in curation. He scours the internet to find the best resources in every possible L&D topic – from learning science to instructional design to technology – so you don’t have to. How does he do it? I’ve know Mike for years, and I still have no idea!


Workplace learning is a crowded profession, filled with vendors, analysts and “thought leaders” who are trying to shape industry perspective. Unfortunately, it can be quite easy to get lost in the noise and miss out on the real value-add conversations. In the end, developing in this industry is a lot like problem solving in your workplace – you have to know the right people. I hope this influencer list gets you started on developing your own PLN or adds to your existing list of value-add L&D influencers.

JD Dillon became an expert on frontline training and enablement over two decades working in operations and talent development with dynamic organizations, including Disney, Kaplan and AMC. A respected author and speaker in the workplace learning community, JD also continues to apply his passion for helping frontline employees around the world do their best work every day in his role as Axonify's Chief Learning Architect.

Let’s work together to drive frontline performance in all the right ways.