Talent Development Glossary

Rohit Kumar

28 Aug, 2023

Talent Development Glossary

360° feedback evaluations draw from the perspectives and recommendations of superiors, direct reports, colleagues, and internal and external stakeholders to assess an individual's performance across various behavioral areas.


ADDIE model is an instructional systems design framework consisting of five stages:

  1. Analysis involves data collection to pinpoint specific needs, addressing the who, what, where, when, and why of the design process.
  2. Design represents the planning stage.
  3. Development entails selecting and creating training materials and content guided by learning objectives.
  4. Implementation occurs as the course is delivered, either in person or digitally.
  5. Evaluation is the continuous process of refining and enhancing instructional materials based on feedback gathered during and after implementation.

Adult learning theory encompasses the collective principles and theories governing how adults learn and acquire knowledge. Malcolm Knowles popularized this concept, providing the foundation for training and developing professionals to address workplace learning needs effectively.

Affective learningrefers to knowledge acquisition based on Benjamin Bloom's taxonomy, which identifies three learning domains: cognitive (knowledge), affective (attitude), and psychomotor (skills). This taxonomy, which classifies thinking and learning processes, offers a framework for devising instructional strategies, materials, and activities to enhance individual workplace learning and performance. Affective learning pertains to the learners' mindset or behavior.

Analysis is the process of examining the components of workplace learning and performance. It is used to determine the following:

  • Gap analysis identifies discrepancies between desired and actual knowledge, skills, and performance, as well as the underlying causes.
  • Job analysis pinpoints learners' workplace duties, responsibilities, and tasks performed daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly.
  • Needs analysis involves data collection and synthesis to determine how training can help an organization achieve its objectives.
  • Task analysis identifies specific steps required for the accurate execution of job functions.

Andragogy, derived from the Greek term for adult learning, refers to the methods and practices employed in teaching adults. Malcolm Knowles advanced this theory, outlining five essential principles of adult learning: Self-concept, experience, learning readiness, orientation to learning, and motivation to learn.

Areas of expertise (AOEs) represent the particular technical and professional skills and knowledge mastery required for success in learning and development.

Appreciative inquiry (AI) theory is an organizational change strategy that analyzes positive and successful operations rather than negative or failing ones. The AI 4-D cycle—discovery, dream, design, and destiny–encompasses problem identification, cause analysis, solution exploration, and action plan development.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a machine's capacity to emulate human cognitive processes, such as perception, reasoning, learning, environmental interaction, problem-solving, and creativity.

Asynchronous learning occurs when trainers and learners engage in learning activities without being simultaneously present in time or location, as seen in asynchronous e-learning.

Authoring tools are software applications that enable content experts to develop learning material by interacting with a computer using everyday language. Core Competency's Learning Management System, or LMS, offers a robust set of authoring tools.


Balanced scorecard is a management system used to plan, measure, and monitor an organization's performance across four essential aspects: Financial, business processes, customer, and organizational capacity.

Behavioral career counseling employs a scientifically rigorous method for career decision-making that draws upon concepts from psychology.

Behaviorism is a learning theory centered on observable and quantifiable behavior, commonly associated with psychologist B.F. Skinner, asserts that animal and human behavior arise through conditioning, or the reinforcement of desired responses.

Benchmarking involves assessing quality by comparing business process metrics to standard measurements or industry best practices. It aims to compare and analyze similar items to understand how other organizations achieve performance levels and apply this knowledge for improvement.

Blended learning combines formal and informal learning elements such as classroom instruction, online learning, and on-the-job coaching within a single curriculum.

Bloom's taxonomy, created by Benjamin Bloom, is a hierarchical model that categorizes learning into three outcomes or domains: cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (attitude), collectively referred to as KSAs. The domain categories employ verbs to define behavior in a hierarchical relationship, growing progressively more complex and challenging to achieve. This taxonomy is valuable for crafting learning objectives.

Business insight entails understanding the critical factors impacting a business, including its current situation, industry or market influences, and growth drivers. It also encompasses comprehending how an organization fulfills its mission or purpose, generates and spends money, makes decisions, and the internal processes and structures that enable work completion.

Business insight entails understanding the critical factors impacting a business, including its current situation, industry or market influences, and growth drivers. It also encompasses comprehending how an organization fulfills its mission or purpose, generates and spends money, makes decisions, and the internal processes and structures that enable work completion.


Career advising provides guidance on how to make vocational and occupational decisions and recommends possible development opportunities.

Career development programs are planned interactions between a company and its employees that allow them to advance within the company.

Case study is a learning method that presents a real or hypothetical situation for analysis and problem-solving.

Certification enhances technical competencies through study, testing, and practical application while pursuing a recognized designation.

Change agent is an individual or group responsible for initiating or executing organizational change, understanding organizational and personal change dynamics, and striving to create different conditions within an organization.

Change management facilitates organizational change by employing structured approaches to transition individuals, teams, and organizations from an existing to a desired future state.

Chief Learning Officer (CLO) oversees organizational learning within a corporation. This role emerged in the late 1980s to align corporate learning strategies and people development with business objectives, elevating organizational learning as a crucial factor in an organization's success.

Chief Talent Development Officer is the executive responsible for the organization's talent development program. Also referred to as the chief learning officer, this role reports directly to the CEO.

Cloud is a model of computing that provides a shared network for accessing computing resources. As a concept still in its early stages of development, cloud computing is driving a significant shift in information technology that will impact everyone in the modern world.

Coaches assist individuals and teams in reaching their maximum potential through goal-setting, leveraging strengths, seeking development, and achieving results.

Coaching, according to the International Coaching Federation, is partnering with people in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their professional potential. It is different from counseling, mentoring, training, and advice-giving as it may be provided on the job by a supervisor providing constructive feedback and advice to help improve an employee's performance.

Cognition is acquiring knowledge and understanding through our senses, thoughts, and experiences. Since the 15th century, the term has been used to describe how we think and understand the world.

Collaboration is an interaction between two or more individuals working towards a common goal, with equal participation, communication, and involvement opportunities. In conflict resolution, collaboration involves both parties working together to develop a win-win solution.

Collaborative learning is an instructional method that involves working together, either online or in person, to discover, learn, solve problems, and share information. The facilitator can use this method to encourage audience participation and engagement.

Communication involves active listening, supporting dialogue, and expressing feelings, ideas, and thoughts clearly, concisely, and persuasively. When sharing information or sending a message effectively, these six essential attributes (6Cs) are recommended:

  • Clear: Choosing precise, descriptive, and audience-appropriate words
  • Correct: Selecting accurate words and using proper grammar, avoiding misused words
  • Complete: Articulating comprehensive messages, including all relevant details
  • Concise: Choosing short, specific sentences and phrases and avoiding rambling
  • Coherent: Maintaining consistency, using simple sentence structures, and presenting information in an easy-to-follow order
  • Courteous: Employing respectful, friendly, positive, gender-neutral, and sensitive language and avoiding accusatory or blaming language

Community of Practice (CoP) consists of individuals sharing experiences and having a common interest in an area of competence.

Competency-based learning uses a competency dictionary based on a thorough occupational analysis of the skills required for successful performance to focus on individual skills called competencies. With this approach, learning modules are divided into competencies, and learners are allowed to skip a module if they have mastery of the skills contained within it. It is most often applied to skills-based learning.

Compliance refers to actions mandated by law, agency, or policy outside an organization's purview, generally accompanied by a training program requirement.

Computer-based training (CBT) is a teaching and learning methodology that includes computers for instructional and pedagogical purposes. In addition to computer-based instruction, computer-aided instruction and computer-managed instruction fall under the umbrella term CBT.

Confidence interval defines the range of values expected to fall within it.

Conflict Management involves limiting the negative aspects and increasing the positive aspects of disagreements, disputes, and differing opinions and desires.

Constructivism is based on Jean Piaget's learning theory that individuals construct their understanding and knowledge of the world through observation and reflection.

Consulting helps solve business challenges and transition individuals, groups, or organizations from their present state to a desired state over a short period.

Content management system (CMS) enables users to easily create, organize, modify, and monitor digital content for an organization's website or digital assets.

Creative thinking involves examining problems or situations from a fresh perspective and suggesting unconventional solutions. Creative thinking can be stimulated through unstructured processes like brainstorming or structured approaches like lateral thinking.

Criterion-referenced assessments or tests measure learners against predetermined criteria or standards.

Critical Path Method (CPM), similar to a Program Evaluation Review Technique (PERT) chart, demonstrates the workflow during a project. This chart identifies the critical path—the sequence of tasks that collectively take the longest.

Critical thinking is an analytical approach that helps evaluate an issue to form a logical and well-considered judgment. It entails examining the evidence supporting an argument or conclusion rather than accepting all opinions and conclusions at face value. Critical thinking skills include analytical thinking, open-mindedness, problem-solving, and decision-making.

Crowdsourcing refers to the capacity of a large group to accomplish tasks traditionally completed by a smaller, specialized group. Its appeal lies in its ability to engage individuals best suited to solve problems, channel creativity, and perform intelligent tasks.

Culture describes the collective assessment of an organization based on values, norms, and assumptions that are generally enduring, relatively enduring, and often unconscious.

Cultural awareness and inclusion involve respecting diverse perspectives, backgrounds, customs, abilities, and behavioral norms and ensuring that all employees are respected and engaged by leveraging their capabilities, insights, and ideas.


Data and analytics are essential for organizational performance and should drive talent development.

Data collection entails gathering facts, figures, statistics, and other information for analysis and assessment. Some standard data collection methods include questionnaires, interviews, and meta-analyses.

DMAIC methodology is a five-step (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control), data-driven improvement process used to reduce defects, enhance operations, and improve customer satisfaction. It is the primary tool used to guide Six Sigma projects.

DEI stands for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Delivery methods, such as instructor-led training, virtual training, mobile apps, and books, describe how information is transferred to learners.

Design thinking is a human-centered process that enables the definition of problems from multiple perspectives, brainstorming potential solutions, prototyping those solutions, and testing and iterating to optimize the best approach. It focuses on the intersection of business needs, user needs, and technology or environmental constraints.

Development involves acquiring knowledge, skills, or attitudes that prepare individuals for new directions or responsibilities. It also refers to ADDIE's third phase, during which trainers select and develop training materials and content according to learning objectives.

Discovery learning is a distinct method wherein participants encounter a problem during an activity, address it, identify valuable knowledge or skills obtained, reflect on the lessons learned, and strategize to apply their newfound knowledge. This process is also referred to as experiential learning. See also Experiential Learning Activity (ELA).

Distance learning is an instructional approach where instructors and learners can be separated by time, location, or both. In addition, this mode of learning can be synchronous or asynchronous.

Diversity refers to the variety of differences in society, including race, gender, political beliefs, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, language, health status, age, and more. Additionally, diversity may involve variations in political viewpoints, learning preferences, personality types, and communication styles.

Donald Kirkpatrick, often regarded as the father of training evaluation, first proposed his four assessment levels—reaction, behavior, results, and business impact—in the 1950s.

Double-loop learning involves modifying underlying values and assumptions during decision-making processes. It is also known as reframing or altering the context.


Effect size is derived by dividing two groups by their standard deviation and calculating the difference between them. For instance, when comparing a treatment group that has received an experimental intervention to a control group that has not, the effect size measures the difference between the two groups.

Elaboration is a purposeful practice technique where learners rephrase the content in their own words and link it with existing memories, such as previously acquired skills or knowledge.

eLearning encompasses web-based learning, computer-based learning, virtual classrooms, and digital collaboration and is also called electronic learning.

eLearning professionals perform various roles in supporting the creation of structured courses or learning experiences delivered electronically, including online or computer-based learning, virtual classrooms, performance support materials, and digital collaboration and knowledge sharing.

Emotional intelligence is recognizing, understanding, and responding appropriately to one's and others' emotions. Based on Gardner's multiple intelligence theory, this eighth intelligence was brought to prominence by Daniel Goleman in his book Emotional Intelligence.

Empathy involves acknowledging the emotional needs of others and effectively supporting them in the manner they need. Understanding others' feelings, conditions, and concerns is crucial for successful interpersonal relationships.

Employee experience, sometimes called the employee journey, represents employees' perceptions of an organization. It is influenced by workspace, communication, work-life balance, interactions with their teams and supervisors, the technology and tools they utilize, and numerous other aspects of their jobs.

Employee training and development encompass activities that aid employees in acquiring new or enhancing existing knowledge or skills. Training is a formal process through which talent development professionals assist individuals in improving job performance. Development involves gaining knowledge, skills, or attitudes that prepare individuals for new directions or responsibilities.

Energizer is an activity designed to rejuvenate a group.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) refers to business management software, usually a suite of integrated applications that organizations employ to collect, store, manage, and interpret data from all business activities and departments.

Equity fosters justice, fairness, impartiality, and equal access to opportunities, advancement, and engagement. Equity tackles structural inequalities and obstacles by ensuring fairness in procedures, processes, practices, and resource distribution. Unlike equality, which implies treating everyone as if their experiences and backgrounds are identical, equity considers differences in people's experiences and backgrounds when determining what constitutes fairness.

Evaluation is a multi-level, systematic approach to collecting information on the effectiveness and impact of training programs. The findings can be used to enhance the program, establish whether learning objectives have been met, and assess the training's value to the organization.

Executive coach creates a secure, structured, and trustworthy environment to support senior managers or leaders.

Experiential learning recommends participants engage in an activity, reflect on what they have learned, identify valuable knowledge or skills they have acquired, discuss what they have learned, and apply their learnings at work. It is also referred to as discovery learning.


Facilitation pertains to the trainer's role in learning, assisting learners in acquiring, retaining, and applying knowledge and skills. It's also called training delivery.

Feedback is guidance or information from one person to another about the effectiveness or success of an event, process, or action. For example, in coaching and talent development activities, learners receive feedback on their progress, which aids in learning retention and behavior modification.

Formal learning is a structured learning program that arises from activities within a controlled learning environment and includes instructor-led classroom sessions, instructor-led online training, certification programs, workshops, and college courses. A predetermined curriculum, agenda, and objectives occur within a specified timeframe.

Formative evaluation takes place throughout the design of any talent development solution. Its goal is to refine the draft initiative and increase the likelihood of achieving its objectives. For instance, in performance improvement, the assessment measures progress throughout the HPI model, such as meeting a client's expectations and identifying the root cause.

Future readiness means being curious and constantly seeking new information about the business world, what employees want, and how people develop their skills. It also means adjusting to new working methods as things change over time.


Gagné's Nine Events of Instruction were designed by instructional design pioneer Robert Gagné to support learning and enhance retention—from capturing attention and informing learners of the objective to assessing performance.

Gamification incorporates typical game-playing elements (point scoring, competition, rules of play) into the design of development initiatives. The method can be used either as a teaching or engagement method.

Gig economy is a labor environment characterized by temporary, independent, and short-term engagements.

Goal is a desired end state or condition toward which human effort is directed.

Group dynamics involve the interactions of individuals working or learning together, encompassing communication, goal-setting, decision-making, leadership provision, and conflict resolution.

Growth mindset concept was proposed by Carol Dweck, which asserts that individuals have complete control over their abilities and that they can learn, improve, and develop them more.


Hackathon, initially rooted in technology, is an event where a large, diverse group of professionals come together to create new software or hardware rapidly. However, this concept has expanded to other fields, with people gathering for a day or more to collaborate on projects or new approaches in small groups.

Hard data comprises objective quantitative frequency, percentage, proportion, or time measures.

HR/OD professional is an individual who may hold various roles focused on optimizing talent and organizational processes or systems to achieve business goals.

Human capital encompasses an organization's people's collective knowledge, skills, competencies, and values.


Icebreakers introduce participants to one another and the course material at the beginning of a training program. That makes it easier for them to become comfortable with it.

Inclusion is cultivating and maintaining an environment of respect, belonging, and inclusion for all, including traditionally underrepresented or marginalized people.

Independent consultants in the talent development profession assist teams and organizational leaders in assessing employee learning and performance gaps, recommending or devising solutions to address those gaps.

Individual development plan (IDP) is a strategy for improving work performance or advancing one's career. The content may be connected to performance data. However, development discussions typically occur separately from performance appraisal discussions.

ILT (Instructor-Led Training) generally refers to traditional classroom training, where an instructor teaches a course to a group of learners.

Informal learning takes place outside of structured programs, plans, or classes. This type of learning occurs organically through observation, trial and error, and interaction with others. It can include coaching, mentoring, stretch assignments, rotational assignments, reading books, blog posts, watching online videos, listening to podcasts, browsing the internet, and consuming other digital content.

Instructional design is a crucial component of effective learning efforts, creating learning experiences and materials that facilitate acquiring and applying knowledge and skills.

Instructional designers design and develop content, experiences, and other solutions that support new knowledge and skill acquisition using systematic methodologies based on adult learning principles. They also develop mechanisms for assessing and evaluating the impacts of learning on organizations and individuals.

Instructional system designers (ISDs) analyze, design, develop, implement, and evaluate instructional experiences to create learning experiences that enhance learning. They typically follow the premise that learners are most likely to learn more effectively if given a clear description of what they will be expected to accomplish due to the training.

Instruments are HR tools for collecting information, such as assessments, checklists, inventories, questionnaires, surveys, and tests.

Integration involves unifying hardware, software (and, in e-learning, content) components to function as a cohesive, interoperable system. This process may also encompass front-end planning and strategizing.

Intellectual property refers to ideas, inventions, formulas, literary works, presentations, or other knowledge assets owned and protected by an organization or individual, such as copyrights, patents, trademarks, and service marks.

Interleaving is an intentional practice technique that alternates topics within instruction, weaving them together and revisiting them before one topic is completed.

Intrapreneurial describes a situation where an employee operates internally but is expected to exhibit entrepreneurial characteristics.


Job aid offers guidance on when and how to execute tasks and steps, reducing the amount of recall needed and minimizing errors. Job aids can be checklists, video demonstrations, or audio instructions.


Knowledge Management (KM) is an organized approach to achieving organizational goals through creating, capturing, curating, sharing, and managing the organization's knowledge, ensuring the correct information and expertise reaches the appropriate individuals at the proper time.

Knowledge mapping is a process to identify and connect where knowledge and expertise are located, whose ownership they belong to, what they are worth, and how they are used within an organization. Examples of knowledge maps include network charts, expert directories, or matrices connecting knowledge to critical processes.


LCMS, or Learning Content Management System, is a tool that lets authors, developers, and instructional designers create, store, reuse, and organize digital learning materials from one central object repository. An LCMS focuses on content development, management, and publication, typically delivered via a Learning Management System (LMS).

Leadership development encompasses any activity that enhances an individual's leadership abilities or an organization's leadership capacity, including learning events, mentoring, coaching, self-study, job rotation, and special assignments to develop the required knowledge and skills to lead.

Learning and Development is a department within an organization responsible for fostering employee growth and enhancing their knowledge, skills, and capabilities to improve business performance. This function may be organized centrally, independently, or within human resources (HR), decentralized across various business units, or as a hybrid (sometimes called federated) structure.

Learning Experience Platform (LXP) extends beyond a traditional LMS to offer personalized social and online learning opportunities.

LMSis a tool that helps share online courses and training with learners. It also keeps track of how learners are doing and creates reports. However, unlike an LCMS, it doesn't help develop the course materials, only sharing and managing them.

Learning sciences is an interdisciplinary field rooted in research that seeks to advance the comprehension of learning, learning innovation, and instructional methodologies.

Learning technologist oversees and implements the technological infrastructure necessary to support an organization's talent development strategy.

Learning modality describes how information is processed through the five senses as we hear, see, smell, taste, and touch.

Learning objectives are precise, observable, measurable statements of behavior that a learner must exhibit for training to be deemed successful.

Lifelong learning is the continuous, self-driven pursuit of knowledge for personal or professional growth.


Machine learning involves algorithms guided by insights from existing data that utilize various technologies, such as neural nets, deep learning, and natural language processing.

Metric is a number generated through a standardized procedure and calculation method, while a measurement may result from different calculations or measuring techniques each time.

Microlearning optimizes learning and performance by delivering brief, focused pieces of content.

Mind mapping is an inventive, convergent technique that organizes thoughts and ideas in branching subcategories around a central topic.

Mobile learning leverages wireless devices like smartphones, tablets, or laptops, to train and develop employees.

Model represents an idea, object, process, or phenomenon.

Moduleis a set of learning units containing predefined learning objectives and content. Each module has goals, information, task content, practice activities, and tests to assess whether objectives are met.

Multisensory learning engages the learner and boosts retention by employing different senses. The brain stores information differently depending on whether it is received visually, audibly, or through other senses. Therefore, engaging multiple senses in learning involves more of the brain in information storage.

MBTI, or Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, predicts personality types based on extraversion or introversion, sensing or intuiting, thinking or feeling, and perceiving or judging preferences. An everyday use of this technique is for career development and team building.


Needs analysis identifies the gap between the current and desired state by gathering and synthesizing data and information.

Needs assessment is a method for pinpointing and quantifying the discrepancy between existing and desired conditions.

Neuroplasticity refers to the brain's capacity to restructure itself, both physically and functionally, in response to environmental, behavioral, learning, and emotional factors.


Objective is an aim or purpose that, when combined with other objectives, contributes to a goal.

Observation involves participants witnessing an event and sharing their comments, reactions, data, and insights. It's also a popular data collection methodology.

On-the-Job Training (OJT) is a training delivery method that provides training to employees as needed, making it one of the oldest forms of training.

Onboarding is how organizations provide new employees with the knowledge and skill sets necessary to succeed.

Organization development (OD) enhances an organization's effectiveness in achieving its business objectives. OD employs planned initiatives to develop an organization's systems, structures, and processes to improve overall effectiveness.


Pedagogy refers to the art or practice of teaching, typically involving children. It concentrates on educators' techniques to impart knowledge and highlights the teacher's role. Pedagogy contrasts andragogy, which pertains to adult teaching and emphasizes the self-directed and motivated learner. See also andragogy.

Performance management is the continuous communication process between supervisors and employees to establish expectations to achieve the organization's strategic objectives. This process includes clarifying expectations, setting goals, providing feedback and coaching, and reviewing outcomes.

Performance improvement is a comprehensive and systematic approach to achieving organizational goals by identifying and closing human performance gaps.

Performance support provides performers with sufficient information to accomplish their tasks when and where needed. In this system, support is integrated into a natural workflow and organized for a particular environment or role.

Professor/educator is responsible for instructing learners within an academic institution or a specific course. This role encompasses those in primary education, secondary education, higher education, and executive academic education.

Project management entails planning, organizing, directing, and controlling resources for a limited period to accomplish specific objectives and goals.


Rapid Instructional Design (RID) is a flexible alternative to the conventional ISD model, employing various strategies to produce instructional packages swiftly. RID techniques include incorporating existing materials, utilizing templates, and engaging subject matter experts efficiently.

Return on investment (ROI) refers to the material benefits or profits derived from an investment compared with its cost. You can use it to compare the monetary benefits of training programs with their expenses. ROI is typically displayed as a percentage or cost-benefit ratio.

Retrieval practice is a purposeful technique where learners enhance retention by recalling a skill or knowledge directly from memory rather than referring to a text or observing a demonstration.

Retrieval, sometimes referred to as recall, is the process by which the brain accesses information that has been encoded and stored.


Sales enablement assists a sales team in achieving its objectives by supplying the necessary tools and resources for success. It encompasses sales strategy, sales training, coaching, content creation, process improvement, sales career development, and sales compensation, among other areas.

Scope creep occurs when tasks or deliverables are added to a project outside the original requirements without any control procedure like change requests.

SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) outlines a method for constructing learning management systems and courses, enabling them to be shared with other compliant systems.

Self-directed learning (SDL) allows learners to determine the pace and timing of content delivery, which can occur through various media (print products or digital).

Simulation is an extensive category of experiences, encompassing games for entertainment and immersive learning simulations for formal learning programs. Simulations employ simulation elements to model and present situations, depicting actions and demonstrating how those actions affect relevant systems, producing feedback and results.

Six Sigma methodology represents a data-driven approach to improving business processes. This method enhances output quality by identifying and eliminating defects while keeping the mean deviation from the nearest specification limit at six standard deviations. Six Sigma primarily aims to reduce variation through process improvement and to implement a measurement-centered strategy.

Subject matter expert (SME) has extensive knowledge and expertise in a particular subject or topic.

Social learning naturally transpires when two or more individuals interact. As a result, organizations are increasingly utilizing social media tools to augment social learning and knowledge-sharing, leading to more informed and effective workplace collaborations.

Strategic planning is the procedure an organization employs to determine its future direction. Although no single process exists, it typically involves envisioning the future, defining goals and objectives, aligning structure and resources, and executing the plan.

Succession planning is a systematic method of identifying, assessing, and cultivating personnel with the potential to assume leadership or mission-critical positions upon a current occupant's resignation, termination, transfer, promotion, or death.

Synchronous training takes place when the facilitator and learner engage in training simultaneously. This term is most commonly used for virtual training, which can be synchronous or asynchronous.


Talent acquisition refers to the process of promptly filling vacancies.

Talent development encompasses efforts that encourage learning and employee development to propel organizational performance, productivity, and outcomes.

Talent development director/executive is an individual who guides and establishes the strategy for a talent development unit within an organization. This unit may span multiple functional areas with broad responsibility for nurturing talent in the workplace.

Talent development manager is an individual who supervises and manages the work of a group of people and processes dedicated to fostering learning and employee development to drive organizational performance, productivity, and outcomes. This person may operate as a standalone department in smaller organizations.

Talent strategy and management involve practices designed to shape an organization's culture, engagement, capability, and capacity by implementing and integrating talent acquisition, employee development, retention, and deployment processes, ensuring alignment with organizational objectives.

Taxonomy refers to a structured system that underpins the classification of knowledge. For instance, a KM taxonomy facilitates efficient retrieval and sharing of knowledge, information, and data throughout an organization. It is designed around work processes and knowledge requirements within an intuitive framework.

Team building transforms inefficient or dysfunctional groups into high-performing, productive teams through experiential learning activities. These activities may include data review, interpersonal exercises, problem exploration, addressing challenges, and devising action plans for change.

Technology application pertains to a practitioner's ability to identify opportunities to adapt and harness the appropriate technologies at the right time to fulfill organizational and people development objectives.

Theory X is a concept of human motivation developed by Douglas McGregor in the 1960s. It posits that employees are inherently lazy, averse to work, and will avoid it when possible. Adherence to Theory X results in a management philosophy characterized by close supervision and strict control of employees.

Theory Y, a concept of human motivation developed by Douglas McGregor, contrasts with Theory X by positing that most employees are self-driven, enjoy work, and are committed to achieving goals. Embracing Theory Y results in a management philosophy that trusts employees to take responsibility for their work without constant supervision.

Train the trainer refers to a program or initiative designed to teach training and facilitation skills to newcomers or subject matter experts (SMEs) tasked with training others.

Trainer/facilitator guides learning in traditional or virtual classrooms, one-on-one settings, or on the job within an organization to help individuals enhance their performance.

Training/talent development coordinator is an individual who organizes, administers, and implements learning programs, whether developed internally or outsourced, to foster employee performance, development, and growth.

Training delivery (and Facilitation) represents the methods talent development professionals employ to help individuals improve workplace performance by acquiring new skills and knowledge.

Training objective is a statement outlining the intended accomplishments during a training session.

Training transfer evaluation is a process that measures the success of a learner's ability to apply and implement acquired knowledge on the job.

Triple-loop learning is a model, alongside single- and double-loop learning, that assists learning and development professionals in understanding learning dynamics frequently referred to as "learning how to learn." Learners reflect not only on what they learned but also on how they learned it, their thought processes, and others' perspectives on the acquired knowledge. This reflection prompts them to transform their beliefs and values willingly.


Unconscious biases are unintended, deeply ingrained learned stereotypes that influence behavior.

Upskilling refers to training intended to expand existing skills with new or significantly enhanced knowledge, enabling individuals to continue succeeding in their current profession or field. Upskilling does not encompass standard, ongoing development.


VAK model is a representation of individual learning and information retention styles. For example, some people primarily learn through one type, while others rely on a combination of three: visual (requiring images, diagrams, or other visuals), auditory (needing to hear information), and kinesthetic (preferring hands-on learning).

Virtual classroom is an online learning environment where learners and facilitators interact.

Virtual reality (VR) is a computer-generated simulation that uses a head-mounted display to immerse learners in a fully rendered digital environment, allowing them to manipulate objects with handheld controls and voice commands. This powerful tool enables learners to practice skills in a realistic, engaging simulation of a real-life setting. Training learners in dangerous or difficult-to-replicate situations, such as emergencies or heavy equipment simulations, is often critical.


Wants-based approach is a customer-centric strategy that primarily concentrates on fulfilling client requirements.

WBT, or web-based training, delivers educational content through a web browser over the internet, intranets, or extranets.

Web-based training, or WBT, offers online resources like articles, discussion groups, and references in addition to the core learning material, combining the benefits of instructor-led training with those of computer-based training.

White paper is a concise report addressing a specific topic relevant to an organization.

Wiki comprises a collection of interconnected web pages that can be contributed to or edited by anyone with access. It is valuable for fostering collaboration and compiling data.

Workplace learning and performance (WLP) refers to the fields of training, performance enhancement, learning, development, and workplace education and is often informally referred to as training or training and development.


xAPI, or the Experience Application Programming Interface, is an e-learning software specification designed to document an individual's online and offline learning experiences. It is also known as the Tin Can API or the Experience API.

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For example, students struggling with a particular concept could be provided with additional resources or assigned to a different module via the e-learning and learning management system.

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