Get to know the LN Director: Jonathan Holmes

Jonathan is an advocate of technology – enhanced learning and thrives when leading and developing teams to deliver an improved learning experience for the organisation. Jonathan has worked in and around Learning and Development for around two decades, designing, delivering and leading learning within diverse cultures – Sweden, the UK, and the Middle East.

His experience includes building new L&D capabilities, managing learning technologies, and establishing systemic innovation as well as designing and developing programmes and solutions. He currently manages digital learning at Domestic and General. In his spare time he focus on keeping healthy through swimming and crossfit, he is recently certified as a system thinking practitioner, and enjoys travel.

What do you like most about the L&D field?

I really love the variety that working in L&D offers. 

What made you decide to stand for the LN board? 

I saw this as an opportunity to share – back my passion and experience for people development and play a role in progressing the profession more broadly than in my day-to-day role. 

If you could change 1 thing about the world of L&D, what would it be?

Universally recognised professional standards.

What does a typical workday look like to you?

I always start off each day at my gym, or in the pool. I try to be consistent with my time allocation, but any given day might consist of reviewing projects, coaching my team, and designing solutions.

What is your favourite type of training to either build or deliver? 

Holistic end-to-end solutions. 

What are you currently obsessed with?

I try to not get too obsessed these days, to be honest. But recently I’ve been looking into collaborative content development and organisational structures that support this.

If you could give yourself advice when you were first starting out, what would it be?

Stay as humble as you are curious. 

What has been your proudest moment?

I’m happy that at an early point in my L&D career I jumped way out of my comfort zone to test myself across very diverse cultural situations – I worked for a decade in Sweden, and for another five years in the middle east. The contrast was huge, but the learning was exponential.

Who inspires you?

Matt Biondi. I remember being inspired by his swimming in the mid-80s – an incredible Olympian in very different times. 

If you were a superhero, what would your name be and what powers would you have?

Ha ha – that’s tough. Probably – ‘The enabler’ with the superpower of enabling people to develop. That’s a bit corny but true. 

What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?

 This year I swam the Coniston lake end-to-end solo. 

What three items would you take with you on a deserted island? 

Maybe a bit of a cheat here, but:

  1. Music and sound system
  2. Olympic barbell and weights
  3. A pair of goggles
Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?

My wife, our two chihuahuas, and our cat.

Finally, what would be your top 5 tips for someone new to L&D?
  1. Keep people and their experiences at the heart of your focus
  2. Gain experience in a broad range of L&D areas as early as possible in your career
  3. Develop yourself intentionally in the areas of data, digital, and cultural literacies
  4. Don’t forget that L&D is a business.
  5. Be curious, and stay humble.