ASTD Becomes Association for Talent Development (ATD)

You might have noticed that ASTD has a new name and a new brand. The American Society for Training and Development made the change this past May becoming the Association for Talent Development.

President and CEO Tony Bingham announced the change at the organization’s international conference this past Spring stating, “Your work is so much broader than training alone.” He cited the growing references in business to the term “talent development” that describes the breadth of work done by professionals who develop the talent in organizations: their knowledge, skills, and abilities.

This change is much-needed and seems welcomed by the ASTD/ATD Community. Many in the learning and development community had already made the switch to moving from the word “training” to the word “learning.” This name change for ASTD takes semantics a step further by emphasizing the outcome–talent development. After all, what is the result of learning?

Along with the new name comes a new logo and anyone whose been through rebranding efforts can tell you nightmare stories about branding gone wrong. I must say I love the new logo for ATD.

In the ASTD logo it looks as if the trainer is holding the weight of the world which unfortunately parallels the reality for many trainers. There’s also no description of what ASTD stands for. I can’t tell you how many times I told someone, “I’m going to an ASTD meeting” only to be met with a look of shock and/or confusion as what was heard was, “I’m going to an STD meeting.” They’re not the same!

The new logo takes care of this by clearly stating what ATD stands for. The colors are bold and eye-catching. The T looks as if it is reaching across with its arms to the A and the D saying, “Don’t worry. I’m here to help!”

Are you a member of ASTD/ATD? What are your thoughts on the change?

About Lori Reed

Lori Reed, coauthor of Workplace Learning & Leadership: A Handbook for Library and Non-Profit Trainers, is a learning and communication strategist with more than twenty years experience in learning and development. A 2009 Library Journal Mover & Shaker and a 2010 "One to Watch" for paralibrarians, Lori graduated cum laude from East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science in Communication. Lori is a certified Synchronous Learning Expert and a North Carolina Master Trainer and has traveled across North America speaking about libraries and training.

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