The L&D function is growing up; now recognized as an important support function that can help the organization. In some organizations, L&D does have a seat at the table. But the challenge of recognizing L&D as a strategic function and a tactical one still looms large.
What if, L&D started at the grass roots level to be seen as a partner in helping reach business goals and meet expectations? It can be done.
It needs to start with each business unit within the organization. An L&D business partner needs to be part of the budgeting, performance setting, and strategic planning discussions for each line of business. This brings L&D to the front lines and to the individuals who need it most but don’t necessarily know what they need.
L&D is still informing and educating colleagues and internal customers that an elearning course or training isn’t always the answer. L&D needs to understand business and performance challenges to allow for a bigger picture assessment of all the issues and how they may impact one another.
Planning training or learning opportunities isn’t about the end result – that is – the actual deliverable and in what way it’s delivered – is it elearning or a synchronous webinar. Yes, that is an important component. But what’s more important is what the expected and needed end result are.
We need to first identify what needs to be changed, fixed or understood and how learning can support it or change it. We need to flip our planning and development model, starting with the end result expectation in order to work backwards. As learning professionals we must first define the challenge, problem or need and determine how the end result will impact the business.
We’ve known this for awhile – but we still need to educate our colleagues and internal customers.