The 10 commandments L&D teams should follow for best results
"The changing business dynamics and the advent of technology call for a strategic approach to L&D in developing the workforce in addition to engaging with external partners, who may not have the experience in developing a technological skill of the employee." KNS Acharya
The learning and development (L&D) function not only plays a decisive role in enabling an adaptive, agile and ambidextrous organization but also yields a stronger return on investments when integrated with the business goals and strategy.
However, in most organizations, L&D generally focusses on being an ‘order taker’ and executioner, rather than a strategic partner. The L&D team usually comprises professionals with a background in HR and expertise in developing people skills and the operational efficiency of the function. While such talent is imperative, subject matter experts with rich domain and functional professional experience are much sought after. The changing business dynamics and the advent of technology call for a strategic approach to L&D in developing the workforce in addition to engaging with external partners, who may not have the experience in developing a technological skill of the employee. It is where a strategically-led L&D function brings value. Therefore, as a practice, L&D should be versatile in swiftly responding to organizational changes, play different roles and be ubiquitous by operating within different divisions, departments, strategic and operational levels of the organization.
In my opinion, the following are the ten fundamental shifts that are imperative for success in L&D:
1. Setting up business-centric academies deeply embedded into the business units.
2. Attracting the right senior talent for the academies and creating a career path for employees.
3. Creating a mechanism through which practitioners within the organisation can be part of the L&D team on a rotational basis.
4. Positioning academies and L&D as strategic business partners to the customers.
5. Providing consulting opportunities to academy members along with business subject matter experts who can use the learnings for scale-up.
6. Establishing a 40:40:20 model in which 40% of the training is delivered by the academy, 40% by the online content/practicing engineers, and 20% by external organisation experts.
7.Establishing strong governance for the training content and revamping the content regularly by the business units.
8. Incorporating the latest technologies for content sourcing (online content), content development, dissemination, and assessment of competencies thereby ensuring that the L&D team becomes technology savvy.
9. Streamlining the integration of self-learning and instructor-led learning through subject matter experts in technology and other domains.
10. Distinguishing the roles of the HR team in people skills development, program governance, etc. and the academies in bringing rich technical expertise to the L&D function.
Inarguably, the plethora of changes is driving transformation within the L&D profession. Senior practicing professionals who had earlier shunned their roles in L&D are looking at it as a serious career option today. Organisations need to set up the right leadership team and organisational culture for the L&D function to become the centre of all development activities of the business. What this necessitates is considerable resilience, especially with the added pressure on L&D professionals to script changes for learners, the organisation, the function, and themselves. At the same time, L&D practitioners should adapt to external trends, introduce changes at the right pace, and develop the competencies required by their organisations.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house