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The Moment of Opportunity for Learning & Development

by Eoin McDonnell - February 11, 2019

Innovation often comes from a place of crisis and the changing world of Learning and Development is ready for real innovation. This blog looks at the importance of being a high impact L&D provider and gives 6 examples of what a learning and development service portfolio should look like.

How to become a high impact learning and development service provider

The workforce is changing; employees are geographically dispersed and quick to move between roles and organisations - learning and development teams are tasked with on-boarding higher volumes of staff often remotely and making that crucial time-to-competence shorter. Knowledge is changing; the half-life of learned skills is now only five years, and 85% of the jobs that will exist in 2030 have yet to be invented - learning content created today will likely not be relevant tomorrow.

Most importantly, expectations are changing. At the coalface, workers expect to learn what they need to help them perform at the time and in the place that they need it. They expect autonomy in how they master their roles. In the boardroom, C-Suite executives expect agility and strategic acumen from learning leaders. The pressure on L&D is growing more acute.

It's time to move past the crisis toward an opportunity. These expectations show the value that L&D can deliver. Talent development is vital in attracting and retaining great staff and driving business performance. Learners and employers are looking to L&D for an answer.

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The solution won't be found in traditional learning methods developed for the pre-Digital economy. For many organisations, digital transformation has impacted all areas of business, but not so much for how they train their staff. L&D teams often still look to provide for every learning need in the business with in-house expertise and classroom solutions. These don't recognise the autonomy expected by modern learners and can't be delivered at the scale and pace expected by the business. It’s time for L&D leaders to let go of the responsibility to provide to every learning need personally.

Those who do not, risk appearing irrelevant to staff who will start looking elsewhere (70% of employees use search engines to support their performance daily). They may also appear less valuable to business leaders who require a clear return on investment. 

So, change. L&D leaders can change to reconsider the value they offer. This change is a shift from the traditional mode of providing training at a set time and place to managing a service portfolio, a range of learning tools, that can rapidly flex to meet changing requirements.

An example learning services portfolio might look like this:

1. Deploy a Learning Experience Platform, alongside your LMS, that is pre-loaded with a catalogue of high-quality content maintained for you. Stop reproducing training in generic skills and stop delivering these in over-booked classrooms and long-form e-learning. Let your learners access what they decide they need in the flow of work.

2. Empower experts in your business to rapidly develop learning content by giving them easy-to-use authoring tools so they can write and publish by themselves

3. Use a solution-orientation approach to solving internal skills gaps with a broad toolkit including micro and macro learning and quickly-scaled virtual classrooms

4. Talk with your heads of departments and find out what support and skills their teams really need and quickly develop solutions to match

5. Harness the specific abilities of your line managers – allow them to coach and mentor to facilitate learning at a local level

6. Focus your efforts on targeted learning interventions that are unique to your organisation - learning that only you can deliver.

Flexibility is key. An L&D leader needs services available to him or her that can adapt quickly to serve a changing business. This service offering is delivered on digital platforms that are available at any time in any location to the learner. These platforms can now provide the meaningful dashboards that C Suite executives demand.

The time and effort freed up by this switch afford you great opportunity to spend time thinking and acting strategically. To do what only you, the L&D leader with deep knowledge of your organisation, can do. That's close collaboration with your business leaders to craft a learning strategy that drives performance.

A strategic L&D leader gets a seat at the board table not by labouring over classroom attendance and proving value by happy sheets, but by confidently overseeing a portfolio of learning services and partnering with skilled vendors who are invested in your success to give capable digital workers control of their own growth.

Logicearth offers comprehensive learning services delivered with insight and care. We are partners with you on this transformative journey. Get in touch for an informal conversation about your needs. 

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