What has the business ever done for us?

Photo Credit: kimbenson45 via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: kimbenson45 via Compfight cc

The interior of a training room. A darkened room with a very conspiratorial atmosphere. Learning and development people are seated around a number of tables. Francis is standing by a flipchart, addressing the group.

Francis:
If we want Learning and Development to be recognised as a valued business function we need to get to the board room. We get in through creating an intervention with impossible metrics here…we’ll get invited to the board meeting here…this will give us the opportunity to get a place at the table here. Having grabbed the place for the next 3 meetings, we’ll hold the performance data hostage and that it won’t be released until we get funding for our demands.

Delegate:
What exactly are our demands?

Sam is sitting at the back of the room, contemplating what to say next.

Sam:
We’re giving the business a financial quarter to dismantle the performance metrics that don’t work with our learning management systems and if they don’t agree immediately we’ll send more reaction data.

Delegate:
Send them all the data?

Sam:
Everything…how cold the room was, the quality of refreshments, the learning objectives met…one metric on the hour, every hour…show them we’re not to be trifled with. Also, we’re demanding a 50 slide Powerpoint deck with a font size of 12 to be the standard template.

Delegate:
They’ll never agree to that!

Sam:
That’s just the bargaining counter. And of course, we point out that they bear full responsibility when we use it for all training sessions, and…that we shall not submit to blackmail.

Delegates in unison:
No blackmail!

Sam:
They’ve bled us white…they’ve taken everything that we had, not just from us but from the chief learning officers, the trainers and the professional facilitation executives.

Francis:
And from the instructional designers, the LMS administrators, and the curriculum designers.

Sam:
Yes

Francis:
And from the learning analysts, the business support programme managers, the technical collaboration specialists…

Sam:
Alright Francis, don’t labour the point. And what have they ever given us in return?

Delegate:
A PC and office space.

Sam:
Oh yeah, yeah they gave us that. Yeah. That’s true.

Delegate:
And the training rooms!

Francis:
Oh yes…training rooms, Sam, you remember what the training facilities used to be like.

Sam:
All right, I’ll grant you that the PC and the training rooms are two things that the business have done…

Delegate:
And the software.

Sam:
(sharply) Well yes obviously the software… the software goes without saying. But apart from the PC, the Training rooms and the software…

Delegate:
Funding

Other delegates:
Credibility…photocopying…sponsorship

Sam:
Yes…alright…fair enough…

Delegate:
And the web access

Francis:
Yeah, that’s something we’d really miss if the business didn’t support us Sam.

Delegate at the back:
Marketing support!

Delegate:
And it’s safe to propose innovative development activities now.

Francis:
They certainly know how to keep innovative development on the map…(general nodding)…let’s face it, they’re the only ones who could in a place like this!

(more general murmurs if agreement)

Sam:
Alright…alright…but apart from the PC, the training rooms, the software, the funding, the credibility, the photocopying, the sponsorship, web access, marketing support and the safety to promote innovative development activities…
What has the business ever done for us?

To papraphase JFK…

Ask not what the business has done for you. Ask what you can do for the business.

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2 responses to “What has the business ever done for us?

  1. A bit of Monty Python and JFK never went astray in telling a nice story !
    Great to see the passion in L&D pros return – I can feel this revolution is starting to pick up momentum – but we can’t seem to find our leader – oh hold on – wait – there he is – in the mirror:

    “If its going to be its up to me !”

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