Take a long hard look at yourself

Image from Pixabay
Image from Pixabay

I spent an enjoyable few days last week at Learning Technologies 2015 meeting up with friends old and new. I had fun in my sessions too; one was about rethinking and reforming your learning function. The questions bounced around and I asked the audience this:

This session is about reforming your learning function; why haven’t you done it yet?

From the responses that I got it’s clear, work is tough.

What it’s not is doing what you’ve always done to get what you’ve always got. That’s repetition, that’s a production line, that’s Fordism, that’s standardisation.

I saw plenty of this in the exhibition spaces too – the desire to scale ‘learning’ up through how more efficiently how we deliver it. It’s more than a delivery issue though; it felt like there was a desire (in some places) to change the thinking behind how we work.  Martin Couzins picked up on this in the rather brilliant reflection room at the event. These are Google Hangouts that allow people to connect with the speakers from the event. As Martin said:

It’s our responsibility to model what we want to see in other people

Are you ready to change?

Are you prepared to change?

Are you ready to model a new attitude?

Do you want to?

Your comments are always welcome.


4 thoughts on “Take a long hard look at yourself

  1. Andrew, I couldn’t agree more – L&D’s woes are not rooted in problems with efficiency of delivery. If anything, there is a problem with tools and technologies that just let people do the wrong things at greater speed and at lower cost. There needs to be more emphasis on effectiveness.

    I like your four questions, but what if your organisations really doesn’t want you to change (even if they need you to)? I’ve worked with a couple of organisations where managers would strongly oppose any attempt by L&D to be anything other than order takers.

    The research is four years old, but this is something I said in an article for ILT a couple of years ago: “The research came from the Corporate Leadership Council’s L&D Team Capabilities Survey in 2011. According to this survey, when asked if they were satisfied with the performance of L&D only 23% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed. A similar figure, just 24% thought that L&D was critical to business outcomes. Overall, a little more than half of the respondents would actively discourage their colleagues from working with L&D.”

    It’s very difficult for people to act as role models when the function they work in is held in such low regard – indeed any attempt at role modelling is more likely to be perceived as just being plain awkward.


  2. Andrew you are so right – what I noticed (sadly once again) is the lack of discussion and advocating of the alignment to our business. How many times do we have to say it – you are not there to look pretty and take up a spot – you role is to make a difference to the business. Until you, I and our friends all start thinking this way and take a god hard look at ourselves, I am afraid we will still be discussing this at LT20UK !


  3. Thanks all for the comments.

    Interesting challenge Barry; is it the function of the L&D team to challenge that organisational culture? If they’re successful in what they do why would L&D get more than a cursory acknowledgement?

    Alignment is good Con but we need to be more than in parallel with the organisation. If we do that we differentiate ourselves further from being part of the business.

    Agreed Nick. While we’re still (predominantly) in a vendors market, is it them who should be doing the showing?


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