Wicked skillz

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

In my previous post I summarised my session at the CIPD L&D show and pointed out that I was going to review the outputs from the participants in the room from the final activity I’d set.

I’d asked the group to consider what skills gaps they felt L&D had in developing a more autonomous and personalised learning offer. Their feedback is below:

  • Lack of IT/digital
  • Lack of IT equipment/access
  • Lack of product knowledge
  • No one point of access
  • Constant assumptions of competence
  • Fear of IT – user/manager/L&D
  • Empowerment – giving people permission
  • Knowledge of different ways to learn
  • L&D Skills – business (bigger picture), curator, let go, trust
  • Take a chance – people may get it wrong
  • Individual reflection of skills gaps
  • We all do it every day – transfer this to work
  • Clarity of purpose

I’ve discussed a number of these before but there are a few in the list worthy of further thought.

I’d like to point out again that this topic was the least popular of the 5 discussion areas. This is reflected in the list since I don’t think there is insufficient individual reflection of skills gaps. I still find myself surprised when I encounter people in L&D who don’t do any extra-curricular development, don’t blog, tweet, or spend time considering how their practice might be developed outside ‘formal’ CPD. I know I shouldn’t be surprised but anyone who claims to be relevant and doesn’t have a social presence isn’t being true to you or themselves.

The session had real pace and tempo because people shared what they did every day – transfer this to work. Maybe I should be more hopeful; there are people who have recognised that they learn in a range of ways away from formal course based structures. One of the challenges is to prove that benefit to the organisation and to break the conspiracy of convenience.

I mentioned fear in the session and lack of IT/digital skills came through strongly. There were few people in the session using mobile devices for notes, few people tweeting, few people relating personal IT to workplace activity. It’s not possible to ignore IT digital skills any longer; people in your organisations are using technology beyond what your workplace offers. You don’t need to become a guru but a basic understanding of how to use Google Docs as a collaborative tool, which blog platforms work best in different circumstances and how to use curation tools should be core skills for people in L&D.

Lastly, we’re still faced with L&D not knowing the bigger picture and how what we do relates to business. If you can’t equate your activity to business performance then you’re in the wrong role. L&D MUST be measured in business terms or you remain a cost centre. If you’re not able to describe your activity in terms of outcomes, instead of outputs (or worse) inputs, you lack connection to what your business does.

What do you think? Are there other skills that L&D need to improve to develop a more autonomous offer? Let me know in the comments.

4 responses to “Wicked skillz

  1. Hi Andrew,

    I totally agree with you. There is another factor that I would add: when L&D consider that the company is not ready to change. But why don’t they drive this change?
    As Clive Shepherd has recently written on Linkedin, courage is also a quality needed in that role.


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