I missed the story earlier in the year about ByteDance, the Chinese internet company which owns TikTok, eliminated its Talent Development team in December. Thanks to Kate Graham for reminding me about it.
If you work in Learning you need to be afraid. A look at some of the choice phrases the company used to justify the decision include:
- The team’s work had “limited practical value”
- They represented a “disconnect” from the company’s needs
- Many of its roles and functions were not in tune with their current development strategies
- Some company staff were unaware of what the Talent Development team does
- Many learning events…of mediocre quality…did not make very effective use of employees’ time
- Some of these are more like ‘feel good’ initiatives that are self-indulging and ‘doing things for the sake of doing things’, where the actual value is limited and questionable
Pause for a moment and ask how you’d feel if you were presented with statements like this. Would they be true for your organisation.? How can you demonstrate that you are needed to develop talent in your organisation?
I’m not so concerned with the fact the team have, for the most part, been absorbed into the wider business. That means talent development will still be happening and closer to where it’s needed. More of an issue is the description of what they don’t want. The gap between what was being presented and what was needed seems vast. I’d guess it’s because the team were struggling to demonstrate their value.
If you want help proving the effects of your work in learning, please do get in touch.