3 strategies to engage your organization change learning culture

21st  century  is the century  of learning. According to  a Gallup  survey  on learning and development practices,  86% of all companies change something in their learning and development often than once a month  and 72% of these companies struggle with  building the best  suitable solution that can help  them enhance the learning process.

Learning and development professional  face more and more challenges everyday  and business leaders are making it even harder to succeed by  putting more and more updates on learning practices and content faster to  help  them answer the changing environment and demands.

That can often lead to  burn out and inability  to deliver the best  content in people,  engaged with  developing learning and development  opportunities and deliver them to  the wide range of company  or client employees.  Departmental  or business leaders are often also  responsible for delivering best  in class training, and when they  struggle with  the process,  they  are often accused in not making it at the end and not be able to ensue department and company  future. 

If you  are dealing with  training and want to  teach  your organization how to  adapt a constant process of training,  delivering sustainable growth  results you  will need to  invest time in changing the mindsets.  Most people like taking some courses,  but shortly  after the course 68% of them don’t change anything in their work  and behavior (according to  a Delloitte survey from 2018  the percentage varies between 65% and 69% according to the country).  Still,  after all  the challenges,  if you  want to  create a learning organization, with  culture of growth  and development you  will need to  build a working strategy  to  ensure you  will get the results you  want. .  Here are three strategies to  help  you  with  your organization transformation.

Manage learning function to  cultivate ecosystems
The knowledge people need to  be more successful  is often divided into  small  pieces. In traditional  organization,  people take courses because they  believe these courses will somehow help  them to  be better at their work,  to achieve the so  dreamed success,  to achieve more wealth, etc. Often business leaders talk about learning from experience or the style known as “probe-mistake”.  This is a powerful, but still very  slow process of learning.  To  change that  you  will need to promote a different culture of learning.  Start  by  connecting the dots between company  plans,  individual  performance and learning opportunities.  Your strategy  here have to  be to  create an ecosystem where learning is seen as a necessary element from the individual  performance growth  process. When connected in a ecosystem,  individual performance and learning become dependant elements,  and the demand for one will be easily  seen as opportunity for growth. When implementing this strategy you  will need to  focus on presenting real results from outside the company or a successful  company  department,  to  convince business and department leaders about the need to  place the learning of new things as a element of the everyday  tasks.

Turn from  Firefighter to  Firestarter
Most professionals who  promote learning and development need to  act as firefighters.  The leadership team decides on a particular training and they  need to organize it.  Have you  been in a situation when a Business leader comes and says “It cannot continue like that.  People are not good at a particular skills. I want to send them to  a course to learn that  skill”. If not,  you  a re a lucky one.  But many  professionals and mid level leader in the organization, who  are close to  learning and development have experienced that. To  change that  you  will need to  be a promoter of the learning needs. To  become a leader, promoting learning and development,  you  will need to  move from the position of firefighter,  or someone who is reactive on different situations  to  firestarter. To be a Firestarter means to  be proactive,  to  be the one who flames the spark in others to seek  learning and development, driven by  the thoughts for success,  based on learned new skill. If you  achieve that  you  will be better accepted as the person in the room who  supports growth,  as the one who  is in the center of the development path  for the employees  

Turn from traditional  learning and development promoter to  a trusted advisor
Most leaders assume the role of traditional advisor of what  people need to  learn in order to succeed.  Why  is this wrong? Well, what  have worked for you,  may  not work  for another person.  The courses you have taken, may  have changed,  or may  not be providing useful  tools for the way  a person works.  If you, as a leader want to  be accepted as learning,  development and growth  promoter,  you  will need to  focus on position yourself as someone with:

  • Learning & Development expertise –  a person familiar with  different approaches ensuring solid learning opportunities and development and growth  
  • Business expertise  – learning and development you  provide for your people must business oriented.  To be accepted as the leader supporting development, you  need to  get a lot of business expertise.  A leader knowing much  about the business,  the processes, the models,  the paths,  the pain points is the one who gives meaningful  direction to  the employees on his team how to  develop to be seen as valuable business goals contributors
  • Advisor capability –  \the leader is not someone who points.  When you  need to step into   leadership  role you  will need to  learn to stop  managing and commanding and start  advising.  A leader who  support learning and development is the one who  gives freedom employees to  chose the way  they  will learn.  Advisory  role must only be used to  guide them what  skills they  need to be successful, without pointing on particular courses or methods.  When assuming the role of an Advisor,  the leader helps others to  freely  chose from options they  see,  instead of trying to  get the best  from options that  are not valuable for them.

IN CONCLUSION:
As a leader you  will need to step away from the process of development and become a trusted advisor when needed and supporter of individual  choices without criticizing them, when they  are made.  Now imagine your role is more than a department leader role.  Imagine you  are responsible for a whole business. Imagine you  will need to  change the culture of a whole organization and teach  that  organization how to  win in the future by  enabling it’s employees to  chose how to  develop  crucial  for the business skills.

Are you  ready  to do it?….

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