Roadmap to a new learning future – Part 1

Roadmap to a new learning future – aligning learning delivery and measurement in an open, social world Last week, I referred to the signs that L&D specialists are reaching the top table. The job titles of L&D team members are changing as a reflection of this and the changing nature of the L&D roles themselves. My colleague, Lisa Minogue-White, during a presentation back at the Learning Technologies show in January explored this, going as far as saying that even the latest trend of ‘Head of Online Learning’ or ‘Head of Digital Learning’ itself is only a short term step. Whether learning is online or not is not really the point, but the strategic orchestration of learning in all its forms is.  The senior exec roles in L&D are reflecting the need to apply strategic thinking to mobilising learning to realising organisation strategic objectives. I started my life as a manager of large technical teams and looked to the work of Drucker and Wenger in helping address the learning issues I faced in a fast-moving tech company. And technical enablement was expected, given the sector I worked in. Most of my work now involves working with organisations faced with the need to learn fast and applying learning in the workplace with technology as a core enabler.  The challenge is how to articulate this and then how to create the correct governance and learning structures in organisation design. This includes creating the best-fit tech architecture to enable this to be flexible and robust to achieve the performance levels required of our people. Willow Learning ecosystem © Copyright WillowDNA 2014 The diagram above makes a good start in describing the flow of governance through organisational design and structure. Direction is set through the top table, supporting knowledge, skills and competencies defined with L&D working alongside the subject matter experts. Finally, skills and experience are executed in projects, delivering the company output. This sits though in fluid systems which are often complex. The challenge is how to simplify this flow, supporting the need for knowledge on the job with feedback on effectiveness back through to the SMEs and then to the top table in terms of achievement. The more rapid this can be, the more effective it is. The faster the rate of change in the organisation, the faster this has to be. Next week, I’ll be building on this theme and sharing my thoughts on Business strategy engagement – aligning learning strategy for business growth.