When it comes to connecting learning to business needs, where do you sit on the spectrum?
At any given time, for any given project, how we view our L&D activities shift. However, what remains the most critical is connecting the Learning to business Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s).
At a time when L&D has the opportunity to connect with business leaders, with the skills agenda being one of the highest priority needs for business today, who can leaders depend on? Hopefully us. But granted, to meet the need for upskilling, cross-skilling, and reskilling -everyone must be engaged. From the L&D professional to line managers, from department heads to individuals. We all have a stake when it comes to adding business value.
For L&D this means, by first having a business value mindset, we help the business move forward and develop stronger business critical skill-management practices.
But how do we get there from here? How do we begin (or continue to) adopt a business-first mindset?
As Laura states:
Learning value is a safe place for L&D to play, as the outcomes are under our control. They are safe and familiar.
Business value is scarier. We are part of a bigger system at play, and as a result, we lose control of determining our success.
To date, L&D’s primary value focus has been on learning value. We talk about the connection with and activity around our programmes: hours, engagement, and efficiency. Our dashboards proudly reflect our savings and reach — those passing through or rating our offerings. Increasingly, and importantly, I am also seeing value being talked about in terms of the usefulness of our offerings, including user reflections of perceived relevance and intent to change. Learning value provides us with a great indicator about how our formal or assigned learning is being received, applied, and used. The focus of learning value is us – our outputs, our savings, our engagement and our usefulness. This is not a great starting point if we want to deliver business value.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is business value – where our number 1 focus is on the outputs that are important to our organisation. Those using a business value narrative seek out opportunities to solve business problems. They describe their value using language of the business and track progress using organisational performance indicators that are already in place.
Where do you sit on the L&D Value Spectrum? Join the discussion as Laura helps us to shift our paradym. “Business first thinking drives business value”!
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