During the course of my TrainingMagNetwork presentation on “Blow up the training department, why incrementalism won’t cut it anymore”, I asked the audience whether their ‘group’ (learning function) took separate responsibility for each of the following learning support tasks/roles:
- Job Aids?
- Social Media?
- Content/Knowledge Management?
I had them respond with either a ✓ or a red ✘, depending on whether their group was covering it or not. I don’t have the quantitative results, but the overall trend was not surprising, but indicative.
As we went down the list, the proportion of green dropped off, and the proportion of red took over, systematically. Well, right ’til the end. Whether due to some good strategy, or a loose interpretation of content management, we got more green again at the bottom of the list (and that’s a good thing).
And that’s my point. To me, all those elements are part of supporting organizational performance from a learning standpoint. As I’ve argued before, I think innovation, problem-solving, design, and more are part of learning. And I think that best is supported by a learning function, not IT, or KM, let alone marketing or sales. However, it does not come from a training function or mindset. They should all be green!
Which is why I want to blow up the training department. Not only because they’re following broken pedagogies, as I’ve argued before, but because unless they’re part of a larger learning function, they’re not meeting the real need.
Now, I admit I’m being deliberately ‘stirring’ things up by talking about blowing things up, but as I did in the presentation, I ask: do I mean like a bomb or a balloon? And I mean blow up the old formal training pedagogy like a bomb, and blow up the responsibility of the training department like a balloon, to cover the entire performance ecosystem.
So, my answer to my titular question is ‘both’. :)