I was talking with a colleague the other day, and got a wee bit dramatic. I also thought it was an important point. So here, for your dining enjoyment, I’ve roughly recreated the pitch (in 3 mins and 30 secs):
I hope this makes sense. I welcome your thoughts and feedback.
Hi, I’m Clark Quinn, of Quinnovation, and I’ve been around the elearning for well-nigh forever, and around L&D for the past couple of decades. So…I joke that:
L&D isn’t doing near what it could and should, and what it is doing, it’s doing badly. Other than that, it’s fine.
Seriously, I think there’s the obviously important role for L&D, but also a really important opportunity.
Things aren’t getting any simpler. We’re facing increasing complexity and uncertainty. And, going forward, I suggest, optimal execution is only the cost of entry. Continual innovation will be the necessary differentiator. That is, we will have to do well what we know we have to do, but we also have to become agile, nimble, and able to pivot in the face of change. So that means doing courses right, when courses are the answer. That’s the optimizing role, going beyond being efficient to being effective.
And it also means that organizations will have to get good at problem-solving, research, design, and more.The thing is with those things, when you start you don’t know the answer. That is: They. Are. Learning! And that is the important opportunity.
Going back to being effective, that means that when we design courses, we need to effectively integrate learning science with true engagement. Deep LXD, not tarted up quiz shows and ‘click to see more’. And, we should only do that when it’s the right answer! It’s not ‘we need a course on this’, but instead “we can identify that we have a skills gap and we need to improve our performance”.
And then, it’s about facilitating social and informal learning: tapping into the power of our people, creating a learning culture, assisting the organization in systematic in good practices.
How do we get there? I argue there are two major steps. First, we need to measure, and here I mean more than just efficiency. It’s not how much it costs to have a bum in a seat for an hour, but instead whether that bum in that seat for that hour does the organization any good. Right now, we don’t know whether our efforts are really moving any needles. It’s a matter of faith that if it look like school, it must be learning.
Second, it means we have to start practicing those principles within L&D: smart experimentation; collaborating; and learning continually and out loud. We can’t have credibility if we haven’t walked the walk.It won’t happen overnight. We’ll have to build back our reputation as scrutable practitioners. We’ll have to continually educate. And likely have to do the ‘better to seek forgiveness than permission’.
Here’s the vision I see. When we’re not only ensuring good execution on what we know we have to do, but are responsible for the ongoing success of the organization, we’ve moved to an indispensable position. We’re key to success in the toughest times! As key as IT and Finance. Other groups can and will take it on if we don’t but we’re supposed to be the ones who understand how we learn. And learning, going forward, is the key to not just surviving, but thriving. Our orgs need it, the employees need it, and our professional standards demand it. So let’s do it. Let’s reengineer our status in, and value to, the organization.
Thanks for listening.