Are Universities still just slow and inflexible providers of nothing but the MBA?
It’s something I hear fairly often…“Universities aren’t agile and flexible enough to deliver to private sector organisations…and they only offer the MBA anyway”.
Well, for the most part that certainly was the case but is it still true?
Like so many things, it’s not as simple as a straight yes or no answer.
There’s no getting away from the fact that many (probably most) Australian University Business School’s are still stuck in their ‘do it our way or no way’ mentality, often making it difficult for full-time employees to attend workshops, zero contextualisation, no non-accredited programs, etc. Indeed, the fact that a University needs a Business School for many of the important global rankings means that many simply operate them as a loss-leader with no real desire to change or create a meaningful value proposition to the private sector.
However, that’s not true of all of them. Continue reading
Confused? You will be!
Ok, yesterday’s post ‘How many L&D/OD jobs are there in Australia, where are they and how to they relate to L&D spend?’ got me right back on my high horse about one of my massive Learning & Development related bug-bears. That being, WHY ON EARTH WOULD AN SLT REDUCE TRAINING SPEND WHEN RETRENCHING STAFF!?!?!
Now, I realise that I’m almost certainly preaching to the choir here and, being a self-confessed L&D tragic, possibly a bit biased, but here’s my thinking…
What happens in a downturn
To a hammer, everything looks like a nail…
Humans being what they are, we all tend to look at life through our own particular lens and interpret things accordingly. This, of course, is no different for Learning and Development professionals, indeed, if you’re anything like me, it seems like everything is seen through ‘L&D Eyes’.
Take my project car for example. I’m no rev-head but I’ve always wanted to fix-up a car, despite having precisely zero skills or experience to do so (you could say that I like a challenge!). Recently, I acquired a 44 year-old busted up jeep and then…well, what then!?!?!
Whilst there’s clearly a number of factors that contribute to the success of a capability development initiative, in my experience, one of the key things that will ensure success or failure is the managers of the program participants.
If managers don’t see/understand the value of training, if they feel that they’re losing an important team member(s) for the duration of the training who’s needed to get a job done (and they have to pick up the slack), if they don’t understand what their team member(s) will be learning, why, and how it will positively impact on them and the team, and, perhaps most importantly, if they don’t understand and positively embrace the important role they play in coaching and mentoring their team member(s) pre and post training to help them prepare, and then transfer their new learning to their day-to-day work, then I’m afraid Learning & Development will find they have a VERY hard task achieving targeted learning outcomes.
For this reason, it’s essential to have a strategy to ensure that participants’ managers are on board, engaged, and understand their role/responsibility.
A quick confession…
Ok, before I get going on this article, I must fess-up and admit that I didn’t know anything about the ATD conference until David King at the awesome knowledge-sharing platform provider ‘Tribal Habits‘ told me about it, so this article is basically thanks to him…thanks David! 🙂
The Learning & Development Mecca
Ok, pretty much every group has their own ‘Mecca’. In soccer, it’s the (currently underway) World Cup, for hippies, it’s Burning Man, for kids, it’s Disney Land…and, for Learning & Development people, it would seem to be the annual ATD conference in the USA.
The lighter side of Learning and Development…
It’s been a while since I posted something on the light-hearted side, so here’s my Learning & Development version of ‘Board-Room-Bingo’.
The next time you have a long Learning and Development related meeting organised, grab your unique L&D Generous bingo card and let the hilarity commence!
I’ve tried to include as many of the most common (and somewhat cliched) L&D terms I can think of, including SME, Learning Outcomes, Balanced Scorecard, Skills Needs Analysis, Adult Learning Principles, etc. However, I’m sure I’ve missed out LOADS of obvious ones so, if you can think of any, please add them in the comments below. Continue reading
Ok, we’ve come a LONG way in the last few years in terms of SLTs/C-Suites gaining a greater understanding of the need for well designed and implemented Learning & Development programs to ensure the maximum in capability and engagement, and therefore productivity and profits (click here to see my previous post ‘What’s the connection between leadership and organisational value?’ for more on this topic).
However, it’s still fairly common for people to say to me that their SLT doesn’t really seem to see the point of training…one L&D Manager even told me that her CEO had once asked her (in front of others) ‘So, what are you wasting money on today?’ (!?!?!?!?). Continue reading