I have been reflecting on the juncture that the L&D industry and profession finds itself in and the expectations the business now has with the profession.
The reason I have chosen the comparison with DIY is the issue that many of us find at home with a particular change or repair that we want to make in our house or garden. Do we do it ourselves or do we find someone who is at the top of their profession and even though we will have to pay, will do an excellent job.
The L&D industry is flooded with technology and tools to assist us in doing our job better, the expectations of the business is that all tools are simple to use or simple to get to understand and they will be sufficient for the job in hand. I think that the TV programme DIY SOS sums up where a lot of us find ourselves when dabbling with technology without using the true power or professionalism that our users/stakeholders would expect.
I could choose many technologies where this is true, but I will take video as the example. We now have the most powerful cameras in our hands than we have had in 10 years and anyone can take a video, edit it on the phone or buy some software and alter it. At the end of the video you will have a video, but that is all it will be – will it be engaging? Will there be the right light? Is the audio good enough? What about when we mix it with another video, what does it look like?
I suppose the killer question her is “What was the intention and required outcome of the video” Was it engagement, views, transfer of quick knowledge or something bigger?
DIY chains such as B&Q and Homebase make everything look easy? How long will it take me to hang a new door, repair something in the house or try and do some building myself? I think the equation that we need to keep on asking ourselves is “What are our expectations of our teams and how much of an expert do they need to be and when is the point in which we bring the experts in?” I think it does not matter whether you think you can or cannot afford to bring an expert in, but as with DIY SOS if the amateur DIY person thought he would end up with a mess at the end, he would have got someone in from the start. So we should not expect our teams to be expert in everything and either invest in them becoming experts or get the right support to gain the required quality outcome. It is not that learning is boring, it is the person that designed it and how skilled they were at making it exciting, engaging or interactive and what story they wish to tell.
About the author – Paul Morgan: Paul Morgan is someone who is very passionate about our profession and will continue to prove its relevance and direct correlation to driving business performance, in line with Sales and Marketing. Having spent over the last 20 years in many Training/L&D roles across companies such as Azlan, Microsoft and O2 and across many business channels.
Paul looks to assist and support L&D professionals, departments and organisations to really understand the true impact that L&D can have on business performance in partnership with HR and now change that conversation. Paul is a Consultant with The Learning and Performance Institute – simply click here to find out more and enquire about Paul’s availability.
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