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Bola Owoade

Jewish Care

Senior Learning and Development Advisor

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Creating a lean learning strategy – answering the fifth question


In the previous post (which you can access here - I discussed answering the fourth question for creating a lean learning strategy which was - what skills and knowledge do people need for the organisation to have the right capabilities. This post will deal with the fifth question which is - how will the L&D function help people to acquire the right mix of skills and knowledge. This question focuses on some of the core strengths of L&D such as designing, developing and delivering learning interventions. Having said that there are no direct or easy answers to this question. There are so many variables to consider when answering this question, but essentially the L&D team will need to speak to people and really understand how the business operates before presenting any learning solutions. To answer the lean strategy questions I have been using the company story of a fictional company called Complete Compliance and the company's L&D manager, Tim. To answer this question Tim and his team want to find out:

  • What is the most effective and efficient way to deliver learning for the business? For instance, in-house, external, face-to-face, online, facilitator driven or self-paced development.
  • What framework will they use to develop learning interventions? Fully outsourced, fully internal or a combination of both.
  • Can different learning modes such as coaching, mentoring  and action learning be integrated in to the learning process?

Tim and his team have found out that  the best approach to use is a mixture of various delivery and development methods. For example the software development team in the company need to acquire new skills and knowledge to rebuild the organisation's compliance platform. The best delivery method for them as Tim and his team have discovered is attending face-to-face training to learn the basics of the technology and self-paced learning through subscription to a library of resources from websites such as Lynda, Treehouse, Codeschool and Packtpub. They also want to have weekly  or forthnightly team coaching sessions to discuss what they are learning and how they are applying them to building the new platform. With knowledge like this Tim and his team can begin to set a number of L&D goals which will be quick wins for his team such as:

  • Source the most appropriate face-to-face course for the software development team.
  • Subscribe to the online resources they need.
  • Assist them in facilitating their team coaching meetings.

The team will also be able to assess the impact of the learning during the coaching meetings by understanding how they are building the new platform with what they are learning. This is just one example. Other important things Tim will need to identify at this point are:

  • Does the L&D team currently have the right capabilities to work towards the organisational learning goals they have identified? If they don't what do they do to acquire these capabilities?
  • Is the correct infrastructure, both technological and non-techjnological in place to achieve these goals?

They will also need to draw up a quick and simple action plan to start acting as soon as possible. Now there is just one more question to answer, the sixth one.

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Bola Owoade

Senior Learning and Development Advisor

Read more from Bola Owoade

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