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Lynn Rodgers

Virgin Money

Organisational Development Channels Manager

Read more from Lynn Rodgers

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Learning Academy


My L&D department are moving to a more performance-focused & consultative approach. Feedback from non-frontline business areas is that we're invisible. I'd like to 'brand' our services in a visible way that shares our approach to development. The idea of a Learning Academy was suggested. Has anyone created one from scratch before? Does anyone have a Learning Academy or something similar they would be willing to share with me? 

I work for public sector in Glasgow.

2 Responses

  1. Why a learning academy??

    My 10 cents.   Forget about an academy – get closer to your customers and stakeholders and find out what they need from you.

    Jumping straight to a product (an academy isn’t a ‘brand’) – potentially a re-packaging of what you already do – without understanding what the issue is could be disastrous.

    How about starting with consulting with your customers and stakeholders to understand their ‘businesses’ (I know it’s public sector), including their talent and capability needs necessary for them to deliver their services?  Use this info (you could call this your Strategic Learning Assessment) to create your business plan.  You may want to follow this with a marketing and communication plan.  

    Some of the questions you need to ask yourselves are;

    Why you exist as a L&D team?  How well do you understand your customers, their environment, their challenges and what they want from a learning group? What stops them from buying externally when they should be using your services? What’s your value proposition?  What are the learning needs of your customers? How well positioned are you to meet these needs? What’s the learning culture?  What are appropriate ways of delivering learning in this culture?  Do you need to up-skill or re-skill yourselves to become more relevant to your customers?  How do you measure and report the value you add to your customers? How well integrated are you with other groups (talent management, OD, diversity, resourcing etc) in being able to meet customer needs in an integrated way?

    An exciting journey! Good luck!

  2. confusion…..

    Dear lxrodg

    On the one hand you say that you are moving your team to be more consultative and more performance focussed but on the other you want to rebrand your team an as academy……..’scuse me if I’m wrong but the image of academies traditionally is of academic organisations that focus on producing students who pass exams which isn’t necessarily students who perfom well in the workplace or students with the skills required by the customer.

     I worked with a training function in a similar situation and their (successful) approach was this

    :-they invested a lot of effort in meeting with their customers to ascertain what performance issues the customers had (not just training or learning issues) and what level of priority the customer put on these. 

    They then proposed interventions to improve the performance issues

    At the same time they upskilled their own team by learning a consultative approach and broadening their knowledge of performance improvement tools and techniques…this included measurement, reporting, analysis and improvements to processes as well as human factors

    As they had successs with their customer base they made a concerted effort to publicise these internally to raise their profile and their stock with internal customers.  Very soon they found that they were being approached far more by managers and staff who wanted help….they had created a "pull" approach to their offering.

    They never actually changed the name of their function or department; the rebranding was a genuine change of brand rather than just papering over cracks with a new name and logo (not that I’m suggesting that that is your intention!)

    I hope this helps


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Lynn Rodgers

Organisational Development Channels Manager

Read more from Lynn Rodgers

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