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Martin Couzins

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World of Learning 2011: The L&D elevator pitch


Alison Hewitt, large accounts manager for L&D at Xerox Europe, explains the concept of the L&D elevator pitch.

During the World of Learning 2011 conference session entitled “Constructive a compelling business case for L&D activities”, Xerox Europe’s Alison Hewitt and business psychologist Nigel Harrison talked through the concepts of performance consulting and how they can help L&D better engage with the wider business in a more quantifiable and proactive way.

Performance consulting involves identifying relevant stakeholders in the training intervention, measuring performance gaps and delivering training that demonstrably closes the performance gap. Harrison described the process as moving away from what he called “solutioneering” – where the focus is on training solutions, rather than solving performance problems.

Hewitt talked through some of the L&D challenges at Xerox and how using a performance-focused approach helped build the capability of the L&D team and deliver better business results.

One example was a proposal from the business for a £650,000 coaching programme that had been signed off, but after deeper examination of the business requirements for the coaching programme it emerged that the programme was not actually required to fix the performance problems.

Hewitt told delegates that key to establishing the business requirements for any L&D intervention was the questions L&D asked of the project stakeholders. Hewitt expanded on this point, saying that L&D professionals needed to have their own elevator pitch.

L&D professionals had to make sure they had credibility so that the business manager knew who you were and your area of expertise, she said. Then you have to ask the right questions.

Watch TrainingZone’s interview with Alison Hewitt.


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