The Learning Culture Officer (1 of 4): Something Needs To Change

The role of an L&D professional is tough
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The role of an L&D professional is tough

You’re constantly at the whim of the needs of the business, yet you never have time to conduct the needs analysis you know you must do. 

Management thinks training is the top-down creation of events and courses that will magically fix real business issues. You are left grappling with how to measure and tie the outcomes of these efforts to real business issues. 

Your priorities include building capability academies, cleaning up and integrating your learning tech ecosystem, and building a skills taxonomy to tie it all together. 

Yet you are trapped in a cycle of creating and pushing out content. A cycle of dusting off what you did last year, painting over the ugly parts, and rolling it out again for more than it’s worth. You just don’t have time to reinvent the wheel. 

Your biggest priority of the year becomes whatever marquee leadership program your most senior leaders want to see rolled out. You spend most of the year working on this program which impacts a much smaller, albeit important, section of the population you are responsible for. You know you are neglecting meaningful training experiences which could have a massive impact if only you had the time to dedicate to them. 

You spend all your time managing stakeholders and HR business partners who are the subject matter experts you so desperately need. You try to support them but your resources are limited and they just don’t know how to teach. If only you could do it for them, with them, but who do you prioritize? Who do you spend time with while leaving others to fend for themselves? 

You have to do everything, from creating training material to facilitating workshops to producing reports requested by management. You have little time left for thinking, strategizing, testing new products and ideas, and spending time with peers in the industry to learn what they are doing. 

So much to do, so little time
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Photo by Tom Ramalho on Unsplash

Meanwhile, the people whose development you are responsible for are creating elaborate training decks to be delivered 1 on 1. Team leaders are frequently conducting the same training sessions and answering the same questions over and over again. Team members on the front line are spending days searching for answers and best practices. 

It’s not all doom and gloom of course. Over the last two years, you’ve become an expert at empathy, working from home, care, remote work technology, employee empowerment, and mental health. You’ve championed diversity and inclusion. You’ve improved the employee experience. 

You so desperately want to leave the legacy of a learning culture in which everyone in your organization embraces the opportunities you provide. Opportunities to learn new mental models. Opportunities to take deliberate action using new ways of thinking. Opportunities to reflect on the lessons they learn in their everyday work. 

You want to leave the legacy of a culture of continuous learning

If only you had the time.

What if I told you there was a way?

What if I told you it was possible to create a culture of continuous learning in the time you do have?

What if I told you this was already happening? 

In our next post, we’ll reveal what actual clients, with thriving learning cultures, look like.

This article is part of a 4-part series exploring the future of learning and development inside companies.

Here is the full series:

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