For learning programs to matter, they must make an impact. What does that mean? It means that learning must make a measurable, discernible difference to an organization. Measures of perception or opinion don’t reveal the difference. Hard data and metric changes do. That’s why choosing an impact measurement model is the best choice. [Read more…]
Learning programs can be measured—but only if they are designed to be measured.
It’s good design that enables measurement.
So the necessary question becomes: What makes for good design? [Read more…]
I recently watched this video from Chief Learning Officer magazine.
In it, Michael Nehoray, PhD, VP, Head of Global Learning and Organization Development at Mattel describes Mattel’s process for grooming leaders within the company.
However, he mentions one thing rarely discussed in the professional learning and development field. He says, “You create change through a declared set of behaviors, of capabilities, and of values.” [Read more…]
“Expert skill or knowledge in a particular field.” That’s the definition of expertise.
Many learning and development (L&D) practitioners landed in this profession because of their expertise. Companies often conscript people gifted in a certain area to become teachers and trainers of others. That mainly happens because learning programs are tied to a particular subject. A need arises and companies look for the subject matter expert (SME) who knows the material to teach others. It’s a natural and even logical reaction. It happens all the time in organizations. Learning departments often start by building around a group of SMEs.
As I’ve said before, there is nothing wrong with SMEs transitioning to the L&D role. Many of today’s L&D pros took this path into the learning profession. I don’t question your expertise in the subject area that you teach. That’s an important skill to have, and obviously something your organization values or you wouldn’t have been invited to lead learning programs.
However, if you’re going to own your expertise in the L&D field, you must extend beyond your subject area. You must match your subject matter expertise to instructional design (ID) expertise. Build your L&D expertise as you link your SME knowledge and ID skills. [Read more…]
Leaders sit at the executive table. They provide information valuable to running the business. They are the top minds in an organization. From their area of expertise, they create strategies. Those strategies improve outcomes and help the business reach its goals. Each comes from a different discipline—sales, marketing, engineering, and so on. From their realm of knowledge, they tackle corporate challenges and address future direction. They identify how their specific departments can support organizational success.
Naturally, learning professionals want a seat at this table. Without it, they know they can’t impact organizational strategy. Learning is a powerful tool. It gives staff the knowledge and skills they need to help a business reach its strategic goals. From a seat of power, these pros can wield expertise and influence to drive business strategy. [Read more…]
Does your organization employ full-time L&D professionals? I feel certain many of you answered no to that question. For many businesses, the learning role has become a side hustle rather than a full-time focus.
I began thinking on this after reading The Future of Learning Careers in Chief Learning Office magazine. I wanted to touch on two of the author’s observations in particular.
In one instance, the author says, “…SMEs are still being used [to teach internally-led classes] but they are borrowed for that function while keeping their line jobs.” [Read more…]
A learning object is the unit of measure for learning programs. Every learning professional needs to grasp this concept if they ever hope to create measurable learning programs. This is a simple concept but one many L&D pros struggle with. [Read more…]
Authoring tools help you create content and add visuals. LMS tools track courses offered and who has taken what course.
Those tools provide support and info helpful to your L&D department internally, but they don’t offer what your stakeholders want: data.
Business leaders are asking L&D to prove their design methods actually yield results. They want proof that learning programs improve their business. [Read more…]
Recently, I was a guest on The CLO Show. That’s a podcast produced by Riptide Software and led by moderator Patrick Hodgdon. Of course, we talked about one of my favorite topics: moving past the survey and learning how to measure by design. You can listen to that podcast here.
Following A Familiar Path To L&D
During the podcast we talked about something I’ve never discussed on my blog, which is how I entered the learning and development (L&D) profession. Like so many of us in this field, I got in through a backdoor. My undergraduate work was in marketing and I held a marketing position where I worked. Over time, I came to know their product so well that I was ultimately asked to train others about it.
This path is familiar to many current L&D professionals. You gain expertise in a product or service. To business leaders, that expertise seems like the perfect fit to lead training on the subject. This is a common L&D career path. [Read more…]
It can be difficult to be the first in anything. The first person to push back on common practice often gets hit with a mountain of ridicule from those who have done the same thing forever. When you are the first, others tell you all the reasons why what you are doing is wrong. You hear things like We have never done it that way; It will never work; or my personal favorite, If your way was the right way, everyone would be doing it.
Years ago, we at eParamus experienced the challenge of being the first in our approach to evaluating learning. We heard all of the reasons why learning could not be measured. We heard things like Learning is just too touchy feely to measure; Technical skills are one thing, but you could never measure a soft skill; Learning is not about the numbers, which means you can never get a real ROI on learning programs; and Learning departments are not like other business units, so you cannot expect them to quantify their outcomes.
Yes, being first is rough.
Still, armed by our convictions, we continued. [Read more…]