It’s Time L&D’s Historic Underinvestment Ended

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Hi! Welcome to the first of a regular series of discussions we want to get kicked off here at V1 on the key issues we see facing users and developers of modern Learning and Development (L&D) platforms.

Just to put that mission in a bit of context, with the V1 Learning and Training Management solution we have brought to market a customisable, Web-based L&D support environment that helps organisations more efficiently manage public, on-site and in-house training as well as help marshal their staff’s online learning and development needs.

The solution, as you may already know if you are an existing customer or have evaluated our technology, also enables learners to easily provision the training they need via a self-service approach, while V1 LTM as a platform supports the management by your HT/L&D team of learning and training to multiple stakeholder groups.

Sorry for the brief sales pitch there! I just wanted to make clear our stake in the game here: we believe in L&D.

Sometimes, I’m not sure enough other people do.

Where’s that ‘one version’ of the L&D truth?

This was brought home to me recently by chatting to delegates at the very successful June Learning Technologies Summer Forum, as well as similar stakeholders a couple of days later at the CIPD’s HR Software Show (http://www.cipd.co.uk/events/hr-software-show).

What frustrated me a little bit was hearing how tough a lot of these guys jobs still seem to be. I was struck by how many people I talked to who admitted they were still having to juggle lots of disparate L&D systems to do what really should be one, clear, unified task: helping to co-ordinate and deliver the training their teams need.

I had at least a couple of even more worrying conversations where HR managers admitted to me that they were really ‘working in the dark’ when it came to crucial data about their trainers’ ability, the capability of their internal room booking system (if they had one!), whether the course catalogue was really up to date…

Perhaps it’s a familiar picture to you. Perhaps you too have got used to manually re-keying data between systems, juggling a bit of Excel, a bit of MS Word, some Outlook calendaring stuff, a proprietary L&D system, an e-learning tool – all to do what should really be a ‘one click’ process to get colleagues in front of the teaching they need to meet compliance directives or to deepen their skillsets and be more effective at their jobs.

Instead, because L&D managers don’t have that ‘single version of the truth,’ they’re spending their time on these often repetitive, low-level admin tasks and not concentrating on the bigger picture. But there are end to end systems – including V1  LTM – that do just that for you, bringing all this into one place. And they’ve been available in some cases for years and at affordable prices, too.

Maximising human capital = maximising growth opportunity

You know what I think is going on here?

The Great Recession forced us all to retrench, yes – I totally accept that. We’ve all been looking to do more with less and training, like it or not, does tend to take a back seat when times are tough.

But this was true before 2008 – ‘this’ being the historic underinvestment in the proven technology that can really help HR, let alone L&D specifically.

As the economy kicks back into growth mode, I think good CEOs and COOs will start focusing once again (or in some cases, at last?) on maximising the human capital they have in their organisations.

The way, I think that this will happen is that the message we all have to start working with in the L&D community is efficiency.

If the Board really is serious about seizing opportunity and growing a big percentage in the next 12 months, it can only really happen by taking the brakes off the capabilities of both the existing talent pool and all the great new people you want to attract.

We can only convincingly do that by making everything in the organisation friction-free… which also, finally, not before time, includes HR.

Next time I will dive a bit more into this efficient operational model idea, but for now I just wanted to say ‘hi,’ introduce the blog to you and get us going.

Please feel free to comment on this and the successive social media I will be sharing with you, by the way. Do you agree? If you didn’t, how did I get it wrong? What did I miss? What is the real message of the relative lack of spend on L&D tech compared to other forms of enterprise IT?

I’d be fascinated to hear your views!

Thanks,

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