I attended the CIPD Learning and Development show yesterday and got to meet a lot of inspiring people thanks to the priceless support of my loveliest mentor Lesley Price and Asi DeGani who connected me with her and of course the whole Learn Appeal trustees. Isn’t it the best way to finish an internship? I bet it is.
It’s been a wonderful experience to work with Learn Appeal as an e-learning charity to complete my Master’s program internship. Although my internship is over now I’m proud to continue to support Learn Appeal as a volunteer … it’s not only rewarding and satisfying my personal values to contribute the skills I’ve learned to help the people who need it most, it just feels great to be surrounded with so many inspiring people who care about others’ progress and development.
So my takeaway from the show?
Paul Matthews had a great talk about how L&D becomes a trusted business partner. What I specially liked was when he mentioned the importance of realising what the clients want is not really what they need. Many times organisations approach L&D asking them to develop training that would fix things for them. He made a smart analogy of when organisations ask for a drill when what they actually need is a picture on the wall … the drill is only one part of the puzzle as he put it. But … is it wise to tell them straightforwardly that, “oh, no! That’s not what you need”. Of course not! Nobody likes being told what they think is wrong … it simply builds resistance. What Paul from the learning and development perspective and Cathy Moore from the e-learning perspective suggest is to walk them through the process and help them realise for themselves what they really need and if training can actually have added value or bring measurable change to benefit the business. He referred to this amazing video of frogs in a muddy lake that were taken away into a nice hotel only to be polished and shined to be put back in the same muddy lake! How can we expect them to stay nice and shiny in the bloody muddy lake! When the system is faulty, how can we expect the people to perform like a rock star?
And that’s another point that struck me in Paul’s presentation … often times managers don’t realise the difference between capability and competence. Many employees are competent in what they’re doing and they don’t need training. The real issue is that they may not simply be capable of what they’re expected to do. Why? Maybe the problem lies in the faulty system, unrealistic expectations, wrong environment, lack of resources, lack of motivation?
The presentation was very interesting and helpful and although many people have talked about this topic for many years, the corporate world still seems to be struggling to get it right which will lead to a lot of money being invested where it shouldn’t be. I also happily received a signed copy of Paul’s books (YES;)) , ‘Capability at Work‘ and ‘Informal Learning at Work‘ as a gift for volunteering with Learn Appeal.