There are two ‘axis’ around which the work of L&D can align:
Developing individuals vs. developing the organisation as a whole
‘Productive’ learning (for the ‘now’) vs. ‘Generative’ learning (developing a new future)
In most organisations the work of L&D only focuses on individual, productive learning. The narrow priority here is maintaining centralised control – through standardisation and consistency.
This perspective is a hangover from the old ‘industrial’ mindset – when businesses only created value through consistent execution of individual roles and individual skills.
The limitations of this approach will become even more apparent as the ‘remote-working’ business world begins to make sense of life operating with and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
So a new, more balanced, contextual and influential set of L&D goals could now include:
1. Individual, Productive learning:
Helping individuals to improve performance in their current role
2. Organisational, Productive learning:
Enabling teams to connect, reflect and work together to increase effectiveness in the current business
3. Individual, Generative learning:
Supporting individuals to learn new skills and make new connections that enable them to generate new ideas or strategies
4. Organisational, Generative learning:
Facilitating and accelerating the collective wisdom of the organisation – to identify new opportunities and challenge existing assumptions