The Learning and Development function can find new energy and new power through new relationships

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 

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