Leading L&D into the future with effective change management

Faced with shifting responsibilities and rapid technological advances, L&D need to develop new capabilities at pace. For Lloyd Dean, Management Consultant at PA Consulting, this means more than just making a change. It means leading the way. Hear why he believes it all starts with purpose, not just with tech. Find out how open, honest and transparent measurement will help everyone succeed.

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Top tips for effective change management in L&D

Don’t have time to listen now? Here are some top tips from Lloyd:

  1. Recognize the step change needed: Lots is happening in the workplace learning space right now. If L&D are going to keep up, a step change is needed.  
  2. Use tech with purpose: Don’t rush ahead with the latest tech. Start with the business case and consider how technology can help you deliver it.
  3. Take people with you: You can’t create change alone. Help your colleagues understand the journey you’re on together. Lead the way.
  4. Monitor the outcomes: Try things out. Be open, honest and transparent with your findings. Learn from the results and make a difference.

Ultimate guide to designing quality elearning

  1. Recognize the step change needed

Recent years have seen a rapid shift in what’s expected of the L&D function. Everything from tackling strategic, organizational level problems to creating and maintaining learning content is now within their remit. 

But despite this, many L&D teams remain unchanged. And with so much happening in the workplace learning space, they’re finding it hard to keep up. Lloyd sees this capability gap impacting teams in many ways. 

“Without maybe even knowing it, the L&D function is now offering a different service to what it’s done in the past. Yet the people are the same. Their capability hasn’t been refocused. That’s coming out in many different guises. It might be a different management model, rejigging things, looking into the services people provide – the supporting capabilities.”

     2. Use tech with purpose

The need for a step change has been accelerated by rapid advances in technology. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has long been a hot topic for L&D, but the launch of Chat GPT has provided a tangible tool people can pick up and try out. And it’s creating a big conversation.

Whether it’s helping L&D produce an effective communications plan or curating personalized, scheduled learning for busy employees, Lloyd has identified plenty of potential in using AI. But he stresses that people shouldn’t just play around with the tech without purpose. You need to start with a business case.

“What problems are we trying to solve for our business from an L&D perspective? Because it’s easy to get lost. I think there’s always value in thinking about that straightaway and then starting to give a team member, some space to play with it, to break it, to join up the dots. And then maybe identify some tasks that could be integrated with AI to help.

  1. Take people on the change with you

Whether supporting a new management strategy, trying out different production models or exploring the latest technologies, transformation projects aren’t easy. 

When Lloyd’s team moved from content creation to a learning curation model, he knew that some habits would be hard to break. Especially for those members who really enjoyed solving problems by delivering great learning content. For Lloyd, change management is the responsibility of L&D leaders. They need to move the change forward and take their colleagues with them. 

“Having all the information in your head and doing things by yourself, you’re not driving the change. You need to take people on that change with you. They need to understand the journey you want to go on and why.”

     4. Monitor the outcomes

Of course, the aim of change management is to make an impact – a difference to your team, colleagues and the organization as a whole. So, what does success look like? And, if you achieve it, how can you amplify the effect? 

You need to understand your goals and monitor your outcomes to maximize your impact. Once the results are in, share the findings. Help everyone to learn and improve from your experience.

“I think there’s definitely a need for people to be very open, honest and transparent with their findings, both internally, and where possible externally, so we can all share that journey together. As opposed to ringing a bell and high fiving because we’re using AI for the sake of using it, let’s try and use it and share, learn and make a difference.”

A quick recap

Staying relevant in a rapidly shifting learning landscape involves more than new technology. It requires change management. Lloyd has four strategies to drive an effective management process for this L&D change. 

  1. Start by recognizing the changes that are needed
  2. Lead with the business need, not the tech
  3. Take your colleagues on the change journey with you
  4. Monitor the outcomes, share your findings, learn and make a difference

Want to find out more about leading the change in L&D? Check out the full podcast. 

About Lloyd

Whether it’s teaching, coaching football or heading up L&D at EDF, learning plays a huge part in Lloyd’s life. Currently at PA Consulting, he acts as a trusted advisor for Learning and Development.

You can find out more and get connected with Lloyd on LinkedIn.

On Lloyd’s reading lists

Find out what reading and key thinkers have informed Lloyd’s work.

Food for Life: The New Science of Eating Well, Tim Spector

This book takes a pioneering approach to food and technology. Lloyd wants to explore what L&D can learn from this use of AI.

How People Learn: A New Model of Learning and Cognition to Improve Performance and Education, Nick Shackleton-Jones

How can you design training that makes a real difference? Find the answer in this book, as well as lots of practical resources.

Lori Niles-Hoffmann 

When Lloyd sees a LinkedIn notification, he’s always excited to see what Lori has to say about learning and data.

Donald Clark

Lloyd recommends checking out Donald Clark’s writing on learning, but particularly on AI.

Looking for more reading tips? Check out our book blog.

Learn more from like-minded learning experts

Interested to hear more from Lloyd as well as other learning experts and your L&D peers? The State of Digital Learning Report is the place where you can tap into the minds of your L&D peers and learning experts, compare approaches, and get prepared for the year ahead. Access the full report here.

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