The future of training and development?

Demand for online training has radically increased, but the way it’s produced is under strain. Is there a better approach? One that’s fit for the future of training and development? Here’s a suggestion for a new model for producing online training in large organizations – one that scales well and drives down the cost to train.

The future of training and developmentDemand for online training is only increasing in businesses around the globe. Pressure and strain on central L&D teams is building with it.  I’ve regularly heard from L&D teams that they want to move away from being order takers. To add more value, they want to become drivers of best practice and have more time to enable others in their organization to deliver training where it’s needed most.

But, the way most businesses approach the production of training keeps L&D teams stuck on the treadmill of training requests.

Podcast interviews, years of conversations with clients, days spent jotting down ideas and a few sleepless nights have resulted in what I think is a smarter way for businesses to meet demands for more online training.

The old way: Center of production

The old way: Center of productionIn the old way (current for many) the L&D team are the center of online training production. They take requests from the rest of the business and are expected to transform the information received into an engaging online training experience.

But – the L&D team only has so much capacity, and only so much budget for getting external support. This means an inherent limit to the amount of training they can produce and the speed at which they can do it.

Given the L&D team can only juggle so much, departments and regions often take matters into their own hands. Instead of putting training requests through central L&D, they’ll have a go themselves. The result of this is inconsistent training experiences, inconsistent impact and inconsistent quality.

The new way: Center of excellence

A model for the future of training and development production.

Center of excellenceRather than see L&D as the order takers for training, turn them into a center of excellence. Think of L&D as the conductors. They should be driving best practice and crowdsourcing the very best knowledge from across the business for targeted training where it’s needed.

This approach allows the L&D team to spend more time driving standards and identifying where training interventions can have the greatest impact on the organization.

In this model, the L&D team leads on strategic flagship projects. These are the enterprise-wide, high visibility projects, for example onboarding, leadership development and core competencies.

When it comes to the more targeted and personalized training for specific teams, departments or regions the L&D team can empower subject matter experts. They do this by providing the guidelines, best practices and tools that enable others across the business to produce online training – whilst ensuring consistently high standards.

Making the shift

This model sits at the heart of a sustainable strategy for online training – one that can cope with increased demands and accelerate training and development.

I’ve explored this in more detail in our Whitepaper “Beyond the Zoom boom: How to develop a sustainable online training strategy in the wake of COVID-19”. This is being launched at the start of August – you can pre-register now to be the first to get it delivered to your inbox.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback – feel free to connect with me on Linkedin.

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