Building strong stakeholder relationships is a crucial step in the career of any learning manager. How can digital learning leaders avoid getting stuck in a transactional relationship and get to a place of collaboration and partnership? We asked two successful learning managers that very question and are excited to share their tips, examples and methodologies with you as part of the Learning at Large Knowledge Hub.
How to become a true business partner in your organization
Getting the inside story on influencing, from two experts
We interviewed Dave Barone, ex-Head of Comcast University and now a Consultant with the Josh Bersin Academy, and Jason Edwards, Global Digital Learning Partner, Kingfisher plc, to get their tips and tricks on why getting to a level playing field with business leaders matters.
We discovered why it matters not just to the heads of learning, but digital and elearning managers too. They shared practical (and novel!) insights into how they built their relationships and what to avoid. We’ve packaged up the interviews into bite-size clips, added in some easy-to-use guides and tools and made it all available for free on our Learning at Large Knowledge Hub. Digital learning managers, welcome to your new knowledge-sharing center!
– Dave Barone, Consultant, Josh Bersin Academy
Why is influencing stakeholders so important?
It’s not a coincidence we made Influencing stakeholders our #1 topic. It’s all too easy for elearning production to veer into the transactional space. Business leaders request elearning, elearning managers try to meet the demand. Again and again, short term needs get prioritized over thinking about what’s best longer term. These demands only intensify as production scales up.
This transactional space isn’t conducive to impactful elearning creation. It’s stressful too! But there is a solution. By building your ability to influence stakeholders to better connect and collaborate with them, you can turn transactional relationships into strategic partnerships.
“The way I look at it is, would I want to do business with myself?”
– Jason Edwards – Global Digital Learning Partner, Kingfisher plc
Influencing stakeholders should be a vital part of every learning manager’s toolkit, even if you don’t find yourself in the transactional space. Better stakeholder relationships will always lead to digital learning having increased impact and value, not to mention your L&D team gaining more credibility. These relationships help influence a more positive and joined-up learning culture throughout the whole organization.
How can learning managers better influence and partner with business leaders?
The Influence Others topic of our Learning at Large Knowledge Hub offers expert insights to help you build your influencing skills in 4 key areas:
- Facilitation: Our experts discuss why you can’t underestimate the value of good facilitation – and how once you have this skill down, you can be confident steering people towards the desired solution.
- Communication: Get expert tips on how to communicate in ways that will make business leaders want to partner with you, and what topics you should focus your communications on.
- Collaboration: Discover how to make stakeholders a core part of your learning strategy and the importance of building shared accountability.
- Empathy: Find examples and advice on how to make sure stakeholders feel supported by the L&D team, as well as making the effort to put yourself in their shoes.
“It all begins with being a true business partner. Once you have that relationship, a lot of things start to fall into place.”
– Dave Barone – Consultant, Josh Bersin Academy
Ready to become an influencer?
Enroll in the Learning at Large, Knowledge Hub to get access to what Dave and Jason have to say, and make use of the free tools and guides.