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Why It’s Time to Start Creating Your L&D Team of the Future

With new pressures and demands on L&D teams, it’s time to start thinking ahead. Find out more about some of the key talking points in LEO Learning’s new ebook, ‘Creating the L&D team of the future’.

The nature of business operations is changing rapidly. Organisations now have increasingly global, complex and fast paced operations – and they need their L&D teams to keep up.

The role L&D plays in supporting businesses and learners through rapid transformation is critical to ensuring optimal business performance. But how can L&D teams prepare for the future and be better equipped to deliver learning that best meets the needs of a rapidly evolving workforce?

The L&D team of the future: bridging the skills gap

In the new LEO Learning ebook, Piers Lea, Chief Strategy Officer, and Andrew Joly, Director of Strategic Design, explore the range of capabilities they predict will be needed to deliver learning that is aligned to the evolving needs of the organisation – and its learners.

A recent report from the CIPD and Towards Maturity, Driving Performance & Productivity1, supports their view of the capabilities L&D teams need to develop.

The research analysed the responses of over 700 global L&D leaders and practitioners. Part of the report mapped the L&D skills deemed as ‘priority’ against the respondents’ evaluation of their team’s current skill levels.

Even high-performing organisations had significant gaps in the areas of:

  • Data analytics
  • Blended learning
  • Social/collaborative learning
  • Digital content development
  • Technology
  • Performance consulting
  • Influencing/negotiating

Bridging these skills gaps should be a major priority for L&D.

Why we need these capabilities in the L&D team of the future

In the L&D team of the future, there are two intertwined strands. These could loosely be grouped as strategic and consulting expertise, and learning design and delivery capabilities.

1) Strategic and consultative expertise

According to Gartner2, by 2022 “…nearly 80% of organisational skills will have to be reprioritised or revisited because of digital business transformation”.

In a future where rapid reskilling and digital transformation becomes the ‘new normal’, L&D teams will need to move learning and development provision to the centre of business strategy. This requires connecting with the business in new ways to make the delivery of learning a key part of the operating DNA of the business.

When learning becomes critical to optimising a constantly evolving workforce, understanding and anticipating what the business needs is paramount. L&D teams will need to enhance their skills in designing and implementing organisation-wide learning strategies that meet the business and its learners at their point of need.

That means understanding and reacting to wider business goals and developing learning that delivers measurable results back to senior leaders in the business.

Learning strategists and performance consultants are two roles that will lead these efforts in the L&D team of the future. They will work with the business to solve critical performance challenges and measure the effect their interventions have in solving them.

2) Learning design and delivery capabilities

The ability to develop business-wide learning strategy is critical. But this strategy must then be implemented through the provision of effective learning that is carefully designed and delivered to produce optimal results.

As businesses and their learners move away from traditional modes of consuming and accessing learning, developing skills in delivering learning aligned to evolving learning habits will be vital to learning success.

In the L&D team of the future, blended learning designers, content curators and social learning experts will be needed to create learning that meets the modern learner’s needs.

Creating the L&D team of the future

In our new ebook, we explore in depth seven key roles that will be needed to deliver both the strategic and design capabilities needed in the L&D team of the future:

  • Strategists and influencers
  • Performance improvement consultants
  • Blended learning experience creators
  • Community builders
  • Analysts
  • Content curators
  • Technologists

Each of these roles plays a unique part in upskilling the L&D team of the future.

How do you get started?

‘Creating the L&D team of the future’ is a comprehensive look at all the capabilities required in a modern L&D team.

But how do you understand which of these roles is most critical for your business, and how can you begin to build them into your team? The ebook also takes a practical look at these key questions.

We explore how to analyse the maturity of your current team to provide visibility on skills gaps as well as the best approaches to developing these capabilities. Right-sourcing – utilising external expertise to deliver missing capabilities – is one approach we recommend to enable you to develop a high-performing L&D function in an agile, lean manner.

Anticipating the capabilities your L&D team of the future needs is a major challenge. To find out what your priorities should be, get your copy of ‘Creating the L&D team of the future’ today.

1. CIPD (2018), Driving Performance and Productivity
2. Gartner (2018), Digital Business Redefines Talent Management Applications

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