Recently I was sucked into a tweet… @jenisecook reacted inquisitively to a post by @guywwallace in which he wrote “Just because a Learning Professional can determine a valid K/S need – does not in and of itself warrant meeting that need.”
My tweet of “Me too” was in response to Jenise’s desire for more background info …as I thought Guy was probably talking money and priorities…and he was.
Guy went on to clarify with “If the ROI was very negative, solving thousand $ problems/opportunties w/ $100k solutions – then: don’t do it. Live w/ it.” His response is brilliant and the right response for learning professionals to latch on to. Guy also posted a few links to his blog where he supports his thoughts with more detail – take a look, all quite meaty!
My initial reaction, much like what I think was Jenise’s, was one of surprise. Meaning that hey, we have a responsibility to make right all the performance wrongs in our orgs. That’s what we do!
The problem is that when learning professionals try to do this, chase every problem with a solution (formal or informal), they are also unintentionally telling management that yet again, they just don’t get business.
Learning professionals need to first remember that not every business problem is a training or learning problem… often it’s a motivation, resource, or quite often it’s a staffing problem.
Second, and equally important, learning professionals must be able to discriminate (as too must leadership). Both must be able to recognize when L&D services to address a performance problem really add measurable value and when, as Guy said, we need to just “live w/ it”.
Learning professionals often struggles to show their relevance and gain a seat at the table in most organizations. And any effort that reveals they are not working smarter, but only harder reinforces that they are out of touch.
See Jenise’s thoughts on the issue in her post Instructional Design vs. ROI: Guy W. Wallace