Knowing who to influence is key to success in L&D
"The effectiveness and impact of L&D is at 23 per cent," said John Baker, quoting recent research from the Corporate Leadership Council on satisfaction levels of line leaders. Baker was co-facilitating TJ's L&D 2020 event Building Relationships with the Business which aims to support L&D professionals in developing and managing their relatitonships with their own organisations. Baker, who works with organisations to improve the performance of L&D functions, said: "I knew I wanted to get my L&D function more aligned with the business. There is very little time for strategic thinking for any senior manager, which is why L&D needs to understand their problems to help solve them.
With the focus defined as becoming more strategic and supporting business objectives, co-facilitator Andy Holmes, advisory L&D lead for financial services at Ernst & Young, acknowledges the question that many of us consider, "how do I know who to influence?" He suggests that we "map and classify stakeholders and decide who is going to manage them as understanding your stakeholders is underplayed". When looking at the challenges of the internal business client, Holmes demonstrated that perception of "how it affects them, their standpoint and what their concerns might be" is powerful.
Holmes referred to a drama based learning script delivered earlier in the day by Steps Drama, whose actors then facilitated the group to coach characters through scenarios to embed learning about raising the profile of L&D. Holmes delivered information on persuasion, stressing that it' s about "how you work with other humans, not how you use a process".
Baker summarised the future of the L&D professional, stating that we all need "business understanding, to talk the language of the business manager and know what makes the business tick. This is the hardest thing to do but gives you the credibility" and that "consulting skills drive the conversations you'll have and are critical to the ability to ask the right questions to dig in to what the business problem is".
The next L&D 2020 event is the Great Skills Debate on 24th October - you can find out more here