Developing soft skills for business impact
If you reflected on the most impactful learning you’ve ever had, I can almost guarantee that it wasn’t in a workshop or when watching an online course. Yet for years L&D professionals have spent their careers creating, promoting and ‘evaluating’ them. As there are so many variables between someone attending a workshop and actual business results, we then rely on learning measures (Number of attendees, happy sheets, recommend scores, etc) to justify our existence. Most senior leaders know that these learning events are important, but very few are interested in the measures we provide, they want to know what the actual impact is of spending this time and money. L&D people get stuck in the business of justifying their existence and creating more things that can’t be measured.
Based on the above it’s not surprising Learning and Development has not had a seat at the top table. Over 4 years I changed how L&D was regarded by our senior leaders in Facebook, by changing our focus to working with senior teams. When I left to set up this company my team were invited to the most senior of tables, were getting more requests than we could deal with and were never asked about ‘return on investment’ as the leaders saw the improvements for themselves. I would love to say that this was a long term strategic plan, but it wasn’t I just went after the most impactful work. However, I believe I know what it takes to make this journey and I want to help other L&D teams on their way.