Today sees publication of an important report from the Learning and Performance Institute (which I chair) on the state of skills in the L&D profession. (The full report is free to LPI Members, the summary report is available to all.)
The report looks at the self-assessments of 983 individuals against the LPI’s Capability Map, which describes the L&D profession in 27 skills, ranged over 4 levels (click to see the LPI Capability Map in detail).
The report runs to 22 pages and gives a comprehensive overview, backed up with data, of the state of our skills in this profession. It is not something for the faint-hearted. As the executive summary puts it:
The results suggest that the profession lacks the broader, business-based skills it will need to contribute as part of the organisation of the future. Those leading L&D departments are better skills than most in these areas, but still lack the breadth of skill required both to lead their departments and to communicate effectively with the rest of the business. The good news, however, is that the L&D profession is clearly keen to develop.
The report backs up these assertions with the data of six months of L&D professionals self-assessing their skills. I believe these conclusions hold up, and I don’t feel they are overly negative. Nor do I believe they will come as a shock to most in our profession.
What gives them impact are the numbers that back them up. What makes them pressing and timely is the increased speed of business and the need to share information and experience fast.
L&D cannot be the bottle-neck in this crucial process of sharing. Rather it must be the enabler, which means both increasing engagement with the rest of the business and stepping back from being mainly the producer of information/ content/courses and focusing in addition on systems and processes that encourage employees to learn from each other.
This is a new vision of what we do, very different from the tradition of training that I joined when beginning in this industry over 25 years ago. The good news is that in my experience the profession appears mostly ready to adapt and change to meet this challenge.