Why L&D should be a “facilitator of connections”

As the function of L&D evolves, professionals will need a greater focus on changing networks within modern-day organizations.

Why L&D should be a “facilitator of connections”
While within HR it is generally organisational development which owns change management, L&D now also has a true value-adding role in delivering change capability.
Gary Taylor, international HR specialist, said that L&D was currently in the midst of an evolution spurred by volatile external environments and greater technological connectivity.
In this setting, L&D departments can offer creative solutions with some running training programs that include staff of suppliers, clients and even competitors, he said.
“For instance, L&D professionals are now facilitating sessions to promote the concept that Gartner terms ‘swarming’. This is a work style characterised by feverish collective activity by a temporary group of people – anyone who can add value.”
Swarms connect an irregular multidisciplinary group, allowing them to form quickly, attack a problem and then dissipate once the task is completed.
“This is a different model to traditional teams which usually compromise of individuals who know each other and work for the same boss, and a different L&D approach is needed.”
Taylor continued saying that the new breed of L&D professional has to be more context-savvy when tailoring content to their organisations.
“The L&D professional can no long just be a broker of knowledge; they need to also be a facilitator of connections across the organisation,” he said.
As such, off-the-shelf organisations cannot just be adopted after a single focus group. Instead, the L&D function should be strategic and operational, while building up a true commercial acumen.
Experiential learning is one of the approaches of choice by today’s L&D professionals, Taylor notes, especially in the immersive learning space of simulations.
“Simulation games have been seen to enhance cognitive gains and teamwork and stimulate positive reactions among learners,” he said. “These games are complex and require skills design as they are intended to be cognitively demanding.”
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