Survey results from a 2009 Chief Learning Officer survey showed that 77% of respondents felt that people in their organization were not growing fast enough to keep up with the business. And what have the learning and development (L&D) specialists been doing about it? Not much it seems. Donald Clark reports that decision-makers at UK organizations feel that:
- 55% claim L&D failing to deliver necessary training
- 46% doubt L&D can deliver
- less than 18% agree that L&D aligned with business
But let’s not blame just L&D. Human Resources (HR) seem to be out of sync with organizational needs as well, nicely summed up in a recent FastCompany article:
I think successful organizations are very rigorous and creative about getting profitable work from their employees, their managers, and their business units. The problem is, those organizations don’t expect as much from HR, hence HR is usually not overseen, not measured, and not judged for its performance. It’s the department no one wants to be responsible for. It’s the department that is not subjected to outcomes analysis.
But the real culprit is management and that’s what needs to change. Steve Denning blames the Harvard Business School mindset for holding back organizational progress and goes on to explain how senior management kills innovation in many areas, including knowledge management:
So even when an oasis of excellence and innovation is established within an organization being run on traditional management lines, the experience doesn’t take root and replicate throughout the organization because the setting isn’t congenial. The fundamental assumptions, attitudes and values are at odds with those of traditional management.
I’m seeing that all of our initiatives for increased knowledge-sharing; communities of practice; social business; or networked learning are rather futile unless management itself changes. The real chasm at work is between the C-suite and the K-workers. I’m not sure how to change this, but the focus (or in German: schwerpunkt) has be on three things: management, management & management. Anything else is just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.