The only way to do that is to bring new ideas and thought leadership to the organization. One of my favorite ways to do this is a concept called “finding the bright spots” from the book by Chip and Dan Heath. The idea is to take big problems and solve them with small solutions. If Learning and Development can identify big organizations problems and look for individuals or solving or achieving them, there is an opportunity to be a thought leader and bring these small bright spots to the masses.
Being An Innovator. Innovation and thought leadership go hand in hand. If you are looking for bright spots and bringing new ideas to the organization, you will then have the ability to introduce innovation that aligns with learner demand. Things such as learning platforms, social learning, microlearning, etc.: There has never been a time in my lifetime with more innovative ideas happening around learning.
Flawless Execution. One simple way to do the opposite of being valuable is taking months, if not years, to bring new programs or new technology to bear. I hear it all too often; “Training isn’t relevant” or “That would have been useful last month”. Being able to identify and execute on a learning opportunity in a timely manner is vital if you want to make Learning and Development the center of your organization. Speed, speed, speed! It’s time to get programs and technology to 80% and perfect it over time. Trying to be perfect prior to an initial roll-out will cause paralysis by analysis and ultimately will drag out timelines and effectiveness.
The world around us is causing your Learning and Development department to be more important than ever. You don’t have to sell anyone on it, but you do have to have the vision and ability to execute it. Make these 3 elements a core part of your daily work life and you will make your Learning and Development department more valuable.