“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.“
As our CEO often reminds us “Learning culture eats learning strategy for breakfast.” Every company has a learning culture, a way learning naturally happens on a day-to-day basis. Strong culture enables alignment and motivation, being a foundation for any strategy. The challenge is, specifically for learning, there are at least three main stakeholders to build your culture around. And their priorities don’t always fit neatly together. At some point, you need to choose which stakeholder is the focus. The 3 stakeholders are:
1. Learning & Development team
2. Business Leaders
There are pros and cons with any combination. Leave any one of these out and you’ll see problems. I’m not sure that the perfect balance of all 3 exists. Each organization will have a different need in where their learning culture fits. Therefore, every L&D professional should spend time evaluating these two deceptively simple questions:
- Which group is the current focus of your learning culture?
- Which group should be the focus?
We’ve developed a 20-question cultural assessment to help you reflect on what type of learning culture you have at your company. Enter your email here to get the assessment:
Here’s a sample of the questions you can evaluate:
- Do business leaders come to you with problems that need solving?
- How do business leaders and employees think about L&D? Is it “just training”, or more comprehensive?
- Do Learners know where and how to access learning at your company?
- Do employees volunteer to help lead sessions, and create or curate content?
- Do you celebrate learning? How?
Take the questions and spend some time examining them. In part II we’re exploring the benefits and downsides of each type of culture, and in part III we’ll plan on how you can take action to change your culture.
The main question to focus on today is, “Where are you and where do you need to be?”