Ask anyone at Degreed who’s spent any amount of time with me and they’ll tell you my dislike for the word “implementation” to describe what our team does. The definition of implementation is “the process of putting a decision or plan into effect; execution,” which doesn’t really represent what we do. Yes, the Client Engagement team does help clients mobilize their learning and skills decisions, but we’re not just gathering requirements, managing projects, and implementing software. We’re partnering with our clients to foster the successful upskilling and learning transformation of their businesses by building a solid foundation within Degreed.
Building a foundation. That’s the key.
Too often organizations enter into new purchases with a technology-first mindset vs a business solution mindset. The challenge with this is that a technology-first mindset doesn’t always see the bigger picture and doesn’t allow the flexibility and creativity required to truly achieve change. It’s time to shift focus, get out of the early 90s, and stop thinking in terms of implementing technology. Instead, let’s concentrate on building a foundation for long-term business success and growth.
Here’s a little advice to do just that…
Go through an LMS detox: I don’t mean a full 30-day purge-your-org-of-LMS detox. LMSs are important for organizations, but our most successful clients recognize the limits of their LMS and don’t try to map their legacy learning processes to Degreed. They instead challenge the status quo and reprogram their minds to how people want to learn today. The organizations paving the way in their industries and transforming their cultures recognize the need to loosen the grip, build their people up, and lean into solutions that put the power in the users’ hands.
Think curation, not creation: This is a hard one, especially for career-content creators. There will always be a place for content creation but curation is where it’s at. The power of Degreed comes through in its ability to socially collaborate and share content. So the smart move is to upskill your teams and partners across the business on how to curate. It’s not hard and the benefits are monumental.
Take healthy risks and try new things: Take a deep breath, roll your shoulders, and relax your standards a bit. This ties back to points #1 and #2 above and is also guidance to trust your Degreed partner to make the right recommendations and provide thoughtful counsel on how to do things right. To clarify, that doesn’t mean tossing your compliance needs out the window or ignoring industry regulations. Simply ask yourself “why” more when you come up against a blocker. Is the blocker based on fear? The unknown? Either way, give yourself permission to be creative and break the mold a bit. And remember, we’ve got your back.
Understand the difference between your learning objectives and your business’s objectives. Then map Degreed to both: You don’t need to sit in on board meetings to know what’s happening in your industry. Or that retention, reducing operating costs, and staying competitive is important to your company. Tie your learning goals right to those corporate objectives, and then leverage the powerful data from Degreed to discover the impact you and your team truly make on the business.
Align with internal thought leaders and executives: This is essential. Our most successful clients do this from the very beginning. It doesn’t matter if your biggest champion is your CIO, if your marketing team sees her sharing, contributing, and measuring her skills in Degreed, they will, too. Studies show that when leaders share their own learning experiences, employees are more likely to follow suit. That being so, find those people who are insatiable learners, those who are admired, and believe in the idea that we all have it within our own control to build the skills we need to grow — then get busy.
The Degreed approach works, especially the need to rethink how we support and develop people. At the same time, it’s crucial to find a strategy that fits your organization’s needs during implementation (gasp!) with Degreed (and other transformational solutions).
We’d love to hear about your path. Please drop us a line to share your story. Discovering what helps you succeed is all part of our own learning experience.