Corporate E-Learning
Friday, April 01, 2005
Trainers evolving into Organizational Developers

Godfrey Parkin has a good description of trainers and Organisational Developers.
Training focuses on improving the performance of individuals and teams; [Organizational Development] focuses on a bigger picture, improving the performance of systems, structures, and processes, as well as looking at the people. The "as well as" is where the conflicts between OD and training arise, and where the synergies are to be found.

One interesting observation, reported by Godfrey as well, is the effectiveness of just-in-time informal learning among on the job peers. He wrote,
people apparently learn four times as much through the informal on-the-job learning than they do through structured formal training. And the best place to leverage local learning is deep in the workflow, not from a central campus.

Godfrey's post focused on the issues between trainers and organisational developers:
So why are so many trainers re-labeling themselves as organizational developers? It may be because trainers don’t get taken seriously enough by management. The “trainer” label is a handicap that constrains their perceived effectiveness areas, and deprives them of the ability to credibly voice the need for changes beyond the knowledge and skills of employees. And it puts a barrier in the way of their influencing or driving those changes.

OD professionals are often horrified when trainers attempt to go beyond their brief. Granted, OD people are highly trained in what they do, and a bumbling amateur can do more harm than good. But experienced trainers often have a much deeper hands-on insight into the issues than anyone gives them credit for. In pursuing OD initiatives, I have always sought to tap into the organizational expertise of trainers, because trainers are the nervous system of an organisation. They see, hear, and feel more than many managers do, and they are exposed to the systemic problems, and opportunities, through the eyes of their learners.

Another implication is the dilemma to e-learning vendors who are pushing centralised LMS, KM systems or repositories. If trainers are either evolving to organisational developers, or decentralised into independent sub-units supporting the training and learning needs of smaller operational units in an organisation, to whom should these vendors sell their wares?

From an organisation point of view, do we want to see all trainers gone and become OD?
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home
Musings during my journey into elearning implementations for the corporates

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Conversation With My Evil Twin Learning for 2020  Asynchronous Collaborative Learning Activities

March 2005 / April 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / August 2006 / September 2006 / February 2009 /

Powered by Blogger

Web Corporate e-learning

Blogarama - The Blog Directory
site feed