Posts Tagged Towards Maturity

Capability Framework – Opportunity to Engage Managers

A recent episode of my Learning Uncut podcast generated some discussion on LinkedIn.  It was an interview with Kate Fraser of Standards Australia about how she has made a capability framework valuable.

Today I had a video call with a person that I’d exchanged comments with on the LinkedIn discussion thread about this episode.  She is concerned about the practical implementation of the capability framework that has been developed in her organisation.  When I dug a little deeper the real issue she is grappling with is how to encourage people to engage in development activities.  It struck me that this issue existed independently of whether a capability framework was in place.  However, she believes that the rollout of the framework in her organisation will overwhelm people who are very busy in their job roles.  The framework implementation could be used to as an opportunity to promote continuous learning practices.

While today’s conversation covered a range of strategies that she could use to implement the framework, one key aspect that we focussed on was the role of managers to guide the development of their people.  The Towards Maturity 2017 benchmark report showed that amongst the top three barriers to achieving a learning culture are:

  • Lack of skills amongst employees to manage their own learning (65% of respondents)
  • Reluctance by line managers to encourage new ways of learning (58% of respondents)

A high leverage activity for any Learning and Development (L&D) team is to support the development of continuous learning skills.  In particular, helping managers to build skills, strategies and habits to provide development support for their team members is critical.  This is even more so in a hierarchical, bureaucratic organisation such as the one described to me today.

This evening I re-read a 2017 post by Ryan Tracey on Reframing the Capability FrameworkThe following comment made by Tanya Lau could have been lifted straight out of today’s conversation:

“Whilst L&D might play a role in developing the capability framework and identifying how it aligns with particular roles – their manager really should be the person identifying capability gaps and providing development support for addressing these gaps for individuals and across the team…particularly since capability development is most impacted through on the job development opportunities more than – or at least in addition to, formal training. Perhaps L&D can add the most value by supporting managers to develop this capability.”

In the Learning Uncut podcast Kate Fraser described how she closely supported managers to use the capability framework for a range of purposes. Eventually they became adept at using it without ongoing hand-holding.  Of course, engaging managers early to create use cases for the capability framework and help develop the framework generally increases their buy-in and the usefulness of the end product.  For the person I spoke with today it is too late for this.  Her opportunity is to engage managers in implementation.  I suggested that she assemble a small group of managers to assist with implementation planning.  A useful first step would be to create a persona to represent a typical manager and identify their motivations and pain points in relation to developing their people.  Then consider how the capability framework could be implemented in a way that aligns with their motivations and addresses their pain points.

Note: I have recently project managed a refresh of the Learning and Performance Institute’s L&D Capability Framework. The framework will be launched in early September.  Over the coming month I shall post more about both this specific framework as well as capability frameworks more generally.

, , , , ,

No Comments

Preparing for Podcast Interview on Learning Culture

I’m the guest on an upcoming episode of The Good Practice podcast on the topic of Learning Culture.  The discussion is being recorded tonight.  I’ve long been a fan of this podcast, so am delighted to be invited to be a guest.  I’m conscious that the episodes are around 20-30 minutes and include a ‘what I’ve learned this week’ segment.  This means that the discussion is relatively short, so I wanted to get my thoughts together in order to ensure that I can contribute concise, clear points that people will hopefully find thought-provoking and valuable.

Step 1 – Figure out what I already thought and knew

I started preparation about a week ago.  My first step was to figure out what I already knew and thought about the topic.  To do this I simply started writing short declarative statements and jotting down examples in longhand.  Before long I had three pages of notes.

I proceeded to organise my thoughts using a mind map, which quickly gave me:

  • a potential structure for the discussion (What, Why, Who, How) – turns out the guys at Good Practice liked this structure and we’ll use it as a start point in our discussion
  • a list of examples and stories I could use
  • a list of sources for further reading to round out and update my thinking

I transcribed and organised my notes into the new discussion structure in Evernote and shared this with the podcast organiser.

Step 2 – Additional Reading

The sources I found most helpful were:

10 Principles of Organisational Culture, a post by Jon Katzenbach, Carolin Oelschlegel and James Thomas – this post helped me refine and simplify my definition of what culture is.  I also found the idea that behaviour leads mindset resonated with my experience and helps to explain why values based ‘campaigns’ that don’t align with the way things get done tend to create cynicism rather than change.

The Transformation Curve, Towards Maturity’s 2018 global learning benchmark report.  This report marks a shift in Towards Maturity’s ongoing research of what top performing Learning and Development teams do differently to provide a four stage maturity model as organisations move from optimising training to shared responsibility for learning.  Their analysis helps identify the characteristics of a culture that promotes learning.

Driving the New Learning Organisation. In this article and paper Towards Maturity identify six characteristics of the new learning organisation, where learning is a mutual responsibility.

 Step 3 – Final Talking Points 

I created a new document and made a dot point summary of the key talking points, stories and recommended sources for further reading in each section of the discussion .  I won’t share that here so I don’t spoil the podcast episode.  Also, I’ve been warned that the podcast discussion could be quite tangential.  It will be interesting to compare the final product to my talking points.

Bonus Step – Blog Post Outline

Regardless of what happens in the discussion, my preparation has helped me to clarify my thinking on learning culture and supplement it with current research.  I’ve prepared an outline of a blog post intended to inform and influence business leaders to step up in their role of building an organisation culture that promotes learning.

I’m not sure when the podcast episode will go to air – I shall be sure to write and tweet an update on this when it is live.

, , ,

No Comments