Updated: Jul 11, 2019
I'm sure many of you have read the recent article published by The Atlantic, The Problem with HR. If you haven't, you should take a look. Yes, it's about sexual harassment but moreover, it calls for us to make things right --- for women, for men, for all.
For my entire career, I've marketed to learning professionals. One of the steps you take in marketing is to determine "where" your customer sits in the organization. For learning professionals, it's about a 50/50 split as to whether or not learning sits under HR but in all cases, there is certainly an association between HR and learning. In this article, HR is the target but training and culture change come up repeatedly as a responsibility of the function which brings this situation back to you, to me, and to our colleagues.
And that makes me equal parts uncomfortable and more motivated than ever.
The author is calling for innovative alternatives for how we train people to behave differently. When she asked other HR professionals how that can happen, the majority said that it has to come from the top and that middle managers can’t change the culture of a company. She says that social movements fade and unless people are taught to live up to a standard --- a culture --- in an accountable fashion, no progress will be made.
Isn't this what we --- as learning professionals --- strive for? To create learning experiences that change the way people think and act? To make individuals wiser and companies stronger? To create employees who know how to do things --- the right things --- so to benefit their families, their co-workers and their communities?
This is our responsibility. We know how to teach people. We are the designers of content; we are the developers of learning technologies; we are coaches and mentors; and more than anything else, we are the connection between HR, the business, and the people.
Do you want to create a culture of tolerance, advancement, pride and empathy? I do and I want to do it with people who believe that their job isn't about designing and delivering "check-the-box" training but rather about changing how people get up in the morning, how they say hello to their co-workers, and how they show up to a new project or handle a tough situation.
I started the Learning Leaders Conference to give us a forum to talk about how we can make a learning "work" for all people because I know that the way you make a difference in people's lives is to teach them and then support them. This is our chance to start that discussion and find ways to make learning the solution for workforce challenges.
I hope today you raise your hand in support of your own potential role here and join a group of learning leaders who may or may not be leaders by title but leaders by drive and passion.
It's time. Join me.