This is the second in this new series of blogs called “Walk this way”, where I am inviting you, the reader, to follow my view on what a good approach to learning would look like.
This time we will look at the 2nd step”
“Stakeholder engagement and management skills are developed.”
As mentioned in Part 1, L&D is often not “knitted-in” to the business and this can cause a disconnect between the expectations of the business and the results that L&D actually delivers. A vicious cycle builds and L&D develops into a function which is reactive and under-resourced.
To build an L&D function that is meaningful to the organisation, you will first need to identify the stakeholders and agree objectives. In large organisations this is not always easy as the interest of some stakeholders may override the interests of the others. The time you spend uncovering needs, will pay dividends in the long run. If you get a better view of the whole picture then you will not only understand the organisation better, but the organisation will begin to trust you.
When considering requests for L&D programmes you should:
- Identify the stakeholders and try to categorise them. The stakeholder analysis grid can help identify which of your stakeholders you need to nurture or should be spending more time with and also those who take up your time for little return
- Ask questions; particularly “Why this..?” and “Why now?”
- Be a partner. To get buy-in from stakeholders, partner with them to find the best business solution. Not all problens can be solved by L&D so find out what they REALLY need!
- Try to link to real business metrics by discovering what change in the organisation is required and changes in behaviour they need to achieve that.
L&D can be very effective if it works in partnership with the stakeholders. You can use a stakeholder analysis to uncover interests and how best to influence them. By staying close to the stakeholders, you will also uncover the potential risks and pitfalls in your L&D programmes. But best of all, L&D will be delivering to objectives that are linked to real organisational success.
In short, if you want to engage your stakeholders you have to;
- Speak their language.
- Demonstrate value for money and business value.
- Manage the “undead” – don’t let them steal your time.
- Understand how your organisation works so that you can infiltrate it.
This is the second blog in a series of six.
“Walk this way” – the whole blog series.
©Krystyna Gadd 2016