Revisiting 12 O’Clock and 6 O’Clock in My T&D Systems View Model

I was recently interviewed about my thoughts about the State of L&D. I was given the Qs in advance and wrote out my initial As – my thoughts – for the interview to be done about 10 days later.

This all takes me to “Being Aligned and Competent” to address the Critical Business Issues that alignment should bring you to – and “put on your plate” so to speak.

How can organisations set goals more effectively when it comes to their L&D strategy?

They need to ensure that their strategies and tactics, reflected perhaps in a Strategic Plan and in the Operational Plans – reflect and align to the Strategies & Tactics of their Enterprise and to all other functions in their Enterprise.

How can companies effectively measure and report on the success of learning and development?

They need to tie DIRECTLY to existing Business Metrics – to business results – and stop reporting (but not collecting) Learning Activities – which might help them learn how to better affect Business Results.

This will require that they start doing a Performance Analysis and then focus the Learning on Performance – Outputs and Tasks, versus on Topics and Behaviors with Face Validity but missing the HOW TO APPLY back-on-the-job.

Which stakeholders should L&D teams be engaging with if they’re going to be successful?

They should be tied at the hip to the Leaders of the Enterprise, IMO, and should be working on the CBIs – of future opportunities from the strategic issues and initiatives, as well as on current problems in operations rooted in K/S deficits.

And then they should be tied at the hip to the critical functions – as directed by the Enterprise Leadership.

L&D’s alignment mechanisms should be more formal and routine, for realignment purposes, or Continuous Alignment purposes IMO.

What are your overall thoughts on the future of workplace learning?

Those who focus with the Enterprise Leadership on the authentic Performance Requirements – the Outputs and Tasks – with Job Aids (Resources) and Training (Courses) will fare much better than those who focus on Topics and Behaviors, sans the Performance Context(s) and the variations within. Their workflow Processes and Practices need to reflect that.

And those that investigate and then invest in the ever-evolving technology – for their own infrastructure – to help L&D both do its workflow tasks more effectively and efficiently – and then to deploy and make their L&D Products – Job Aids and Training –  more accessible, will be more successful. But they need to avoid the shiny object syndrome where they embrace every new digital tool and technology – before testing and experimenting with them.

Given we’re now in an era of hybrid and remote learning, what should companies be doing today in order to thrive?

Companies – or their L&D functions?

Companies need to structure their Work Processes and Practices and Infrastructure to embrace and take advantage of remote, collaborative processes – to reduce the friction of time and distance between their workforce, their suppliers, and their customers.

Most Enterprise Processes are informal, unnamed, unmeasured, and unmanaged. They have most likely evolved over time and not been deliberately engineered for effectiveness first, and efficiency second. That’s why they are often neither effective nor efficient. And once they’ve been deliberately engineered, they need to be deliberately maintained via Continuous Improvement or Discontinuous Improvement.

The key Processes need to be named, measured and managed. And that will take an effort to define them and prioritize them based on their impact to the current needs, and to the future needs.

L&D needs to do the same for its own Processes. This was my thinking back in the 1990s that led to me writing my 2001 book, T&D Systems View.

T&D Systems View (2001)

I identified 47 processes in 12 sub-systems of a T&D (now L&D or LXD) System.

I found far too many people in the T&D business who were focused on just a few pf their processes, and were neglecting many others that were actually critical to their overall success – such as those at 12 O’Clock, 1 O’Clock, and at 11 O’clock.

And at 6 O’Clock…

A 16 Minute Video

From my 2020 Backyard Series

The Critical First Steps to Becoming a Highly Valued Resource involve putting 2 key systems into place…

12 O’Clock Governance & Advisory Systems: This system’s processes organize all of the key stakeholders of the enterprise in order to formalize the channels of communication for providing advice from the T&D internal marketplace customers and governance from the leaders of the enterprise.

6 O’Clock Product & Service Line Development Systems – This system’s processes organize the efforts to systematically define the performance-based T&D product line and the T&D service line required to deploy those T&D products to the appropriate learners for business high-payback, critical needs, not the needs of medium and low importance.

The “T&D Systems View” book is available as a Kindle and as a Paperback at Amazon:

From a Systems Thinking standpoint – all 47 Processes are important – and a few are critical – and those that need to be redesigned are almost always situational – and vary from one Enterprise to the next.

Be deliberate – after assessing the R for the I – for any improvement efforts.


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