Healthcare Informatics and Technology Investors
Healthcare Informatics and Technology Investors


About Team Role Theory

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Dr. Meredith Belbin

Behavior vs. Personality



10 Crucial Steps for Creating an In-house Learning Unitst
from Gordon Shenton; iedp. com; 4/44/11

Possessing a learning and development (L&D) function at the heart of a business can be immensely valuable. We refer to this as a corporate learning unit (CLU), which can integrate training and advancement across the organization, provide cross-divisional learning programs and help to ensure that all learning is aligned with the company’s strategic goals.

While there is no one “right” way to build a CLU, if its strategic objective, scope, structure and operating techniques are not aligned, it will not perform at its best. With that in mind, here are 10 factors to think about when developing a corporate learning function.

1. Define the CLU’s mandate. Which aspects of learning and development will be centralized? Which will continue to be decentralized, while coming under central control? Which staff members fall within the unit’s remit? What types of training development will it provide? The details of the CLU’s scope will vary considerably between firms; what is necessary is that the goals are clear, realistic and reached by negotiation rather than assertion. Once the mandate is arranged, the CLU’s actions must always be aligned with it, but you should bear in mind that the mandate will evolve as the company’s situations change.

2. Nominate a champion. Objectives and blueprints are not sufficient. Unless the project is directed by a person of acknowledged authority, the risk of falling short of your goals is substantial. This project champion must have both personal trustworthiness and robust support from top management in the corporate core.

3. Decide on a structure and establish a network. The system could be anything from a US-style corporate university to a looser European-style federation of learning managers. Either way, you will want a coordinating body to run the show and a network of individuals who will be accountable for applying the CLU’s decisions throughout the company.

4. Rationalize L&D offerings across the company. Decreasing duplication will usually lead to fast, considerable cost savings, and is a very good way to get a quick win early on. You should also set up a global reporting system that will give the company an overview of how much it is investing on L&D and exactly where the money is going.

5. Centralize IT systems. Aim to have all L&D providers in the organization use one single learning management system to handle things such as the program portfolio, delivery logistics, participant nomination and assessment. This system should connect to the reporting system mentioned above and the HR systems that record employees’ training and development.

6. Structure the global program portfolio. The CLU should offer a coherent, organized collection of programs, with clear criteria indicating what is centralized and what is decentralized. Normally, induction courses and programs aimed at the top echelons of management are designed and managed centrally; those for mid-level administrators are designed centrally but provided locally; and education programs that are specific to one particular business component or region are designed and supplied there to predetermined central standards.

7. Set up a network of trainers. Some businesses require each decentralized unit or region to find its own presenters, instructors and so forth. Others prefer to set up a central collection of in-house certified trainers who can be deployed across the business. This has the added perk of providing development opportunities for these managers as well.

8. Set up a vendor database and agree on outsourcing functions. Your company’s standard procurement methodologies will form the foundation of this work but more specific L&D operations will also need to be contracted. Issues to consider include the company’s capacity to provide programs in-house, and the level of quality and relevance of external providers, including the benefit of having an outside point of view.

9. Equip your CLU as a center of knowledge. A number of companies have started to set up CLUs in a way that permits them to provide support services for the business as a whole. For instance, the CLU might be contracted to design a particular program to meet the needs of a local business unit. With the right experts on board, the CLU can efficiently become a form of in-house consultants who can help diagnose organizational growth issues.

10. Ensure good governance. The regulating body will normally be different from the coordinating body described in point three. Its job is to keep the CLU’s mandate up to date and constantly aligned with corporate strategy; to make sure that the executive responsible for running the CLU has the authority needed to do his or her job effectively; and to make certain that the CLU is properly resourced. It should, therefore, be made up of stakeholders from the organization and the board as well as HR.