Assessing Your Organization’s Learning Ecosystem

Training, in nearly every form, interacts with your organization’s learning ecosystem. What your learning ecosystem will or won’t support are guardrails for decision making. Staying between the lines isn’t always exciting, but it is prudent. Experience has taught us that while many leaders like “blue sky” thinking, it’s rare that any training project can escape real-world organizational constraints.

It’s valuable to assess and understand the current state and near-term future state of your learning ecosystem. Here are some ideas of what to look at (1):

  • Organizational Culture: How supportive is the organization (e.g., budget, seat at the table, alignment, support ‘back at the job,’ etc.)?

  • Training Functions and Their Existing Programs: What functions supply training to employees? What programs do the Functions provide (e.g., new employee orientation, compliance, etc.)? How coordinated are they?

  • Training Function Capabilities: What internal capabilities exist (e.g., instructional design, performance consulting, learning strategy, data analytics, etc.)? How sophisticated is it? Are there gaps?

  • Training Function Processes: What processes exist today? Are they sufficient, or do they need improvement?

  • Training Operations Metrics: How is the business value measured? How is the effectiveness of training measured? How is the transfer to the work measured?

  • Delivery Approaches: What are the preferred formal and informal modalities? Are there emerging modalities under consideration?

  • Tools and Technology: What enterprise platforms (e.g., LMS, LCMS), authoring platforms, and data analytics technologies are in place? Are there emerging technologies under consideration?

Building your Best Employee: Learning Strategies that Drive Results

(1) These are adapted from Josh Bersin’s book, The Training Measurement Book: Best Practices, Proven Methodologies, and Practical Approaches as well as Guy Wallace’s book, T&D Systems View