From TJ Magazine: Practitioner’s Viewpoint

Rachel Hutchinson reflects on the role of L&D in change.

Reading time: 2 minutes

One of my favourite quotes is “Be the change that you wish to see in the world” from Mahatma Gandhi. In learning and development, we get to be change ambassadors who help provide opportunities for these changes.

We enable people to recognise needed changes and to embrace changes that come from other areas. Yet sometimes we are slow to notice coming changes or to see the opportunities that new things bring.

Quite often this is because we are not close enough, not in tune enough, with the changing dynamics of the organisations that expect us to help people perform.

Other times it is because we do not have the necessary relationships and storytelling skills to help us transfer our vision into reality.

Our L&D team members take pride in identifying where people development is the answer and where a system or process change is needed

And yes, sometimes, it is because we are human and change is hard, so we take the easier path to complete our responsibilities.

As I tell the story of how we made a huge jump from compliance-tested, tracked, formal education of our team members to putting them in the driver’s seat of their development, people act like this journey would be impossible in their organisations.

I never try to hide the challenges that we encounter every day as we traverse this journey – they are many and varied. However, we have built key relationships that help to slowly move our organisation forward.

We have a sound foundation of data from our own internal team members that supports our vision and direction.

We continue to hire people into L&D in development roles to ensure that we constantly stay in touch with today’s environment and need.

We spend as much time as possible talking to people to understand the challenges they encounter.

We know that we cannot affect everything, but our L&D team members take pride in identifying where people biggest difference to how we approach people development.

I challenge that each person in L&D can affect change and help transform their organisations if they accept that people are the asset that has the biggest impact on success.

Think about the last airline flight you took – what do you remember most? Is it the seat on the plane? The food?

Or is it the experience provided at the security counter, the ticket agent, or the flight attendant? People are our differentiating factor.


About the author

Rachel Hutchinson is director of L&D and head of global portfolio and community management at Hilti North America

This article appears in the February 2020 issue of TJ Magazine. Subscribe here for the full insight



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