For as long as organizational learning has been around, so has the concept of our role being the owners and deliverers of content. Our sole purpose has been to “create training,” and with that came the need to exist as subject matter experts in the content being delivered. Rather than being strategic learning partners, the L&D field fell into a pattern of order taking, and with information changing as rapidly as it does, it has become challenging, if not impossible to keep up with not only the subject matter but with the changes in training and delivery methods.

As we begin to rapidly shift away from order taking and into our position as learning partners, how can we begin to enable learning and on-the-job performance through more than just department-led facilitated content?

Action of the Week: Change On-The-Job Behavior

In our book, Designing for Modern Learning, we titled the chapter on the Change Action “Owning the Workplace, Not Just the Classroom” to drive home the importance of shifting our perspective on our goals, our area of responsibility, and most importantly, our control over learning materials. When we come to terms that being the “all-knowing” SME is no longer feasible, it opens the door for greater good — the greater good of impacting the workplace, not just the classroom. When we give up our former role of being the sole owners and deliverers of training and instead use our L&D skills to aid others in sharing their content, our learners are now given the opportunity to find high-quality learning content quickly when the need arises.

Now think about the role your department plays in organizational learning. Are you the sole owners and deliverers of content? How can you start making shifts toward empowering others to share their content? Now, we can empower SMEs AND continuous, generative learning by connecting learners to each other and resources.