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L&D Maturity Model Meets OD

Submitted by  on May 2nd, 2012

Four colored blocks lying horizontallySome people using my Training Management Maturity Model are wondering at what level in the model does a training function need to be at before it can contribute effectively to Organizational Development (OD) initiatives. Does it need to be at the most mature level, Level 4, or can it start to be effective at Level 3?

The four levels are summarized in my article, How Effective Is Your Training System? Here is a recap of the primary objective at each of the four levels:

  • Level 1 – Provide accurate management reports on training activity
  • Level 2 – Deliver real and measurable skill improvements
  • Level 3 – Plan and prioritise training in line with organization’s strategic goals
  • Level 4 – Improve training processes and organization, team and individual outcomes

As organizations become more mature in their Learning and Development (L&D) activities, they focus less and less on administrative tasks and concentrate more on delivering real value to the organization.

Now, getting back to the question asked about the role of L&D in OD, my answer is that the L&D function would need to achieve Level 3 at a minimum, with maybe some aspects of Level 4 in place, before it could effectively contribute in a sustained and systematic way to OD initiatives.

I’m not saying that meaningful contributions can’t be made at Level 2. Progress can be made at this Level, depending on the working relationships between department managers and practitioners. In every organization, there is a spread of capabilities amongst staff. So, even for organizations at Level 2, there may be one or more practitioners working in L&D that can make a significant contribution to an OD project.

How are your L&D and OD staffs interacting? Are they working collaboratively, or essentially working in silos on their own designated projects? If there exists a real sense of teamwork, then contributions can even be made within organizations at Level 2. What I suggest is not leaving these kinds of synergies to chance. If you do, how your organization fares in any change initiative will depend largely on who happens to be in what role. By progressing your organization to Level 4, you are increasing the probability that your L&D and OD initiatives will bear fruit.

Training Management Maturity Model

How effective are your training activities really? Check out Leslie’s Training Management Maturity Model. Use the model’s unique four phased approach to determine where your organization is at on the road to training best practice and then go on to construct a roadmap for improvement. The pack includes everything you need to conduct an evaluation, including assessment and reporting guide, customizable assessment form and analysis and reporting sheets. Find out more about our Training Management Maturity Model and download the free Maturity Chart today.

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