Leading the Learning Function September 14, 2009 Dr. Gretchen Van der Veer Director, Office of Leadership Development and Training Corporation for National and Community Service
Learning Goals for this Session By the end of this session, participants will be able to: • identify the value of the learning function to their organization • identify some trends in the nonprofit/national service sector • write a business plan for the learning function based on organizational business goals • better understand your role as a strategic leader of your organization
Source Documentation for this Session • Crutchfield, L.R. and McLeod Grant, H. Forces for good: the six practices of high-impact nonprofits. Jossey- Bass, San Francisco, CA, 2008. • Managing the learning function. American Society for Training and Development, Alexandria, VA, 2006 updated version.
Understanding the Context for the Learning Function Discussion Questions: • In this era of economic retrenchment and budget cuts across all sectors, why should the learning function continue? • What’s the rationale? What’s the value?
Training for Excellence Understanding the Context External Factors Economic Social Political Technological Industry Organization Influence Learning Function Influence
Key Questions in Building Value • What is going on in the larger external environment? • How does that impact my organization? • What is the state of my organization? • How does the learning function add strategic value to furthering the goals of my organization?
External Environment • What are some of the key drivers in the nonprofit/national service environment right now? • How will those drivers have an impact on my organization (if they are not already)?
Nonprofit Environment Old Way of Thinking About Nonprofits: • Program Replication as means of expanding social impact (1980’s) • Building organizational capacity to deliver programs more efficiently (1990’s) New Way of Thinking About Nonprofits: • Nonprofits as catalytic agents of change Crutchfield, L. R. and McLeod Grant, H.
Myth busters • Myth 1: Perfect management • Myth 2: Brand name awareness • Myth 3: A breakthrough new idea • Myth 4: Textbook mission statements • Myth 5: High ratings on conventional metrics • Myth 6: Large budgets
Six Practices of High-impact Nonprofits • Advocate and Serve • Make markets work • Inspire evangelists • Nurture nonprofit networks • Master the art of adaptation • Share Leadership
National Service Environment • Serve America Act • Social innovation • Call to Service • Expand • Measure/results • Compliance • Others?
Establishing Value Develop a Business Model for the Learning Function “The learning function must have a business model that aligns resources to the priority goals of the larger organization.” ASTD, Managing the Learning Function
Keys to Establishing a Business Model • How is the learning function funded? Who are your partners/sponsors? • Who are your clients and what is your relationship to them? • What products and services do you offer? • What criteria will be used to judge your value?
Needs Assessments • Needs-based approach (identify performance gaps based on assessment of knowledge) • Wants-based approach (what do clients say they want/need?) • Results-based approach (identify learner goals based on business needs/goals and identify appropriate measures)
Measuring Value Traditional Measures • # of people trained/served • # of trainings offered/hours of delivery • Participant reaction surveys New Learning Measures • Increase in a business goal (i.e. %age increase in member retention, new applicants, programs making match, or reduced # of audit findings).
Taking It Home Please find the worksheets on your table. Take 10 minutes to work through the questions and then find a partner at your table to share your business plan. Spend the next 15 minutes sharing your plans with each other and providing constructive feedback. At the end of the time we will ask for one or two pairs to share their plans.
How Can We Best Support You? How can the Corporation best support you in the development and execution of your learning function business plans?