I often hear how L&D need to be better aligned to the business. That when we design and deliver solutions of varying sorts, we have to ensure business leaders are bought in. That we’re not part of HR. That L&D are a cost to the business. How we need to market what we do better and create a learning culture. How we need to be better business partners and understand the leaders of the business.
And I hear less about how we are leaders of the business already. Because here are things normally under our control that we lead on for the business:
- We normally have a budget we manage. Company money entrusted to us to deliver solutions for the business. That’s pretty significant.
- In some cases we may be employing people to work with us and for us. We’re providing someone with gainful work.
- We design solutions that help people perform better at work. It’s not always as clear cut as that, but it is what we do. That’s pretty important.
- We enable managers to be better. Managers/leaders are a core part of organisational effectiveness. If we are helping them to be more effective that’s pretty impressive.
- We use data and insights into human behaviour to improve working environments and working relationships.
I stopped thinking of myself as not being a business leader some while ago when I realised I had all that in my purview. And sure people have different levels of comfort and acceptance that they are as such. And then I think, but you’re paid a fairly good wage to do these things. That, again, by virtue of itself gives you the remit and responsibility to lead the business. Imposter syndrome be damned.
Lastly, this. This isn’t about humility. L&D leaders have a unique business position where we are required to understand the business in a way many departments don’t need to or have the time for. That level if insight we can provide is unique. Additionally, when collaborative efforts are needed it’s often because there’s no-one to be that catalyst for change. Again, a unique position that L&D can provide leadership on.