My friend Sukh just posted this piece on "Outputs vs. Outcomes". Essentially, what's the point of learning & development actions in the workplace if they don't create the outputs that are needed or desired?
Spot on. If you're not focussed on creating the needed or desired outcomes then you need to stop and think again.
However, being expert in learning and performance support also means that you know, with humans, that A+B doesn't always lead to C...
Learning isn't a nice controllable, linear process. It's organic by nature. It is iterative and dynamic. It requires a constant interaction to gather, understand, reflect, challenge, discuss, sense-make, apply, maybe learn and hopefully aid performance. It's not training!
Take a good look at the Learning & Development people in your or other organisations. Truly, who are the experts in Learning & Performance Support?
More pertinently, what I think happens is that we forget that we’re the experts in learning and performance support. That means we have a mantle on which not many others in our organisation can occupy. We may be able to argue the toss about which delivery method is better than another, but the challenge is how we help others to understand that we know how to achieve the outcome best. I’ve had many an argument with senior directors because of this. It’s our single most difficult task we’ll ever have to do.