If my Learning & Development isn’t broken, why fix it? 

31 Jan, 2023gregortowers

Is my L&D solution optimal for building a robust business in 2023?

The right learning solution pushes your business to the top. It defines your people’s skills. It differentiates you from competitors. It transforms your people and as a byproduct – business performance

People Leaders are the centerpiece to all of this. 

A Learning Management System (LMS) is the popular choice to upskilling talent. Many leaders opt for a traditional training content supplier to boost their LMS. While others even develop their own internal solutions. These L&D frameworks run for years with passable results, even at the best companies. 

But they each come with their own challenges.

Multi-day unengaging learning in a hotel conference, expensive trainers, difficult to scale processes, surface-level skill training, learner disengagement, theory heavy, integration issues, no customization, outdated content – to name a few.

Despite the new learning technology and programs on the market, they’re rarely modified. And while this tech may appeal, it often raises more questions and confusion for a Talent Manager. 

Why fix what isn’t broken? Why not stick with traditional suppliers and play it safe? Even if I want to change, how can I convince my internal learning team?

Here are 2 key questions to challenge your business role as a transformative People Leader.

  • Does my learning solution optimize the skills of my people? 
  • Does my people’s upskilling impact my stakeholders’ business goals? 

Let’s see what an optimal upskilling solution should look like & how it should impact talent’s performance & business objectives.


Three expert’s advice on an optimal L&D solution 

Our 2023 State of Skills report interviewed six upskilling experts. Their discussion walks talent managers through upskilling solutions for 2023. What’s their main message?

Strategically allocate L&D budgets and find upskilling solutions that connect the training strategy to business impact. 

Here’s a short insight into just three experts’ take on designing L&D solutions in 2023. 

David Clarke, IFS 

Learning has to impact teams spread across the globe. And with remote work trending, businesses need scalability in upskilling approaches. 

“The more spread-out our workforces are geographically, but more importantly over time zones, the more we’ll need to leverage asynchronous options.” 

Scalable L&D solutions require the right tech infrastructure to ensure that the learning influences business outcomes. We’ll discuss later which tech helps People Leaders to achieve this. 

Once you have the tech to upskill global teams, the content needs to focus on one thing to impact learners: desirability. Talent Managers need to develop “relevant”, “modern” and “high-quality” material to ensure learners don’t “disengage”. So “start auditing (your) e-learning provision now” and ensure courses aren’t “outdated in 2023”. 

Once you’ve increased the outreach with tech & designed the content to engage, what else do People Leaders need to prioritize? 

Tom McDowall connects desirability to impact. He suggests Talent Managers adopt 5 steps to “focus on the user’s performance.”

  1. Who 
  2. Action (what users want to achieve)
  3. The problem 
  4. Root cause 
  5. Empathy: how does the user feel?”

There’s more to consider when designing an L&D program. Guy Wallace adds his take on delivering learning content with impact on the user in 2023. 

“L&D content has to be instructional & as short as possible but as long as necessary. And  it must be available in modes and media conducive to the users’ performance.” 

With the mode & media focused on the users’ business performance, the learning has a greater chance of being “desired” to impact behavioral changes.


Read more in the State of Skills report for the full insights on designing an L&D solution in 2023. 

Does your learning solution have the right modality?

With hybrid working trending, L&D tech is not only vital for content scalability, but also delivery. 

“…taking the very best of what makes digital products work in the modern world, and adapting it to our needs in the learning space. As the great Guy Wallace says, ‘Adopt what you can, adapt the rest.’” Tom McDowall

However, digital learning alone isn’t the most effective delivery mode. Our data suggests a blended learning solution connects your talent’s training to business impact in 2023. 

Comparative data between 2022 & 2023 on the most effective L&D delivery. 

Be savvy with L&D tech to impact your business 

Let’s loop back to the tech People Leaders need to hit 2 key focus points for their L&D solution in 2023: scalability and desirability. 

“Traditional L&D programs are not the ideal upskilling solution 2023: difficult to scale, multi day learning classrooms, single modality with F2F and outdated content.” Jonny Fisher, UK Country Manager at Lepaya 

Ok, but which tech do I implement into a blended L&D solution? 

VR is key to the start of a learning journey with impact. Without the right start, your L&D will never arrive at the result you desire. 

VR is vital to pre-bite learning. It is the bridge between 2d learning and in-person classrooms. Coupled with the psychological safety of the learning environment like AI and immersive learning, it sets the learner on the right path to engage with the material and apply behavioral changes. 

But there’s a concern. 

Surely VR will replace the internal trainers in my learning program ? 

VR is a set up, not a replacement, for trainers to deliver their learning. The theory stage is the hardest part of a learning journey. With traditional programs, learners get bored easily as they scroll through endless pre-bites and disengage with the material. 

But VR excites your learners and it does so at scale. It aligns with the new generation of talent entering the labor market. They’re young, creative and curious about tech. VR triggers their initial interest and engagement to kickstart their learning journey with “updated, high quality & modern” content. 

Comparative data on VR vs 2D learning


Ok, but how do I convince my internal team?

David’s statement indicates how People Leaders can communicate the business impact of changes to their LMS or internal solution.  

“And they (Talent Managers) need to put together a plan on how you can utilize it, and communicate it better to the wider business.”

Communicating the value of changes to your learning solutions across the wider business is key. Stakeholders need to see how boosting the scalability & desirability of talent’s learning can impact their high-level business goals in 2023.

But if you, as a People Leader, disconnect your learning from the wider business, then you struggle to convince your team to adopt new changes. This means you’ll miss out on new tech entering the market with the potential to play a transformative role in your L&D work. 

Read more on our impact piece to understand key impact sabotages. 


Ok maybe I’m interested in change, but can these blended programs and technology be integrated with our LMS/LXP? 

In short – YES. 

The most important point is to prioritize the accessibility of your learning content.

The solution should blend into the learner’s workflow – accessible to the learner and integrated into their digital systems. This ensures stronger engagement and higher impact on business performance.

With the right integration, Talent Managers have direct access to feedback & learning metrics. This empowers you to monitor and adjust your talent program based on real data. And this data from the program is key to present your learning’s impact to wider stakeholders. This process allows for more scope in the future to co-create long-term solutions.  


Why fix a learning framework that isn’t broken?

It’s not about fancy VR. It’s not about splashing your budget on luxury learning tools. You don’t have to adapt your learning because of trends. However, you should adapt your internal learning and LMS programs to your learners’ needs. Your people are the centerpiece of the entire framework and your business. 

Our main message to you:

Connect your people’s learning to your business goals with the optimum learning solution. 

Your L&D role is transformative within every organization. You can bridge skills gaps in 2023 to prepare your business for the years beyond. As a Talent Manager, you need impactful learning infrastructure to realize the potential of your people’s skills, as well as your own. 

Therefore, outdated, traditional suppliers  fail to maximize the effectiveness of an LMS or internal solutions. A strong solution should be; scalable, high-quality content, blended, customized and connected to business goals.

If your L&D meets this criteria, you’re maximizing the potential of your people and connecting their training to stakeholders’ business goals. Don’t fix what isn’t broken. But if it isn’t, then how are you adapting your learning solutions in 2023?


Read our State of Skills report for the full data and insights from all six thought leaders.