L&D Best Practices

Collaboration between Training and Digital Departments is now the key to a company’s success

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Collaboration Between Training and Digital

By Michel Diaz, Associate Director FEFAUR and Olivier Metzker, Operation’s Director France, CrossKnowledge.
This article was published on Elearning Letter (in french) on June 3rd, 2019.

Collaboration Between Training and Digital Departments Is Now the Key to a Company’s Success.
Learning & Development departments should not see Chief Digital Officers as rivals. In fact, collaboration between the two domains greatly benefits a company’s digital transformation. But for this to happen, training teams must continue to develop their business expertise and regularly adapt to these new changes…

When Chief Digital Officers Take an Interest in Training

Digital transformation is in full swing and encompasses just about every field possible. As a result, digitization is quickly being propelled forward. Though every department has embraced this change separately to mitigate interdepartmental conflict, the Chief Digital Officer (CDO), newcomer on the scene, has started to shake things up. They’ve begun to gradually unify these separate entities in an aim to capitalize on opportunities, foster growth, and keep track of anticipated costs.

Any department affected by these digital changes today will likely see the CDO getting involved. This means taking part in just about any area of the company! However, this intrusion is not always welcomed by management, especially when consideration hasn’t been given to how ever-expanding digitization impacts daily activities.

Training is one department that has been particularly affected by this. It is also an area that piques the Chief Digital Officer’s interest, for multiple reasons. For one, digital innovation is not coming to a halt anytime soon, and digitization of training programs affects all areas of a company. Furthermore, training is becoming more and more important as employees and partners (Extended Enterprise) adapt to the success of digital transformation in its entirety.

Thanks to the e-learning experience Learning & Development departments have gained over the past fifteen years, they can attest to how successful it has been in catching the attention of Chief Digital Officers.

Training’s Golden Ticket

Training departments should nevertheless preserve their influence over the learning sector, which also includes its digital teaching methods and content. Why? Involvement in these training platforms now make it possible for them to be considered digital services. The need for training departments may be in jeopardy if CDOs begin to take over which platforms are chosen and then start to manage the content and changes that follow… Unless, of course, training teams develop their business expertise in such a way that training and their educational applications of digital technology become essential in the eyes of their new collaborator.

It’s all about partnership. This success depends on a relationship built on trust, respect, and collaboration between the Training department and the Chief Digital Officer. In fact, it is not unlike that between IT Management and Training departments, or that between DHR and Training departments. Training departments share throughout this collaboration with CDOs their impressive arsenal of business skills and the assets they employ because of this digital technology. This especially applies to the expertise Training departments possess in the creation and management of knowledge databases (Knowledge Management), in addition to implementation and sharing of that knowledge.

The Two Key Positions of the Learning & Development Department
Training departments must therefore develop their digital culture and share the key concepts, innovations, possibilities, and limitations of digital tools to keep this collaboration in motion!

A Chief Digital Officer cannot know all the digital aspects of a company’s business and functions and will subsequently be grateful for the digital learning knowledge that L&D departments can provide. Training departments must therefore reinforce the position they hold!

People skills, communication, and flexibility are a must for Training departments to stay ahead of the game. They also need to recognize the position of the CDO in the company and understand and anticipate the constraints, expectations, and goals inside and outside the office to foster rewarding and productive partnerships.

It simply cannot be denied: collaboration between Training departments and Chief Digital Officers is a major asset to a company’s digital transformation.