(LCDR USN,ret), CPLP, MBA, BS, AA, ACB, CL
Figure 1. Money Map. Image from business-literacy.com, permission requested
The learning professional, more specifically Certified Professional in Learning Performance (CPLP), is supposed to be able to help add value to an organization by helping to ensure that people and stakeholders get what they need when they need it! Notwithstanding change management and resistance to change. Taking this understanding, the role and responsibility of the CPLP then are not limited to the functional area or specialty of just training to outside customers, the business itself is also a customer. A line from a book on strategic learning alignment (Smith 2011) suggests that if one works in a business—then you’re a business person first, and a functional specialist second! And, if your organization is only limiting your learning professional to one functional area, you’re missing out on an opportunity to add value to the business model and value chain in a big way.
With this in mind, I’d like to cover three quick topics in this short format: what is a CPLP, what’s in a business model to add value to, and the concept of organizational and strategic learning alignment.
A CPLP is certified in the knowledge and application of 10 Areas of Expertise (AOEs), while utilizing at a minimum, 6 foundational skills to help execute these AOEs. The AOEs are Performance Improvement, Instructional Design, Training Delivery, Learning Technology, Evaluating the Learning, Managing the Learning, Talent Management, Knowledge Management, Coaching, and Change Management; the foundational skills are Business Skills, Global Mindset, Industry Knowledge, Personal Skills, Interpersonal Skills and Digital Literacy. You put these together with the requirement to already have been in the learning profession at least 3 – 5 years before applying for the certification program, and the groundwork is laid for potentially adding value.
The opportunity to add value to the business lies in its business model, and to an extent the context of its environment. Seen simply and as pointed out in the book, Strategic Learning Alignment: Make Training a Powerful Business Partner (2011), by Rita Smith, think of the business as a highway with traffic flowing in and out of it, figure 1 refers. There are many activities that are standard on a highway as well as many roadblocks, opportunities, and obstacles. Specifically, a general business model consists of 9 parts: (1) customer segment, (2) customer relations, (3) channels, (4) Costs, (5) value proposition, (6) key activities, (7) key partners, (8) key resources and (9) revenue. Each area is an opportunity for the learning professional to help add value to the business model or value chain by helping to optimize, “tweak” and align it; make more money!
Hopefully, this short article helps shed some light on the role and responsibility of the modern learning professional (CPLP) and also that we’re all business people first when it comes to the organization we work for and must, therefore, make an effort to learn the language and see how our daily actions and behaviors can help add value to the organization.
Figure 2. Strategic Learning Alignment Model. Picture from Smith (2011).
It also means that business people should not just see their employees as just ‘functional entities” and hold everyone accountable (authority), to seek (demand) and act on knowledge received to add value. Until next time, comments encouraged.
Smith, Rita Mehegan. Strategic learning alignment: make training a powerful business partner. Alexandria, VA: Amer Soc For Training, 2011. Print.