In our last issue, we covered what it means to be useful. Part of this was the importance of goals – truly understanding the goals of the organization, stakeholders, and the people we’re designing for.
The thing is, it's tricky!
Organizations – and people – are complex. There isn't just one goal. There are many things a business is trying to do – and those things often change.
But don't worry… this is where we, in L&D, actually have an advantage!
You see – the biggest advice we can give is to embrace a mindset of understanding. The more we understand how a business works, what people do, what we're being asked, the more useful we can be.
We should be constantly curious about the organizations we're working for – Ask questions. Explore. Be inquisitive!
In other words, learn.
That's right, a large part of our job is to learn more and more about everything around us. Luckily, for most of us, we are naturally curious and enjoy learning! (We see you fellow learning nerds out there!)
Figuring out goals is, in large part, a learning process.
Here are two examples:
- If you're new to L&D, you need to learn about the broader business and departmental goals. There are a lot of ways to do this, so here's some advice: Discovering the Goals of Your Organization
- No matter where you are in your L&D career, you're going to get a wide variety of requests from stakeholders. Some will be easy to understand, whereas others will be vague and unhelpful. Some requests may be the total opposite – way too specific – like an order for a deliverable. So when a stakeholder comes to you with a less-than-desirable request, learn more from them! Ask questions and explore the problem with them like this: Helping Stakeholders Make Useful Requests
The other tricky thing about goals is knowing how to focus on the right goals. And we don’t just mean the correct specific goals… but the right type of goals.
Have you ever heard anyone say “outcome focused” or “outcomes, not outputs” before? Well, outcomes are an excellent type of goal to use on your projects. You can learn more about them in Outcomes and Becoming Outcome Focused and find some tips to create an outcome-focused L&D team here: Focusing Your Team on Outcomes
Okay, so you might be thinking that this seems like simple advice – but that's because it is. We’re so inundated with information everyday that sometimes we forget – it’s the simple, powerful things that make a massive difference.
Now go learn and kick ass,
Heidi and Matt