I've just come across a TrainingZone article, Why have a L&D department?, written in 2006 by William Doherty. It begins
"The question, why have a learning and development (L&D) department, comes up year after year. The answer is straightforward: "To develop the people so they can increase the competitive advantage and value of the business!" If any L&D or training activity does not achieve this then it is in efficient and ineffective. The next four years (2006-2010) will all be about performance. Only those training companies that perform, deliver results and exceed the customers expectations will survive!"
William then quotes the Internet Time Alliance's, Charles Jennings, when he was Head of Global Learning at Reuters.
"Charles Jennings says that in the near future trainers will need to become performance consultants – able to diagnose the cause of a problem, explore who has ownership and be capable of facilitating a solution. This solution might have nothing to do with training but relate to not paying enough, not recruiting the right quality of personnel, having the wrong process or unrealistic objectives, not allocating enough resources and so on. The challenge facing business in 2006-2010 is to define the role, responsibility and accountability senior managers have towards developing their people and establishing that any problem around developing people or managing their performance is their problem – not the training managers problem.
Jennings makes the point that the training manager and the training function is not simply a fulfilment service delivering training on demand to line managers. In 2006-2010 training managers must help facilitate line managers' ability to identify the root cause of the problem, the size, scale and cost of the problem and, most important, define who owns the problem and the urgency with which it needs to be addressed."
It's 2010 - and it seems to me that not very much has changed except perhaps for the use of different training delivery media. So why hasn't it happened? And do things need to change? Should the role of L&D in the future continue to be simply "a fulfilment service delivering training on demand to line managers"? Or should it be more than that?
If you are in L&D what are your thoughts?