This may seem like a strange question, but I guess I'll ask all the same. We traditionally had a 'training' team and a knowledge management team. In recent years ever since I joined this company, I've moved the training team to be more versatile than just delivering classroom training and our bouquet of solutions is more state of the art (to say the least).
Anyways, a couple of weeks back we decided that there's a strong overlap of skills and objectives across the knowledge management and training teams. So we're thinking of merging these teams and breaking down our imaginary walls. Where we're struggling is what you'd call the easy problem to solve.
What do you call an organisation that encompasses the functions of both L&D and Knowledge Management? I'm quite keen on "Workplace Learning" - what do you think?
My suggestion is Performance Development Dept or Performance Management Department. I'm a great fan of Charles Jennings's arguments for the performance mindset over the training mindset (see barrier 4 in his blog http://charles-jennings.blogspot.com/2010/04/five-barriers-to-effective-learning-in.html).
It's interesting (and I'm observing, not criticising!) but if you look at all of the suggestions so far they are all from the perspective of the Training Mindset rather than the Performance Mindset. The message is simple - focus on outcomes - not inputs or methods!
I can't say I agree totally with Charles Jennings's arguments.
Training is to increase performance. If you want to increase performance you at some point need to train (or at least facilitate connections between those with knowledge to those without).
Whether training is pushed or pulled, it is still delivered. Performance Development/Management is just another way of saying training.
I think his argument is based on a top down approach. Yes businesses want to see increased performance and results, but ask how this would be achieved and the answer would be through Developing (i.e. training in the skills required) and managing (i.e. identifying and planning where training is needed, and how it should be delivered). Not totally but as a major part.
And, how can a good conductor focus on getting the best performance if:
1. The musicians don't know how to use their instruments.
2. The conductor has not got the correct music sheet infront of him.
3. The musicians don't realise or know how to play as part of an orchestra.
I guess there is a time for a music teacher, and a time for a conductor, but without a music teacher to train and pass on knowledge the conductor is nothing more productive than a guy waving a stick in the air.
The KM guys may want to protect their patch but I say Learning and Development (L&D) could undertake a hostile takeover. Learning for me is at individual, group and organisational level and, as well as disseminating existing knowledge and skills, is action-related in nature, where errors between intention and outcomes/results in real acts by real people/teams are closed (loosely following Chris Argyris' thinking). That learning needs to be captured, stored, shared, etc. so that it is available to the collective organisational memory to access. This part is normally the domain of KM, but at some point it was someones learning, so call it Learning.