There are numerous routes companies can take to develop or improve their learning culture: external consultants and expertise providers; hiring a talent manager; creating a DIY program in-house; subscribing to digital learning platforms or some combination of all the preceding. All come with the cost/time v proof conundrum.
One viable option is to find and join an organisation that has already done the heavy lifting and tap into their resources. In the marketing communications industry, with a little research, you should be able to identify one or more that fit your requirements. They may not tick all the boxes, but being seen to put L&D firmly on the agenda alone will have a positive effect on your people. The more specialist your requirement, the harder that search will be, but the payback concerning the transformation to your business will be significant and for a relatively low per capita investment.
Learning and sharing knowledge has been at the heart of BBN since its inception 30 years ago and is woven into the fabric of the organisation at every level. Over the years we have developed bespoke B2B processes and intellectual property which we have made readily available to partners and their people through BBN Academies, regular webinars, inter-agency coaching, our employee exchange program and now in a digital form in the Hive, our central management and communication hub.
The Academy, which started over ten years ago, has grown from a one-day event to a week of concentrated training. Our two-day Masterclasses, delivered by industry leading experts, have changed the way many partners approach their whole service offering and structure their business, and the delegates consistently acknowledge our Academy as being inspirational and a “once in a lifetime” experience.
Today, the IP and knowledge base of BBN and the ability to easily access it is one of our greatest differentiators. It both bonds us together as ‘one entity’ and is a significant factor in the retention of existing partners and the recruitment of new ones.
But. The learning and development landscape is rapidly changing, and we recognise we need to better understand what our people are looking for, what motivates them to learn, and what is required to attract and retain the best talent.
We want and need to stay ahead of the game. So to that end, BBN is currently evaluating the benefits of embarking upon an even more ambitious talent development program – ‘creating the next generation of B2B’.
Start by critically analysing where you are on the learning curve. As with all journeys, the first step is the most important. Unfortunately, procrastination will result in a loss of competitive advantage.