Author: David Mackey and Sian Livsey
This is a surprisingly practical book, which focuses on the options for strategic positioning of a learning and development function.
It introduces the concept of the ‘learning architect’, of which there are four types, ranging from the sole operator, to the leader of a team of learning professionals. There is a helpful key, so that once you have worked out what type you are, you can identify which of the chapters are going to be the most useful.
The book explores what it calls a ‘corporate learning architect continuum’, ranging from the traditional training and development function embedded within the HR department, to the other extreme, where a flexible learning function delivers learning initiatives proactively.
The title is arguably misleading as, although it gives helpful guidance on how to achieve a learning environment by becoming more proactive, it recognises the positive contribution a training and development department makes in its traditional ‘passive provider’ form and concedes this to be a real option within certain cultures.
Case studies help make some of the concepts real and we are introduced to architects in various capacities struggling to meet the challenges of their employing organisation.
The book is in the form of a toolkit, with all you need to build the learning environment of your choice. There are the basics, such as how to draw up a training policy, to the more challenging ‘researching the journey to learning excellence’.
Useful? 5 out of 5
Well-written? 4 out of 5
Practical? 5 out of 5
Inspirational? 3 out of 5
Value for money 5 out of 5
Overall 4 out of 5
Reviewed by Alison Norris, HR consultancy manager, MHL Support