Building an Agile Development Strategy Aligned to Changing Business Needs
Sarah Mellor – John Lewis Partnership
Jo Kelly – Waitrose
Eloise McNeile & Lucero Tagle – Google
Chaired by Peter Cheese – CEO CIPD
Peter Cheese sets the scene on one of the most popular session at this years CIPD L&D conference. We are now in a VUCA world. agility, adaptability and resilience is increasingly important. In order to support businesses in this context, L&D will be pivotal to supporting businesses to survive let alone be successful.
Sarah & Jo take to the stage.
The way consumers shop ihas and is changing dramatically, the John Lewis Partnership needs to be agile in order to survive. It can be uncomfortable for change agents to be agile in our respective businesses. The world of retail is radically different from what it was just 10 years ago.
L&D have a key role in developing people and maintaining the company culture and values.
In John Lewis Partnership, it is critical that all L&D activity is aligned to the stated principles or values of the business.
Volatile – Vision
Uncertain – Understanding
Complex – Clarity
Ambiguous – Agility
The business is no longer just a bricks and mortar operation, but deliver services through many channels, this means the business need changing skills to service these channels.
Step 1 is aligning the L&D Strategy to the strategy of the business.
Not written after the business plan – but built with the plan.
We used to use 9 box grid approach to succession planning, but this was often in isolation, so they refined the process to consider:
Talent demand – Talent supply = talent gap
Attract & build – Buy or borrow = Keep or lose
Step 2 Ensure the effectiveness and flexibility of L&D and talent initiatives.
Rather than wait for the business to say we need x, they took a proactive and co-developer approach . this meant it was a faster need to delivery process.
Main learning is both stakeholder engagement and co-creation of content and solutions.
Other key learning includes:
- If a product or solution is not championed and led by the business, then L&D wont invest in development of programmes
- Focus on developing a desire to learn
- Be open to do things differently
Google – Eloise McNeile & Lucero Tagle
How do Google create an agile learning environment. Google use coaching to be better and agile sellers of their services.
In the early days of google, leadership style was directive in nature. one of the reasons for a coaching strategy was to influence the business and managers to change their style.
“Coaching in the moment” was introduced to differentiate the form of coaching different that used in executive coaching. the only form of coaching understood at the time. The training was a 2hr workshop.
Coaching in the moment was a tool used to give managers tools, show how easy it was to coach someone in less than 15 minutes. – the model was an adapted GROW model in a preset template. Giving a structure to discussions.
from the initial workshops they L&D team identified ambassadors or champions to peer promote. they developed communities for these champions.
Once introduced, they took the process to another label, where the emphasis changed to being “coaching for business results” – they asked themselves “what could we do to use coaching to improve our business”
Business metrics were used to measure success. As we might expect with Google, and of course a sales function, metrics were important. They can show really good returns and adoption of the coaching style, and the resulting changes in business performance.
What did not go well…
Accountability – attendance at first was low until senior leaders expressed an interest in the programme
Programme management – the logistics of running a programme of this size and scope was challenging, and costly.
These notes and comments are by the speakers in the conference seminar