Friday, 16 June 2017

The HR, L&D, OD relationship at it's best is...

Salad, not soup!

I once heard this analogy for explaining isolation, diversity and inclusion and equality, but it strikes me it's quite apt to explain how HR, L&D and OD should interact also.

I follow the hashtag, #ldinsights on a Friday morning and the question this morning was...

"Can we still look at L&D in isolation instead of as part of systemic change?"

And there was, as always, a brilliant on-line discussion.

The immediate follow-ups for me were: "Did we ever?" and "How could you?". However, another part of me also gets quite frustrated that we try and either justify the distinctions or 'mush it all up', and that's when I was reminded of the 'salad not soup' (or stir fry, not soup) analogy, because actually the straight answer to 'can we look at x in isolation' is actually always: yes... yes, we could. But the real question is 'what's the value-add of that?'

I don't think L&D should be looked at in isolation, but to let it morph into OD or remain (as it's sometimes seen) in HR's shadow aren't the only options.

So, yes by all means chew on a cucumber or bite into a tomoto on their own but, better still, why not mix them up to make a vibrant salad and experience a variety of flavour and colour that just works so damn well together.

On the other hand, lets not go too far and mush it all up - yes, soup is lovely but many of the ingredients can lose their distinctiveness and we certainly don't see them stand out in any way.
In a work place, the dominant function will become what we see. Too much of one ingredient consistently isn't as beneficial as a balance/the right thing dominating for the relevant situation.

Neither the stand-alone approach nor the soup scenario help people to see the benefit of working collaboratively or adapting the balance, though they'll both suit some in certain circumstance. So my thinking is that making like salad (sliced or diced!) is, for the most part, the best of both worlds.

So, that's my two pence worth!



Find me on/at:

  • Twitter: @DamsonHR
  • LinkedIn: Denise Sanderson-Estcourt, FCIPD

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