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When approaching the concept of a Learning Resource Centre, What are the main benefits of introducing one into the organisation (feedback from company’s that have had positive results would be helpful) and how was the concept sold to Senior Management.
Claire Butler

3 Responses

  1. Learning Resource Centre
    I would recommend you to base your arguments on the strengths and weaknesses of the training process that you have already analysed if possible.

    I find that examples work best, especially if you get people to put themselves in the position of the trainee:

    One area in which these are particularly valued are for sensitive issues such as mobbing, sexual harrassment programmes etc, which are important enough to address but still too tricky to go public with.

    Centres also contribute to a more efficient working and learning environment – work ar work and learn in the centre. Software Demonstrations shouldn’t disturb others for example and in the centre, people are more likely to ask questions and hence get more value from the training.

    Good luck & greetings from Hamburg

  2. Some experiences to share
    Dear Claire,

    I’ve now been involved with setting up two learning centers and would wholeheartedly agree with Gareth’s comments. Other things that I learned were:

    Make certain that you interview the most senior managers in the group which will be served by your learning centre. Ensure that you understand their business plans and the main challenges facing them. Ensure that the resources you provide in the centre are directly relevant to these issues.

    Consider linking your centre with an action learning scheme. The idea here is that participants select a work-based improvement project – something that is directly relevant to their most important and challenging tactical goals. They then receive training in the learning centre, flexibly according to their needs, and attend monthly meetings of a learning set for support and encouragement. The emphasis of a scheme like this is the successful accomplishment of tactical goals. Individuals participating in the scheme learn much more because they instantly put into practice what they learn. The emphasis is on personal growth and accomplishment of goals – the precise content of the training is of secondary importance.

    The massive advantage of a learning centre is the capacity to deliver exactly the training which is helpful for each individual – whenever they need it and at a time most suitable. You can also provide the same training to a whole group without having everyone off the job at the same time – very good for establishing culture. And you can give any new recruits exactly the same training as the old ones have had. And it’s very cost effective.

    On the whole, Senior managers love to hear this kind of language coming from the training department and give wholehearted support. But, as Gareth has said, the whole thing will die a death if it’s not tightly linked into the accomplishment of business goals. In ICI we also ran foul of calling it ‘The Learning Centre’ and then discovering that people generally referred to it as ‘The Early Learning Centre’ after the high street store! Not good for the image!

    All the best
    Philippa Forsyth

  3. Case studies and help

    I have been involved in setting up learning centres both when I worked for a major UK bank and most recently for clients of the e learning company I now work for.

    One major benefit is that when set up correctly, centres can provide an area that is conducive to learning and when supported can provide users with a valuable development.

    The main thing to avoid is to let the centre work in isolation and not be integrated into your organisations training delivery strategy. You don’t want people looking at it as a facility that only gets used in peoples spare time.

    For reference I would point you in the direction of a DFEE guide called Learning Centres: A guide to making it happen ref LLTD7. For a copy phone 0845 6022260.


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