Are learning coaches roaming your company's halls?

In reading this article aptly titled “Schools’ instructional coaches change the game”, I was struck by the following observation:

“… instructional coaches were originally launched to help school districts strengthen professional development to meet the needs of all learners.”

Coach hat

The schools are getting in on the learning coach action, and as we noted in a previous blog- we feel instructional designers must do the same. Today’s workforce, with its five generations collaborating physically and virtually to accomplish the mission, has needs that cannot be efficiently met by bottlenecking “training” within the confines of human resources.

Similarly to the classroom in the article, some of these needs include:

  1. Guidance in interpreting performance data for their team and identifying knowledge/ skills gaps,
  2. Working collaboratively to spread best practices across job functions and roles,
  3. Disseminating instructional methods, design principles, and adult learning theories, and
  4. Establishing communities of practice and learning networks within the enterprise.

This learning coach strategy shifts the onus for learning to everyone’s shoulders in the organization. Learning should be a competency in everybody’s job description―and everyone should be measured on how well they learned and applied their new knowledge, skills and abilities to execute their jobs. It should be the learning coaches leading this charge, and stepping outside of their traditional classroom or design roles and weaving learning into the work flows of their organizations.

Much as improvements are being witnessed during early test of this tactic in school settings, organizations and in particular human resources executives should be experimenting with roving learning coaches as well.


Alex Santos
Alex is a co-founder and Managing Member of Collabor8 Learning, LLC, an instructional design and performance management consultancy. His firm collaborates with organizations to enhance the way they develop  and train their people. To learn more about Collabor8 Learning, click here.

Alex can be reached at 786-512-1069, alex@collabor8learning.com or via Twitter@collabor8alex.