Andrea Ives talks L&D: The Show Must Go On!

I’m sure you have heard of the saying ‘If you carry on doing what you are doing, you will keep on getting what you are getting’.

Behind the scenes, L&D folk are masking the resistance, working miracles with slashed budgets, doing more and more internal delivery and covering the cracks of inconsistent internal messages from senior leaders delivered to the grass root business levels.

If there is a problem, L&D can fix it, if there’s no budget, L&D will find a way to make it happen on a shoe string. Need a course delivered by yesterday – L&D will create something bespoke for you! If you are reading this thinking this sounds familiar you are not alone! Plenty of senior L&D folk are having to be more resourceful with budgets, and more creative with their delivery methods to keep everyone happy. How many people do you know would have their budgets cut, double their hours but yet still be motivated and driven to get the best from their employees?!

While sitting with a client last week listening to them talk about the internal challenges they have it got me thinking about just how much L&D communities do behind the scenes! So much of our time is spent trouble shooting other people’s bad decisions or in some cases the inability to make them and just ‘not getting it’. Are we doing ourselves an injustice by saying yes all the time, running around behind closed doors like a headless chicken delivering fantastic training at the last minute on a budget that would be more aligned with Tesco value than Waitrose deluxe!

But yet we still do. Why? because we are the ones that see the ‘light bulb’ moments in the training room, we are the ones that liaise with attendees before the delivery to build the rapport, understand their challenges and concerns which builds a sense of loyalty of doing the right thing, we are the ones that listen, explore and coach to support their implementation of learning after the delivery, and finally we are the ones they go to (rather than their managers in most cases) that inspire, motivate and allow them to understand the value in a ‘can do’ mindset!

In my video in my first clip I talk about what you should consider when you are thinking of building an L&D function – my advise.. Find out what’s really gone on behind the scenes first before showing them your L&D script of what good looks like – you need to know how the audience (employees) has received the show before casting roles (senior leaders) take centre stage not appreciating or understanding what the director (you!) does or the value of all the hard work that is done behind the scenes to make it happen.

Standing ovation if you please. I think we’ve earned it!


One of the most innovative and influential heads of global development around. Andrea has most recently been involved with the Financial Times, O2 and the BBC. With an outstanding track record in business tendering, building effective global L&D functions, design and delivery of bespoke training solutions in over 20 countries and over 15 years experience coaching our leaders of the future. In this video Andrea discusses the key challenges faced when creating, building and implementing a global Learning & Development function, and shares her own experiences in a 4 step, best practice approach to achieving outstanding results.

Andrea Ives owns her own global consultancy company, with a key focus on People Development, Executive Coaching, Business Development and Global Team Building.  For more information visit her website to see how Andrea can work with you and your business

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