· Features

How learning and development can support and drive change

Change is all about learning. It is also the lifeblood of organisations.



Without the ability to adapt to changes in their environment, organisations wither and die, so one would expect we ought to be pretty good at it by now – and as learning professionals we should be the experts.

Unfortunately, the evidence is that the process of change as experienced by most is painful and the credibility of L&D as ‘change experts’ is low among senior managers within organisations of all types.

My presentation at the World of Learning Conference and Exhibition will look at some of the critical things that L&D professionals need to grasp if they want to be effective at supporting changes within their organisation and make them less uncomfortable for the people affected by those changes.

We will look at theoretical aspects and link these to real experiences. We will examine the three main areas that are frequently overlooked in facilitating change and identify some strategies to ensure that these are properly considered and thus improve the prospects for successful changes as well as the reputation of the L&D profession among our stakeholders.

We will demonstrate how L&D at TUI Travel approaches, supports and drives change.

Travel and tourism is historically an industry affected by constant change – both economical and environmental. Following a merger between Thomson and First Choice, TUI Travel has become the largest tour operator in the UK.

Delegates will learn how L&D has played a significant part in this through supporting organisational change and enabling people to embrace change in their day-to-day jobs through simple, effective and well-respected interventions.

In a sector that relies on discretionary spend it is more important than ever to push forward and integrate fully into business. No longer can learning and development be seen as a function that supports the operation of the business – it needs to drive operational change and really impact the bottom line. Through cost-effective interventions, a proven return on investment and the centre of driving performance, learning and development is well able to place itself in the middle of the inevitable change that companies are required to go through. Some examples where L&D can do this:

  • Drive an effective performance management process
  • Upskill managers to be more effective and improve performance
  • Utilise the skill in the business and co-deliver training usually delivered by external support
  • Role model efficiency
  • Simplify processes and reduce costs
  • Facilitate change by integrating key messages and skills into existing interventions

Adrian Price is learning and development manager, TUI Travel UK & Ireland