Is it time to Re-Centralize Corporate Training?

An interesting trend is occurring in 2008.  Over the last 7-8 years organizations have been working very hard to create a “federated” model for training, which centralizes certain core functions (e.g. LMS administration, leadership development, compliance, tuition reimbursement, catalog content) and decentralizes key training areas in sales, onboarding, customer service, and operations.

This organization model has been difficult to implement.  While we continue to help organizations define the “constitution” of this model and expect this to continue, we are seeing a trend toward greater centralization.  Why?  Because the implementation of organization-wide talent management programs is often dependent on heavy new investments in L&D.

For example, a major healthcare provider who is a research client is re-centralizing all 600 of its training professionals into a centralized reporting structure.  Many of these individuals will remain located and assigned to work with business units, but now by being part of the centralized talent management team, they can be focused on organizational-wide learning initiatives.  Another client, a major retailer, has recently consolidated its national brands and is also centralizing L&D to create more consistent and brand-centric onboarding and new hire orientation.

As we prepare to publish our High Impact Learning Organization 2008 research, we see this trend occurring in many industries.  You thought it was hard to organize training when you first started e-learning?  Time to start further re-thinking the problem again.