Is L&D a ‘Tik-Toking’ timebomb?

‘ByteDance, the owners of Tik-Tok, has made a strong statement about the ineffectiveness of its talent development team. In an internal memo, the company noted talent development had “limited practical value” and represented a “disconnect” from the company’s needs.’1

Can you, in L&D, be sure that you are connected to your organisation’s needs?

It is thought that close to 100 people for talent development were laid off, in spite of the company’s insistence that “Talent development is still very much a priority for us and for our employees.” That indeed may be true, as they are looking at different ways in which they can still develop their people without the burden of a large and inflexible Talent Development team.

How can you ensure your L&D team are relevant and in tune with the organisation?

“Because the team has already grown quite large, we have decided to no longer retain the Talent Development Center as many of its roles and functions are not in tune with our current development strategies” continued the statement.

So is your L&D team running out of time? 

What do you do to demonstrate value? Is your learning strategy aligned with the organisational strategy? Do you engage with the right stakeholders in the right way to maximise impact?

This is from the CIPD L&D at work survey of 2021:

  1. The desire to demonstrate impact is hampered by barriers to evaluation
  2. The majority of respondents do not use evidence to inform programme design

Both of these would be enough to be of concern in any organisation and both are easily remedied.

When people speak about the “barriers to evaluation” I believe this is more about having the data measures in place BEFORE beginning any design. This is echoed in the second point from the CIPD, about using evidence to inform programme design.

It seems straightforward to me with my engineering brain and my love of data to:

  • Assess where you are now
  • Determine where you (the organisation and the participants) want to be, with clear measurable outcomes
  • Look at your resources and constraints
  • Design something within the constraints you have that will achieve those outcomes

Another recent set of opinions from Donald Taylors Global Sentiment Survey 2022:

If you aggregate 1, 5, 9, 10 and 11, it adds up to a whopping 36.3%. I chose these because again they are indicative of L&D not aligning with the organisation and not using evidence to inform good decision making.








So what happens then in the world of L&D when we want to get closer to the organisation?Just the other day, I saw a social media post asking if anyone had a copy of a learning strategy they could use as an example, to copy. Here is what they should do instead of copying a strategy from someone else:

  • Look at the organisations mission, vision and goals for the next few years
  • Conduct a stakeholder analysis and determine the best stakeholders to work with
  • Speak to each of these stakeholders and ask them these questions:
    • What is the biggest challenge the organisation is facing?
    • What is the biggest challenge your team/division/section is facing?
    • How could L&D help you overcome these challenges? Can they be quantified in some way?
    • What should L&D start doing?
    • What should L&D stop doing?
    • What should L&D continue doing?
    • What should L&D do differently?

If all of this seems sensible but you and your colleagues need a hand in some of the details you may be interested in a new online course that launched recently called “How Not To Waste Your Money On Training”.



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