Category: Employee Development


Innovation Lab: Can People Development Learn from Product Development?

The video below was brought to my attention recently by a colleague who was giving a presentation on the product development process. It showcases the Nordstrom Innovation Lab going “on the road” to get real-time feedback from customers as they build an iPad app…

so that we were never working on something that wasn’t valued by the customer.

I sat there in the conference room watching this video and immediately thought – WOW – what if we were to implement this same approach to L&D? How many times have I designed a training program or other type of employee development or career progression initiative and then asked for feedback after it was implemented. Sure, I may have gained input from other OD practitioners along the way, but what about the employees who it was going to benefit? You know – my customers – what about them?

I love this Flash Build concept and the idea of real-time feedback during the design phase. What do others think? Have you done something similar to this product development process in the world of people development? Check out the video below and let me know your thoughts in the Comments.

The challenges of course might include intermittent accessibility to “customers”, possibly gaining too much feedback of differing perspectives and losing focus, unleashing some of your L&D secrets to your audience, etc. I would love to hear your thoughts on potential barriers and challenges as well.