Leading a Learning Revolution: The Story Behind Defense Acquisition University's Reinvention of Training
4 By Frank J. Anderson, Christopher R. Hardy, and Jeffrey Leeson; Pfeiffer-Wiley, 278 pp., $40
First, let us address the 300-pound elephant in the room, which is the fact that this book is about how a department of the federal government, the Department of Defense (DOD), worked to transform its training and development practices. It is rare that we would look to the government to learn much of anything, given its size, complexity, and promotion of the status quo.
That said, this book is worth your time. It is the story of how to take a tank that is moving forward at 100 miles per hour and turn it around on a dime. That's what happened with the birth of the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) back in 1990, as a result of Congress' passage of the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act. DAU officially got going in August 1992.
The fascinating birth of DAU is taken up in the first chapter, but the book also contains specific ideas about change management, best practices, helpful resources, and screen captures of DAU's Web-based learning assets and tools. Pay special attention to Section 2 of the book, entitled "Organizational Alignment." It looks at the strategic environment at work in DAU and sets us up for the rest of the story. Looking to build positive changes in your training department? Read this book first.