Finding the Connection Between Learning and Corporate Strategy
I’ve recently been promoting the first in a series of workshops specifically developed for learning professionals. These workshops aim to support a shift that is occurring in the learning space as we see more organisations re-evaluate their longstanding approach to learning.
Frustrations around learning options, namely training, is one of the most common areas raised with me by clients. While there are obviously differences in quality across training programs, I often think it is not the training itself that is the problem, but rather the sole responsibility we place on it to achieve what is a longer-term and more complex process – learning.
There are many different theories of learning, which in itself reflects the challenges we have in understanding this process. A learning program that doesn’t acknowledge and embrace these complexities is likely to struggle to achieve business outcomes. Despite workplaces now being more aware of not solely relying on content training to develop staff, a disconnect between learning and the business still remains a reality for many organisations.
In the first of our upcoming workshops we will begin to examine how learning professionals can build a connection between learning and the business. One of the first steps in achieving this is developing an understanding of how corporate strategy translates to the learning space in order to align programs to business priorities.
If you’re keen to get your team started but can’t make it to our workshop, here are 4 questions to start the conversation:
1. What is the Corporate Strategy?
Working with staff to articulate the corporate strategy and how this translates to learning is an important conversation that can highlight gaps in understanding. It also assists an organisation to re-assess learning priorities to ensure they relate to the priorities of the business. Use this opportunity to humanise the strategy with staff and guide “high-level speak” into actions.
2. How Do Existing Operations Reinforce or Hinder Workplace Learning?
Understanding workplace operations supports learning professionals to develop a program that considers the realities of the business. Understanding the daily experiences that employees have can not only reinforce any training you may offer, but also allows programs to draw from these opportunities. Learning professionals who can provide advice on how areas such as operations and culture may reinforce or hinder particular skillsets will have a competitive advantage when it comes to creating realistic learning solutions with the business.
3. It Takes a Village … Is Yours Engaged?
Everyone should play a part in the learning process and involvement across the business increases the likelihood that multiple areas are striving towards consistent learning goals. Senior roles have an important part to play not only in supporting strategic understanding, but also in taking responsibility for being aware of whether the learning program aligns with corporate strategy. Considering the expenditure on staff development it is hard to debate the logic of getting involved.
4. What skills do your learning professionals need?
While many workplaces typically look to learning teams for knowledge around “method or content”, they don’t typically look to up-skill them in areas such as problem-solving or business acumen. Consider what skills the learning professionals have within your workplace and whether these skills will equip them to contribute to business driven solutions. While individuals may not be responsible for developing strategy, they are front-line when it comes to developing a workplace that can deliver on it.
Workplaces that commit to finding the connection between learning and strategy will be one step ahead when it comes to building capability that is relevant for their business. As with training though, we need to embrace that when it comes to learning this is just one piece of a successful program.
Interested to learn more? We love a chat and are generous with our time and our ideas: Contact