How to Align Learning with Corporate Strategy and Why it is Important

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Why do we create learning solutions? Each and every project you work on has evolved from something, right?

  • The organisation needs to be better at providing customer service.
  • New employees need to know how to use the machinery.
  • Future leaders require the skills that they need. 
It is your responsibility to dig deep, discover the actual problem and how it impacts the organisation as a whole to make a real impact.

Think of it like a chess game. You can easily decide that you want to move a chess piece to a certain square on the board. Is this one move going to bring you success in the grand scheme of the game? The part that will bring you success, is considering your overall strategy.

The same goes for learning solutions. The part that requires effort and attention is whether the learning need will make a difference in the grand scheme of things. In other words, “Does the learning need contribute to the corporate strategy?”

Here is an example.

An organisation determines that training for ‘over-the-phone customer service’ is required.

Why?

  • Supervisors have reported that their team members are not meeting expected standards and have requested training. 
  • Customer complaints have been received. 
The organisation begins a process to create training. In some cases this is when our team is hired to support.

Our team is passionate about creating effective learning that makes a difference. We therefore do not instantly accept and begin to create the learning solution that the client requests. We take on a responsibility to ensure that the learning solution is meeting a goal. Also, that this goal is making a significant impact on the organisation as a whole. Sometimes our clients have figured this out on their own and other times an outside perspective is helpful (us!).

We discuss the learning solution that the client wants and ask questions like these:

  • “What are you measuring that tells you there is a problem?”
  • “What do people need to do differently?”
  • “Why are people not doing it now?” 
Once a deep understanding of the goal is achieved, it is time to take it up a level. Think of it like considering your strategy for a chess game. Before you make your move (design the learning solution), consider how the move will impact your game as a whole.

Ask, “How does this goal contribute to the corporate strategy?”

If this is a goal for the organisation, it should be linked to the corporate strategy. If it is not linked, question why the learning solution is needed (because it probably is not a priority).

The corporate strategy could have a focus on moving into a digital space meaning that an online chat function will replace phone calls in the future. This information could reveal that training for ‘over-the-phone customer service’ is not necessary.

Aligning your learning solution to the corporate strategy not only gives you the confidence that the learning need is a priority, it also:

  • Provides you with a way to measure the effectiveness of your learning solution. E.g. An improvement in corporate goals being met after the training.
  • Helps you prepare for future challenges. E.g. Equipping employees with the skills they need to face future challenges.
  • Supports the organisation in meeting its goals. 
Actions for Success

Take the following actions for your next learning project to ensure that it aligns with the corporate strategy.

1. Gain a Deep Understanding of the Problem/Goal

Do this by asking,

  • “What are we measuring that tells us there is a problem?”
  • “What do people need to do differently?”
  • “Why are people not doing it now?” 
2. Determine if the Problem/Goal Contributes to the Corporate Strategy

Ask, “How does this problem/goal contribute to the corporate strategy?”

3. Determine if the Learning Solution is Necessary

If you have determined that the problem/goal does not contribute to the corporate strategy.

Consider:

  • Is the learning solution necessary?
  • Should our focus be on building capabilities that are aligned to the corporate strategy? 
That is it for this blog on ‘How to Align Learning with Corporate Strategy and Why it is Important’. We hope that you gained value from it and are able to apply the practical advice to your projects.

If you would like to discuss this topic in further detail, please do not hesitate to contact our passionate founder Kim via kim@belvistastudios.com or by connecting with her on LinkedIn.

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