How to build a successful learning strategy

by L&D04 Nov 2016
Are you a leader who is seeking to build alignment between learning and business strategy through a learning culture?

If you are, you will know that achieving this can be easier said than done. But as learning and development leader, Marina Theodotou, told Chief Learning Officer, building a learning strategy “is a key CLO mandate”.

“Chief learning officers can add significant value to a learning strategy by aligning learning with the CEO’s agenda,” she wrote.

To begin the process, Theodotou says CLOs and their teams can begin a dialogue with the CEO and his or her team to discuss the following four questions:

1. How can we map learning to the CEO’s agenda?
  • Ensure that learning programs map to the business wins defined in the CEO’s agenda for the next 3-5 years.
  • Describe any repercussions in the CEO agenda across the organisation’s key lines of business.
  • Articulate learning and development success metrics for these wins.
  • Define the key competencies all business leaders will need to achieve these wins and these metrics.
2. How can we align learning with development resources?
  • Develop all new learning offerings — courses, webcasts, content — to map to the CEO agenda.
  • Ensure existing content maps to the CEO agenda by revising as needed.
  • Confirm that instructional design methods align with content development needs.
  • Create methodologies to measure the impact of learning on the CEO’s key agenda items.
3. How can we gain buy-in for the learning agenda?
  • Articulate the strategic logic in how the learning agenda aligns with the business wins.
  • Discuss with key stakeholders, including HR, finance and lines of business how changes brought on by the learning agenda may impact them.
  • Engage key champions, including the CEO, to support the learning agenda.
  • Build a governance mechanism to ensure the learning agenda adapts to changing learning needs.
4. How can we activate the learning agenda?
  • Ensure all stakeholders are on board.
  • Communicate the launch for the learning agenda.
  • Provide periodic updates about small and big wins resulting from activating the learning agenda.
  • Keep communication channels open, and keep listening to the lines of business.
  • Evaluate the success of the activation and recalibrate.