A well-crafted and rigorously executed organizational learning strategy can ensure that your learning and development organization supports the business in achieving the strategic goals set forth by senior leaders. Without a clear strategy, learning and development organizations tend to lose focus and effectiveness.
The top 10 elements of an organizational learning strategy provide a framework for creating and executing a strategy within an organization, a function or a department.
1 – Alignment to Business Strategy
How will the learning strategy support achieving the goals of the business? For example, how will it help grow sales by 10% in x market or reduce time to market for a product or service?
2 – Well-Defined Scope
What parts of the business does the learning strategy cover? How will out-of-scope requests be addressed? For example, if the North American Sales organization is included, but Asia is not, define how Asia will be covered.
3 – Governance Model
What process will be used to set priorities? For example, a governance team that represents major stakeholders will own the overall strategy, set decision criteria and meet on a set schedule to evaluate activities.
4 – KPIs
How will results be measured, reported and monitored? For example, speed to competency or the number of “ready now” managers. Make sure to have executive buy-in on your learning metrics!
5 – Funding Model
How will program development and delivery costs be funded? For example, program development and management are funded centrally, and program delivery is funded by the business through an internal tuition program.
6 – Alignment with other Talent Management Work Streams
What other talent work streams are in place or being planned? For example, how is learning connected with onboarding, performance management and succession planning?
7 – Learning Organization Capabilities
What are the roles required to support the learning strategy? For example, if the current staff has significant subject matter and teaching expertise, but very limited instructional design experience, you may need to change the makeup of the team to execute the strategy.
8 – Learning Systems
What learning system capabilities are needed to support the learning strategy? How will employees access learning, register for events, and track their progress? What reporting will you need? For example, can the current system provide reports that support your KPIs? Can it deliver micro-learning?
9 – Innovation, Methods and Tools
What innovative methods and tools will be used to create deliverables and manage processes? For example, defining when Artificial Intelligence is appropriate, standardizing on agile or design thinking methods, or even selecting a common development software such as Articulate.
10 – Marketing and Branding
How will the business know about programs? What branding standards will be applied? For example, will learning have its own brand that aligns with the business standards? What other methods (such as town hall and department meetings) can be used to “advertise” learning?
Finally, how will you align with business leadership on your strategy? Getting early buy in is so important for the learning leader. Even better is to be a part of the business strategy development so that you closely align your Learning Strategy from the start!