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Bola Owoade

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Senior Learning and Development Advisor

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Communicating a Learning and Development Strategy


In my last post I wrote about some of the things to consider when creating a LAD strategy. While this post will focus on the next step which is communicating the strategy once you've created it, I do want to take a step back and re-emphasize some basics of a LAD strategy. Any created LAD strategy should yield an output and that output should be a document. Based on this fact a LAD strategy can really be defined as:

"A high level document of how the learning function is going to support the organisation to achieve its strategic objectives. It should answer these questions:

 - What are we going to do?

 - Why are we doing it?

It does not go into detail about how, when, or who. This will be outlined in an operational or tactical plan which details how the LAD strategy will be implemented."

Communicating your strategy will therefore mean getting the information across to the right stakeholders in the right format. Honestly all employees are stakeholders and need to know about the strategy but how you communicate to them at different levels will be different.

A question to answer before communicating the a strategy is how the document will be structured and laid out. There is no specific framework for creating a strategy but some of the things you might want to include in your document are:

 - An introduction to what the document is and its purpose.

 - A brief overview of your understanding of the organisation's objectives and how learning and development will support it.

 - An outline of the strategic objectives that the learning function function will pursue to support the business and the reason why you are pursuing these particuler objectives. You might also include success indicator measures for the objectives.

 - A section on how you will involve stakeholders in different parts of the business in implemnting the strategy

 - Some information on resource implications for the strategy

 - Also you should include information on other documents that will support the strategy implementation such as policies, training plans and other strategies, for example an e-learning strategy.

As a starting point i think you should include this. Don't fall into the trap of trying to create an unwieldy and hefty document measuring 20 or more pages. Nobody will read it after it has been created, not even you. A LAD strategy document is a point in time document that will need to be amended as changes occur in the organisation. Go for iteration over quantity. Also it does not need to be perfect the first time around. Here is what Kevin Moore said about creating and communicating a strategy in the E-Learning Guild's Handbook of E-Learning Strategy:

"Make the strategy document visible to the team members, the departments, and the organization. Create a communication plan, and get the word out that you have a strategy and intend to implement this strategy. Always remember that a mediocre plan of action today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow."

I agree with Kevin. Create a version 1.0 of your strategy document and communicate it. People will help you refine it. Lastly I advice that you don't make it more than 10 pages. Think lean and agile.

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Bola Owoade

Senior Learning and Development Advisor

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