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Learning & Development Strategy


Hi everyone. I have very recently been tasked with creating a learning & development strategy for our business. We didn't have a formalised strategy before and our buisness will have huge focus on L&D in the coming year. I have been asked to really start from a blank page and consider the following. Input & engagememt from the business Inspiring hearts & minds of managers & teams:developing talent Encompassing our company values Variety of learning methods I also need to put great emphasise on ROI for any learning interventions. To include: Full assessment criteria Balancing individual and business needs Reporting on ROI Delivering L&D that accelerates performance I would be extremely grateful for any advice that any one may be able to offer in terms of constructing the document and the apporach. Many thanks in advance. Julie Grundy

5 Responses

  1. Don’t fall into the usual traps Julie


    This sort of posting makes me so glad I have been independent for seventeen and a half years.

    My instant advice is centred on the vexed ROI issue.

    Make sure you take only appropriate responsibility for the creation and achievement of genuine return. It really makes me laugh to see these wonderfully laid out but totally worthless ROI calculations.

    I advise very strongly that you make explicit the need for the active support and encouragement of all line management within the organisation, and especially the essential element of carefully chosen, well briefed, needs-identified, motivated learners, without whom no spend can stand a chance of creating sufficient learning application to make it worthwhile.

    I am deliberately keeping myself to that only or this could be a three foot long post.

    Good luck and contact me offline if I can help further.


    Andrew Gibbons

  2. Start with the business strategy/business plan


    Following on from Andrew, do make sure that the L&D strategy supports the business strategy and whatever business plans that have been laid out for the next 12 to 24 months. These will determine the focus of your L&D efforts and expenditure, and should also show a demonstrable benefit in strategy implementation…..although be careful about trying to demonstrating ROI. L&D is an enabling activity.


  3. Measures of Success

    Hi Julie,

    First of all it is heartening to hear that your organisation is to focus on l and d next year, when you have the board behind you I have found that you can get so much more done. Regarding the l and d strategy I would echo the comments of Harvey in the earlier post, create synergy with the business strategy, link in to the vision and values of the company, ensure that you have senior managers buy in and input to what you are producing and you should create a strategy that will support the business in moving forward.

    Regarding ROI, I have found (with the danger of making a huge generalisation) that when it comes down to it business owners / managers are not really, truly that interested in ROI, they just want to ensure that the l and d team are not squandering the money they have been given. An approach that has always stood me in good stead when it comes to setting a budget for the next year (and it always seems to be the budget period when managers get very interested in ROI from a training perspective) is to create an l and d business plan from the l and d strategy, highlighting SOME of the major programmes / initiatives that are being run that year. For these (possibly five / six programmes) create a document which shows; what you are doing, how you are going to do it, what impact it is going to have on the business (linked to strategy), and how you are going to measure the success. You could then go on to show a cost saving (ie a leadership development programme developing potential senior managers to director level may have 6 senior managers ready for promotion after 12 months saving the company 120k in recruitment fees in year 2) but in my experience directors although asking for ROI are actually more interested in the measures of success.

    Good luck




  4. No real mystery around ROI

    Personally I don’t see the problem with hitting ROI head on.

    I don’t start a peice of work without a meeting with a serious sponsor within the organisation with clout, and with whom I can be clear about my desire to create real value, and how I need to work in partnership in order to hit obstacles and clear the way for sustainable value.

    Another essential for me is building into longer term programmes, added value projects, for which I have a template if anyone wants to contact me offline. These provide structure and purpose to significant returns, and I have had some remarkable successes with this method.

    The more we discuss these real ways to create genuine return, the louder I laugh a tthe marvellous fomulas that are so often presented…do this, add that and hey presto your ROI is 327% and so on.

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