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Securing a budget for Research and Development


Whats the best way of pitching to the board for an R+D element to the L+D Budget?

What would you say would be the killer arguments that would make a finance director and a chief exec really see why money needs to be spent on this and put aside for that purpose each year?
craig mitchell

4 Responses

  1. what do you mean by R&D?
    Sorry to be obtuse but what do you mean by R&D?

    A proper TNA is absolutely critical to the success of pretty much all L&D and could well be a large part of “R&D”…
    or are you looking to break new ground, create cutting edge/leading edge interventions, push the envelope, challenge received wisdom, boldly-go-where-no-man-has-gone-before etcetera?

    Let us know what YOU are aiming for and I think you’ll get more from the forum


  2. move away from the same old same old
    cheers rus, what im looking for is the second bit really. Its all well and good doing a thorough TNA but often the response is something along the lines of –

    well youve done a ******** course before just adapt that

    This leads to obvious recycling and what im getting at is spending some time researching new technologies and ideas etc and being able to apply them as part of the solution rather than the same old same old.

  3. Killer arguments

    Hi Craig,

    Here are the things I do to allow directors to take their decisions.

    1.Do my homework and really understand the issue, problem, opportunity form their perspective(s. There are always several strong views and opinions on every matter so you can rarely find a single solution which is a perfect solution for everyone.

    2.Understand the board I am dealing with. This can be a longer term project. I have offered to facilitate, coach, or even set up the equipment for the meeting in order to observe and understand them as a group. As with all training and presenting once you know your audience you are more than half way home.

    3.Prepare a 30 second attention grabber statement which tells them what they want, why they want it and how you can deliver it. (Back to first point).

    Often boards run over on time and scheduled slots for a specific time will be rare.

    4.When preparing any presentation use as many universal statements you can initially to build your credibility across the team.

    Examples of universal statements (these must apply to everyone in the team without question – refer to point 2)

    I am the training and Development Manager
    The business is facing a huge challenge in Germany
    You want to see cost effective training solutions
    We cannot use the IT system to deliver training right now as it is experiencing difficulties at the moment

    As long as these are all accepted you can then move into areas for discussion or where you will find only partial agreement.

    So in terms of the R&D discussion, what is the business imperative for this?

    How will each director you will deal with see this situation?

    What will they see and hear about after you have completed the R&D?

    What are the concerns that each will have?

    If you don’t have a solution for any of these anticipated concerns raise them yourself first and open them up for discussion and have an opinion on some of the aspects so you have at least shown your awareness.


  4. Pitching for an R&D budget
    I think the pitch should be as an integral part of the L&D strategy rather than bolted on. I’d work out what is in it for them, what it could do for the organisation and also mention (but not lead with) the more direct benefits to L&D.
    You might try metaphorical logic eg if you aim for the moon and are a millimetre out you’ll miss by a thousand miles. Time and money spent getting things right at the front is rarely wasted. And the cost of getting it wrong would be far higher than the L&D cost.
    You might give a concrete example of where R&D has made a difference (and/or maybe an example where things did not go well but could have been done better if R&D had been done).
    And, finally, they may be prepared to pilot this concept – that is fund R&D for a year and then evaluate it. Some Boards are happier about testing the water than they are about making ongoing commitments where they are still uncertain about the benefits.
    Best of luck


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