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Jan Rijken


Director Crossknowledge Learning Institute

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Time to align your corporate learning strategy to business goals?


This article describes the key features of an effective corporate learning strategy (CLS) and will help you understand how and why your strategy needs to be linked to organisational goals.

In the 21st century business environment, it’s essential that L&D delivers to the pace and direction of the business.

As the global environment and business are rapidly changing, learning strategy must align with organisational goals and deliver learning that boosts employee performance while improving business results.

This learning strategy is the blueprint for assessing the requirements of an organisation’s learning framework and how this framework can drive organisational performance.

In the 21st century business environment, it’s essential that L&D delivers to the pace and direction of the business.

Developing a comprehensive learning strategy requires a learning organisation to evaluate its goals, governance, people, processes and systems that are currently in place.

However only 44% of the companies state that they have an effective corporate learning strategy in place (Bersin: High impact learning organisation series, 2013).

Many current corporate learning leaders realise that L&D transformation is needed to deliver business results but don’t know what to change and where to start (Jane Hart, 2016).

Why you need a business-aligned learning strategy

Both the business environment and learning environment are rapidly changing and expected to evolve at an even faster pace in the coming years (McKinsey: Learning at the speed of business, 2016).

Corporate learning is moving from push to pull; from classroom to the workplace; from delivering programs to delivering business impact.

In this way you facilitate continuous learning that’s needed to enable cultural transformation, fill the talent pipeline, boost innovation and equip the workforce to perform today and tomorrow.

In parallel there’s a huge call for corporate learning to be more efficient, effective and consistent. This requires a structured approach to plan, design and deliver learning: an effective corporate learning strategy.

Corporate learning is moving from push to pull, from classroom to the workplace.

This learning strategy can enable you to review, benchmark and plan-forward in terms of: ‘Why, What, How is L&D delivering?,’ ‘Who is delivering learning in your organization?’ and ‘How are you performing versus the benchmark?’

Deloitte’s 2015 Global Human Capital Trends Report highlights that the learning strategy of more mature organisations helps them to deliver business goals and transforms the way work is done.

Components of a learning strategy that aligns with business goals

In parallel we conducted desk research on corporate learning strategy and corporate universities to assemble solid views and directions for a corporate learning health-check tool.

In recent weeks we have successfully piloted this tool with clients and have received positive feedback and support to progress.

The result of this process is a Corporate Learning Strategy (CLS) health check tool with six clusters that are key components of a healthy learning organisation.

Each component contains five concrete guidelines to review, embrace and implement to further professionalize your corporate learning strategy in relation to your specific organisational context.

The six corporate learning strategy components are:

  • Corporate learning mission & plan. A component that relates to the mission, strategy, learning plans & policies in your organisation.
  • L&D governance & finance. A cluster with a focus on your learning governance and which funding models you have in place.
  • Learning technology. A component to assess whether learning technologies are aligned, integrated and accessible
  • Learning offer; design & delivery. A component with a focus on design & delivery strategies and management of existing L&D portfolio.
  • L&D sourcing & vendor management. A cluster that relates to sourcing strategy, and how vendors are managed.
  • L&D measurement & processes. A component that relates to needs analysis and which processes are in place that turn business stakes into L&D KPIs.

Can your L&D keep up with the speed and demands of the business? In the rapidly changing environment it is vital to have a ‘healthy’ corporate L&D strategy in order to align with business needs, deliver greater value for money and offer effective continuous learning.

If you’re interested in finding out more about ensuring your corporate learning strategy is healthy, we’ve got a webinar coming up on September 8th which will provide insight how you can health-check your CLS using our tool. Register for free today.

Author Profile Picture
Jan Rijken

Director Crossknowledge Learning Institute

Read more from Jan Rijken

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