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What do you believe is the difference between a tactical and strategic learning organisation?


We posed this question to participants of a recent Learning and Skills webinar that explored how a leading food manufacturer transformed its learning organisation into a strategic business force.  Some of the comments are below and provide an interesting insight.    Typically a training department engages in two types of activity – tactical and strategic.  Tactical tasks concern themselves with the daily design and delivery of training.  Strategic activities focus on ensuring that employees have the expertise and competencies to enable the organisation to achieve its goals today and in the future.  At the strategic level, it requires an understanding of the business and ensuring that people can perform to the required level. 

Strategic would be more proactive - forward thinking and creative

Strategic - based on a vision.  Tactical - respond to orders given

Tactical - more reactive, strategic - proactive longer term vision

One focussed on business outcomes rather than ticking boxes!

The former is one that thinks about short term - strategic is truly value adding for wider HR and business

Strategic will identify a need before it becomes a weakness

Tactical looks at learning need for short term need and strategic what we need in years to come

Strategic - long-term bigger picture.  Tactics - the nuts and bolts of training needs of how we get there.

Strategic - aimed at delivering business goals, tactical - addressing current issues

One focussed on business outcomes rather than ticking boxes!

Clearly from the comments above, there was a good understanding between the two however what did emerge was the challenge in trying to balance both the immediate tactical requirements with the longer term strategic requirements with finite resources.  This challenge seemed to resonate with the audience.  Ask yourself the question – is your learning organisation strategic or tactical?

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