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What is the role of a Learning and Development function in developing a commercial organisation


I've been asked to give a 15 min presentation on the above question.

As this is a chairtable organisation, the bottom line in is not the focus I gues.
My thoughts are: alignment to the values, reducing costs, meeting stakeholder expectations, being seen a leader within their sector, seen as professional experts, ethical, just and fair.....

Would welcome your thoughts and ideas

Many thanks
kirsty malik

3 Responses

  1. Confused I am…
    Hi Kirsty
    Your presentation title refers to a “commercial organisation” but you then say that as a “charitable organisation, the bottom line is not the focus”….perhaps that thinking needs ironing out before you go much further.

    Otherwise your thoughts seem pretty appropriate. My experience suggests that you might want to also take a little time to ensure that all parties are clear on who the “stakeholders” are and what the “pecking order” is.
    I.e staff, donors, beneficiaries, beneficiaries’ carers, management/trustees, governmment, the community; depending on the aims of the charity there may be very different priorities.
    I hope this helps

  2. What would happen without one?
    Hi Kirsty

    Perhaps this could be turned on its head and you could challenge by saying an organisation without a learning & development function would not survive.

    Our world and everything in it constantly changes, grows and develops. In fact the rate of technological change in the next 25 years is said to be likely to be as much as that of the past 10,000! Therefore an organisation that cannot learn and develop rapidly in this environment would find it hard (if not impossible) to take advantage of the current markets.

    This is aside from the fact that investing in the workforce not only increases your ability to service the market, but also aids in staff retention & motivation, reduced absenteeism and improved performance, as people feel valued and challenged.

    Hope this helps.

    best wishes

    Annie Lawler

  3. role of L&D
    L&D or T&D is always about the bottom line – the only diff in a not for profit or social economy is the definition of the bottom line!

    many NFP’s go under due to a lack of commercial skills and the wrong focus – it is easy for an organisation to focus on its ‘mission’ because it has funding – but take the eye off the finance ball & they go under – the average life spany for a NFP is not that diff from a business startup – there are reasons for this.

    If ANY organisation cannot say HOW L&D is adding VALUE then do not do the activity.

    I have been working with a gov support organisation helping NFP’s become commercially aware in order for them to have a sustainable business model.

    Unfortunatly one of the organisations we were working with did not take the advice – 9 months later they ceased trading – they had been in business for over 5 years!

    Ignore the commercial reality at you peril.



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