When Learning and Development aligns with business

We have had an incredibly successful year in 2015, in many cases with Learning and Development. We have gained partnerships, not just clients. We have created business-relevant solutions, not just learning activities. At the root of our success is our desire, and ability, to develop relationships with business and Learning  and Development, in the interests of addressing employees’ development and performance needs. This partnering is in alignment with recommendations from Bersin by Deloitte. In 2016, we look forward to further developing our capability in this regard. Let’s take a look at a few points about Learning and Development alignment with business in organisations:

L&D is more aligned when it speaks the same language as the business.
For any relationship (not only business relationships) to be successful, all parties need to be on the same page. And, for that to happen, they need to speak the same language. While learning objectives and performance outcomes are important to L&D, what business really needs is a focus on KPIs like customer experience and implementing risk management practices. It’s up to L&D to speak the language of business.

L&D is more aligned when it understands and communicates with all of its stakeholders.
It is imperative for L&D to build relationships with and continuously communicate with all stakeholders in order to successfully implement learning solutions that business really needs. Stakeholders refer to more than just the client or project sponsor. Relevant stakeholders include business leaders (who generally provide funding); line managers (who influence employee priorities and own the organisation’s learning culture); and employees, the ultimate users of learning created by L&D.

L&D is more aligned when it focuses.
L&D needs to decide, along with business, what it is that will move the business forward, as opposed to becoming caught up in putting out fires. L&D’s focus needs to be longer term and on what is needed, not necessarily on what they and the business want.


Based on a blog by Dani Johnson, 3 December 2015, Aligning L&D to the Broader Organisation, Learning in the Leading Edge www.bersin.com.

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