L&D agenda must not be insulated from company's business needs
An external partner would be ideal for programmes on leadership development, change management, best practices & organisational development
A Learning and Development (L&D) plan must be derived from the business context and the company’s current and future business plans. For example, if the company is planning to diversify, then the competencies related to that goal must be part of the L&D plan. Besides this, the plan should be linked to bridging the competency gaps and must have a clear deliverable and a strategy on how the L&D interventions would be implemented.
Many companies find it hard to decide whether the organisational learning management system (LMS) should be centralised or decentralised. Companies need a centralised version to ensure that what is important to the business and management is addressed uniformly. To take care of local/regional needs, we need to have a decentralised LMS.
All cost functions are under scanner today. The organisational L&D should rationalise which functions to keep in-house and which ones to outsource. Annual standard L&D programmes and the ones related to culture, values etc can be done internally. On the other hand, an external partner would be ideal for programmes on leadership development, change management, best practices and organisational development.
Often, L&D plans are insulated from business needs. To secure leadership confidence, the L&D agenda must evolve from the needs of the organisations. This can happen if the L&D team starts by asking the leadership two things: The strategic plan for the year and business imperatives.
The team can then determine the learning and development needs of the employees, which in turn will provide a road map for their annual plan. Once the plan is drawn up, it must be presented to the leadership team, showcasing how it addresses the stated business needs.
While deciding the level of centralisation in training, the audience has to be kept in mind. Senior leadership training programmes should be centralised while those for middle-management and business units can be decentralised.
The success and failure of the L&D plan is with the L&D Department. Period.However, there are many influencers in this process – the top leadership, line managers and the participants. For the plan to succeed all these stakeholders will have to be taken on board and their roles spelt out clearly to ensure the success of the same.
For example, managers will have to be explained the importance of sending their people for programmes, their interest in what they have learnt and their willingness to provide opportunities to people to put the learnings into practice.
Anu Wakhlu is Founder - MD, Pragati Leadership