Developing A Corporate Learning Strategy: Key Policies

Nine key policy issues examined in depth…

How Developing a Corporate Learning Strategy guides you towards the right decisions for your organisation

The management challenge for every organisation is to take decisions about knowledge management and corporate learning that are absolutely right for its unique circumstances. In nine carefully researched sections, Developing a Corporate Learning Strategy guides managers through key decision areas… providing practical advice based on the experience of 69 other organisations. In every section, the report presents key findings for easy reference and provides a comprehensive list of action points to guide future decision making.

Which issues to consider when assessing the current position of your organisation’s corporate learning.

In the 69 organisations studied, HR and training professionals are moving centre-stage as the spotlight turns on knowledge management and corporate learning. In too many organisations, staff are trained with yesterday’s competencies — rather than tomorrow’s.

This section looks at the changing shape of the corporate learning landscape. It shows how an organisation’s relevance depends on its ability to learn more quickly and effectively than competitors.

It overviews 15 different kinds of arrangements the organisations use for corporate learning and provides guidance on which issues to consider when mapping out the future organisation of corporate learning.

How to decide whether to have a corporate university or centre of learning. 

Most of the 69 organisations are already conducting a fundamental review of their training and learning strategy — or will start one soon. Many professionals realise they’ve got no future if they define their roles too narrowly as “providing training”.

This section looks at how organisations are facing up to the changed role of HR and training. It explores the trends and dilemmas they face — such as the technology “triggers and traps” — and looks at 24 possible reasons for having a corporate learning centre.

Taking a carefully balanced view, this section guides you through the arguments for and against as you decide whether to establish or maintain centralised corporate learning — or devolve learning to business units.

How to decide what corporate learning should contribute to the future success of the organisation 

In all the 69 organisations, the future will be very different from the past. And the HR and training functions will be called on to make a new kind of contribution.

This section shows how training and development priorities can be placed firmly in tomorrow’s business strategy and goals — rather than rooted in the past. It goes on to explore how the organisations — in very different ways — are making corporate learning a business driver in its own right.

It looks at the contribution of schemes such as Investors in People — and shows how to take decisions about what comes next.

How to decide which managers should perform which roles — then what they should do.

If they’re to make a new — more relevant — contribution, most of the 69 organisations realise their HR and training professionals will need to play new kinds of roles in the future.

This section takes you through the key issues you should focus on as you design a corporate learning centre. It shows that HR and training professionals will need to look afresh at their roles — focusing less on training, more on helping others to learn and releasing the know-how value within the organisation.

How to build the skills that enable you to create a learning organisation

A key issue worries the 69 organisations — how can we define the competencies we’ll need in the future, then ensure we develop them effectively?

This section shows different approaches to defining and developing competencies — with more focus on outputs and outcomes. But it also reveals the dangers of focusing too hard on competencies. There’s a need to do more to encourage “self-directed” learning and create a “learning environment”.

And the section also looks at 40 different ways in which organisations are handling knowledge management.

How to find the internal and external capabilities to build a learning organisation.

As the organisations understand: there’s no point in developing a corporate learning strategy if they can’t put it into practice.

This section looks at the different kinds of learning it’s possible to use — from in-house courses to distance learning. It shows how to take decisions about when and how to link up with outside universities, colleges or external trainers.

How to turn the strategy into a live management activity that achieves real results

As the organisations move into new territory — making the critical shift from training to learning — most realise that implementation will be critical.

This section looks at the issues you need to confront as you set out to implement a corporate learning strategy. It shows the importance of developing accredited courses and learning modules.

Then it tackles the questions of knowledge creation and collaborating successfully with external partners. It shows why much future training and development could play a support role in exploiting corporate knowledge.

Where to find and how to use the many sources of support that can aid corporate learning programmes.

The kind of support services they need is changing in most of the 69 organisations. In future, more will need training support for “natural work teams”. And they will also conduct workshops to identify corporate learning “gaps”.

This section looks at the changing shape of training and development support services. It shows how to balance internal resources with external suppliers in order to deliver what’s needed in the future.

Critically, it shows how learning support could become a business opportunity its own right for many organisations in the future — providing a growing source of add-on revenues. The report provides 25 examples of ways in which organisations could package learning-related services as revenue earners.

How to make sure that corporate learning programmes deliver real measurable benefits.

Increasingly, the 69 organisations recognise they must prove their growing investment in corporate learning delivers results. So measuring the outcomes of programmes is more important than ever.

This section looks at 12 approaches to measuring output from corporate learning activity and discusses the pros and cons of using them in different situations. It argues that more organisations need to value their intellectual capital — and spells out the need for more “knowledge entrepreneurs” to exploit it.