Even though the learning function was always “at the table” as a strategic player at HSBC, they may not have been always saying the right things at the table. They were playing a strategic role, identifying the business needs, but it required a step back to look at the larger vision to determine if funds and resources could be spent better in other areas.
A new set of tools helped to achieve this improved clarity of vision. The conversations surrounding these new tools have become strategic because they force other functions to discuss what is truly critical for the business. Therefore, the introduction of these new technologies goes beyond learning strategy to impact company strategy.
Ms. Nowlan believes that it is up to learning professionals to define the learning strategy and alignment to business strategy. In her experience, if you do not define your role, someone else will. In the case of learning, the business should not define how strategic learning will be or what the learning strategy will be. Rather, if the learning professional is not invited to a meeting, they should invite themselves to talk about the strategy of the company and how learning supports the achievement of those goals.
Further, through benchmarking with statistical reporting, strengths and needs were clearly identified and could be presented in a way that truly resonated with a very analytically driven organization. Through presenting the data in their terms rather than in learning terms, needs were clearly understood and the value of the learning function became apparent.
“I’m grateful to be in this network. The calls I had with other members gave me the information I needed to move my project forward.”Annette RollsLeadership Development Program Designer, Boeing
“We were able to realize almost immediate value—in terms of definitively quantifiable savings—by implementing the concepts introduced during this [Art of Negotiation] program.”Ken MurphyEVP of Sales and Operations, Mattress Firm
“In my particular case, I certainly care about the HR functions, but that’s not why I wake up every day. I care about advancing the ball down the field with our people’s professional development skills and knowledge. You guys focus 100% on the learning piece, and that’s what I like.”Jim StewartCLO, Teradata