Chief Learning Officer - May 2006 - (Page 24)

CO0506.qxd 4/18/06 1:00 PM Page 24 learning solutions Understanding Goal James Harvey A l i g n m e n t : I t ' s the term that describes the c o n t i n u o u s process of mobilizing enterprise r e s o u r c e s to execute company objectives. For several years, organizations have grappled w i t h how to align their most critical enterprise r e s o u r c e t h e workforce. T h u s far, m o s t o r g a n i z a t i o n s have charged the human r e s o u r c e s department with building an align- m e n t strategy. A l t h o u g h HR is an important stakeholder, t h e development and execution o f optimal workforce alignment will never o c c u r without equal participation of the corporate strategy and learning organizations. U n d e r s t a n d i n g Alignment Specifically, some organizations invoked the practice of cascad- In an ideal state, all employees understand the company's strate- ing goals, whereby employees linked their individual goals to gy and objectives, as well as how their contribution helps the higher-level organizational or manager goals. Cascading goals is company meet its objectives. Like most theoretical definitions, a somewhat primitive form of making higher-level manage- applying the practice in the real business world is much more ment goals more operational. However, the practice rarely complicated and elusive. And the larger the organization, the involved a rigorous and disciplined look at organizational or more complex the problem. employee capabilities. For early adopters, the cascading goals Regardless, organizations understand the correlations between practice provided employees with some insight into how they employee engagement and business results. Successful companies enabled organizational success. However, most early adopters are able to articulate company strategies and objectives to their did not recognize the full potential of alignment because their workforce clearly, and the workforce is able to internalize and alignment process was rarely transformed from an administra- operationalize those objectives to deliver results. tive goal-setting process into a business management tool. Furthermore, the lack of rigorous capabilities analysis and Some companies have successfully adopted alignment practices, development planning meant organizations were addressing while many have employed the practice with marginal benefits. May 2006 the what but not the how. Consequently, managers and As with most new business practices, it's important to learn from employees found cascading goals informative, but only visited early adopters. their goal plans a few times per year. I I Chief Learning Officer What these early adopters failed to realize is the critical role of A Look Back at Alignment the learning organization. Defining what the workforce During the economic downturn of the early 2000s, businesses should be driving toward does not enable the workforce to rapidly shifted from growth mode into preservation mode. achieve those goals. Leading organizations today involve the Business leaders focused on identifying mission-critical tactics learning organization in the business planning process, devel- to meet near-term financial targets as well as ensure enterprise op learning in support of the business plan and cascading resources were mobilized for execution. During this time, many goals, and leverage the capabilities of their LMS to assign large organizations looked to their performance management learning to individuals to ensure they understand how to process as a way to mobilize employee work activities around achieve their goals. these mission-critical objectives. 24

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Chief Learning Officer - May 2006

Editor's Note
Table of Contents
Letters to the Editor
Take Five
Selling Up, Selling Down
Guest Editorial
Learning Solutions
Robbins-Gioia University
Deloitte & Touche USA
CLO Profile
Washington Gas
Case Study
Human Capital
Health Care Service Corp.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida
Business Intelligence
In Conclusion
Advertiser's Index
Editorial Resources

Chief Learning Officer - May 2006