Training Industry Magazine - Summer 2014 - (Page 33)
FOR LEARNING INVESTMENTS
t is evident that to be successful as a learning leader, we
need the buy-in of business function executives and other
key stakeholders. Yet, learning leaders continue to express a
perennial concern about obtaining a seat at the decision makers.'
table. So why does the learning function continue to lack the
influence and engagement that we should have?
After talking to a number of prominent chief learning officers
(CLOs) to find out what they do to obtain buy-in, we found they
all use a systematic process to engage senior leaders and others
to improve their professional results and more importantly, the
impact they are able to achieve in their organizations.
Across four different industries (courier services delivery,
hospitality, home improvement retailer and insurance), key themes
were discovered forming interrelated components: alignment,
structure and governance, resource allocation and results.
To achieve buy-in, the learning function must be fully aligned with
the corporate and business function strategy, requiring an in-depth
understanding of the drivers of the business and how learning can
support this. The language of business is "finance." Learning leaders
must be able to translate learning investments into top-line revenue
growth, bottom-line cost savings, or both, and provide the financial
metric related to the impact on the company's net operating profit
and future growth.
by Marjorie Derven & Alan Malinchak
Providing the business case for learning investments, regardless of
the learning or leadership development program, keeps the CLO
and their successors as an integral part of business planning and
enhance the impact of their learning initiatives.
For Annette I. Thompson, Senior Vice President and CLO of Farmers
Insurance, this means weighing their solutions against the key
business objectives of Gross Written Premium and Combined Ratios
- the factors that enable us to judge the financial health of our
"We use a two-page quarterly scorecard, with simple traffic light
scoring of red, yellow and green, for each of our business units, the
CEO and executive team, aligning our results around organizational
According to Kimo Kippen, CLO of Hilton Worldwide, the alignment
begins with five executive sponsors of Hilton Worldwide University.
"They represent the key lines of our business," he said. "These leaders
help us to effectively make the necessary trade-off decisions. If it's
not on their list, then it's not on ours."
Bob Bennett, Fed Ex's vice president of human resources and CLO,
similarly expressed clarity about achieving a strategic focus on
"We make sure that right from the start we are aligned around
shared objectives, beginning with our value chain of people, service,
profit, ensuring that all of these are balanced - we don't want to
overemphasize one at the expense of another," he explained.
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - Summer 2014
From Where I Sit
Table of Contents
Guest Editor: Developing Emerging Talent Pipelines
The Inherent Inertia of Training
Stop Harping on Generational Differences
Learning to Live the Brand
Leading through a Merger and Acquisition
Organizational Change through Applied Learning
Influencing without Line Authority: A Key Skill for Virtual Project Managers
The Currency of Trust: The Difference between Flourishing and Floundering
Building Buy-in for Learning Investments
Sales Winners Sell Differently: How Selling Is and Isn't Changing
From Mind-Full to Mindful: The Intention/Instruction Intersection
The Implications of Organizational Forgetting
Casebook: ADP: Improving Sales Process Effectiveness
Sustaining Training's Impact
Managing at the Speed of Business
Becoming an Authentic Leader
Training Industry Magazine - Summer 2014