Learning Strategy? Where We’re Going We Don’t Need Strategy… Or Do You?!

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    Where We Are Going We Don’t Need Roads!

    There is a classic line in the movie Back to the Future. It is the set up to the sequel when Doc and Marty are about to roar off to the far of future of 2015, and Doc says to Marty “Roads? Where we are going we don’t need roads”  

    So here we are in 2020 – where the simpler time of 1985 seems quaint – and we are the not too distant future of the year 2015 – and despite Doc’s proclamation – we still need roads. And you still need a learning strategy!

    We’ve seen many smart businesses go on for years executing learning without a clear learning strategy. If the investment could be justified by butts in seats, licenses used, and the smiles sheets were smiley – that was enough –  So, you ask why is it important if a business has existed without one?  Look a little closer at those businesses.

    • Is their business ahead of the curve? 

    • Do they have engaged employees? 

    • Are they promoting internal talent at a higher percentage than recruiting externally? 

    • Are they working as smart as they could? 

    • Are they performing at their best?

    • Are they performing at the same level or better than their competitors?

    Most likely, even with the smartest of businesses, there are opportunities for improvement in all those areas.  This is where a strategically aligned learning strategy will propel you to the next level.

    So, what is important as you design your learning strategy?

    We have a list of things you should be considering as you (re)design your learning strategy:

    • Understand how learning enables your strategic business goals.  For example, if your business goal is to increase sales by 10% year over year, then you need to ensure your learning strategy solves how you will do that.

    • Learn about your learners.  How do you prefer to learn? Are they working face to face with customers or in an office or remote setting?  Understanding how learners perform in their workplace will help you design a strategy that meets them in the flow of work.

    • Create a set of principles – things that are important to you as a business. Think about how you want to show up as a business, do you support inclusivity, is sustainability important to you or is it about efficiency and quality? – If you are looking for principles to model, consider the conscious capitalism movement or check out the Business Roundtables and their Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation.

    • Like your tech stack, one size doesn’t fit all.  Design your strategy to align with your core business values and behaviors.

    • What is your vision for learning now, but also in 12 months, 2 to 3 years ahead? Are you thinking about e-commerce opportunities B2C or B2B? Will you be expanding or spanning globally?

    • Do you build or buy your content?

    • What is your strategy for user-generated content? 

    • What does that learning journey feel like? What do you want learners to achieve and experience?

    • How will you encourage adoption and promote lifelong learning?

    • How do you connect your internal learning and development to external learning opportunities – like your tuition assistance program? 

    • How will you measure your success?

      One Size Fits Most is Not A Scalable Strategy

    At WeLearn, we feel a strong learning strategy is a core to the success of organizations. One size fits most is not a learning strategy.  If you are not sure where to start, are stuck in the middle, or looking for a solid refresh of your strategy and would like a second look – reach out to us and let’s talk about building a strategy that isn’t one size fits most but fits your business needs. Like we say around here, we are all in this together and together we learn.

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