Putting Lifelong Learning & Development On The CEO Agenda

Putting lifelong learning and development on the CEO adgenda
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    Learning & development have long been seen as a secondary function in the corporate world, but with the pressures of the pandemic, many CEOs and C-suite executives have realized their importance. 

    The success of any organization is largely dependent on the ability of its learning & development professionals to effectively influence the C-suite. 

    C-suite executives have the responsibility of making strategic decisions that will benefit the organization’s bottom line. 

    Therefore, a learning & development specialist must be able to demonstrate how learning contributes to the bottom line.

    In this blog post, we will explore how they can help C-suite executives can embrace lifelong L&D and put it at the forefront of their agendas. 

    More L&D Pros Have A Seat At The C-Suite Table Than Pre-Pandemic.

    The pandemic has had a profound effect on organizations and the Learning & Development (L&D) professionals who help them succeed. 

    Pre-pandemic, a learning & development specialist and manager lacked a seat at the C-suite table. 

    However, according to a LinkedIn report,  59% of L&D pros said their CEO was a champion for L&D in 2022.

    The increasing importance of L&D is driven by a couple of different factors. 

    First, businesses recognize the importance of upskilling their employees. L&D professionals have the knowledge and expertise to help employees acquire the skills and knowledge they need to perform their jobs better and ultimately help the organization succeed.

    Second, the digital revolution has created new opportunities for a learning & development manager. By leveraging new technologies, such as virtual reality and augmented reality, L&D professionals can create new ways for employees to learn. This enables businesses to stay ahead of the competition by providing training opportunities that are both innovative and effective.

    Finally, the increasing complexity of the modern workplace means that effective strategic L&D programs are essential. With their expertise and experience, professionals are uniquely positioned to develop and implement strategies that can help businesses succeed.

    Putting lifelong learning and development on the CEO adgenda

    Helpful Tactics To Influence C-Suite 

    Tactic #1. Align L&D With The Overall Business


    A learning & development manager should focus on becoming a strategic partner in the planning and execution of the business strategy. 

    This means understanding the core objectives of the business, the stakeholders involved, and the impact of each decision. 

    By understanding the objectives and strategies of the organization, an L&D professional can develop learning initiatives that are tailored to meet the needs of the business and provide value. 

    For example, more than 50% of companies face a skills gap, and half address it by training existing employees.

    Utilizing data and analytics can help to identify which initiatives are likely to be successful and provide the greatest return on investment. 

    Tactic #2. Keep Your Pitches Short When Communicating

    It can be difficult to know where to start when talking with executives about L&D.

    That’s why it’s important to keep your pitches simple. Avoid getting bogged down in technical details or going into too much detail about the project itself. 

    Instead, focus on high-level points that will illustrate the importance of L&D and how it will benefit the company overall. 

    For example, as a learning & development manager or specialist, discuss how L&D can help increase employee productivity or improve customer service.

    Finally, make sure that you are pitching L&D in a financially sound manner. 

    Talk about how your project will benefit both the company’s bottom line and its overall strategic position. 

    This way, executives will see the value in making an investment in L&D – even if it is initially small or incremental.

    Putting lifelong learning and development on the CEO adgenda

    Tactic #3. Engage Department Heads When Promoting L&D Initiatives 

    In order to truly have an impact on the C-suite and ensure that learning initiatives are taken seriously, it is essential for L&D professionals to engage department heads first. 

    After all, department heads are the ones who are most familiar with the needs and wants of their teams, and they are the ones who can provide valuable insight into how best to implement the L&D initiatives.

    Moreover, engaging department heads is also important in terms of building relationships with the C-suite. 

    When department heads are involved in the conversations about L&D initiatives, it provides them with the opportunity to demonstrate the importance of learning & development initiatives to the C-suite. 

    This can help to create trust and build relationships, thus making it easier to secure the C-suite’s support for the initiatives.

    Bottom Line

    As Learning & Development (L&D) professionals, it is important to be able to successfully influence the C-suite when promoting learning initiatives across the business. 

    The C-suite are the people who ultimately make the decisions that affect the whole organization, and the ability to successfully influence them is essential for any Learning & Development specialist or manager. 

    In order to effectively influence them, it is essential to follow these three tactics.

    Tactic #1. Align L&D with the overall business strategy

    Tactic #2. Keep your pitches short when communicating

    Tactic #3. Engage department heads when promoting L&D initiatives

    However, the most effective way to make an impact on the C-suite is to present them with data-driven arguments and demonstrate how learning initiatives can benefit the entire organization.

    To learn more about learning and development, click here.

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