5 Steps to Business Impact



I will be speaking at the 2011 ASTD International Conference in Orlando (May 22nd – 25th) on how to achieve business results from training. The following is a description of the presentation and learning outcomes for the event.

Those of us who have been in and around the learning  industry a long time know that the quality of instructional design, materials, delivery, and facilitation of training has steadily increased through the years and continues to improve.  In addition, technology keeps providing new ways to deliver learning to employees.  The potential of mobile learning through smart phones and social-learning through social networking are just two recent and exciting examples.  However, there is one aspect of learning that has not kept pace with innovation, and that is the transfer of learning into concrete business results.

Although the quality of learning events continues to improve, I would argue that these improvements have not translated directly into increased business results for companies.  The problem is not the training; rather it is everything that happens before and after the training that makes all the difference.

There are five key organizational and cultural factors that impact business results from training:

  1. Alignment – Aligning learning objectives to business results.
  2. Anticipation – Preparing learners for success before they arrive at training.
  3. Alliance – A learning alliance between the learner and their boss.
  4. Application – Opportunity to apply learning immediately on the job, and receive feedback and coaching.
  5. Accountability – Holding learners and bosses accountable for measurable business results.

We call these factors the 5As and when they are applied specifically to a training event or program, they become the Five Steps to Business Impact.

At ASTD 2011 I will walk participants through each of the 5As.  Together we will identify how they impact the transfer of learning and explore tools to help organizations each step along the way.  Participants at the session will:

  • Learn how to conduct a 5As Audit to identify the greatest opportunities for increasing business success from training in their organization.
  • Create an Action Plan for achieving business outcomes by effectively applying the 5As Framework.
  • Understand how successful organizations are using the 5As Framework to achieve business results.

I hope you can join me in Orlando and I look forward to your participation and contribution toward making this a successful session!

1 comment

  • Great post, Sean – The 5As is a comprehensive, useful, and practical framework that can help insure business impact for learning programs. If you can ensure you’ve addressed these five factors, the chances of learning transfer and a really relevant and useful learning experience greatly increase.

    This is a presentation worth attending – wish I could be there this year!

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