Alignment of Learning to Business Goals


Has the recession forced organizations to more closely align learning objectives to business goals? A new study by CLO Magazine surveying over 1,500 senior learning and development executives found:

“90 percent of CLOs believe their learning will be more aligned with organizational business objectives this year. That’s music to some executives’ ears.”

Jim Gillece, AlliedBarton’s senior vice president and chief people officer, talks in the article about the importance of well-defined leadership competencies, at every level of the organization, as key to bridging the gap.  I think this is a good and necessary step, but it doesn’t go far enough.   All learning can eventually be reduced to individual learning.  Thus, each individual must understand how the new skills and behaviors obtained through training or on-the-job learning link to the personal business goals of the learner.   We call this “line of sight” for the learner and it is a critical piece that is missing from much of the training I see today in the corporate world.

“Line of Sight” for a learner is really the alignment of individual learning goals with business goals.  The tool we recommend for establishing Line of Sight is a Success Map.  The Success Map clearly defines the learning goals for a training event or activity, then links those goals to on-the-job applications, and finally links the application to measurable business outcomes.  If you can achieve this with every learner in your training, you will be well on your way to establishing true Alignment in your learning organization.

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