Last month we talked about the Three elements needed to grow value from learning/training, looking at the need for it to be:
- Connected to Strategy, and or
- Driven by Managers, and or
- Applied on-the-job (OTJ).
In the quest for increased value from training, this month we take a closer look at the first of the three elements – how to ensure it’s Connected to Strategy.
We suggest to managers that they start by looking one level up. There’s no need to start by trying to do the connection between your team’s goals and the organisation as a whole – start by looking at your business unit strategy.
By focusing one level up you have your manager to help with the translation (if needed), what your business unit strategy is and why, where it’s going and what might happen in years to come.
As soon as you’re clear on what your team needs to deliver, you now need to answer the how question; what capability do you need to get there? Sounds simple enough, but this requires a dispassionate look at your team's contribution to implementing the organisation's strategy – focusing on what you need, less on who’s doing what. That comes later.
Almost always, there will be a gap between the current capability of your team and what’s ideally needed. Bridging that gap is what we call the capability pathway.
Who's there to help?
As a manager, the accountability for ensuring your team has the right capability to deliver results ultimately rests with you. That said, the best results are often achieved by working closely with the People Capability team (HR, OD or L&D) to get the team's capability aligned to the long term organisational strategy.
It has to be a partnership. Managers can bring what’s needed ‘in the trenches’ (short to medium term) to marry with what’s needed longer term from an organisational capability perspective.
What's the point of all this?
Business and reporting models typically force us to focus year-by-year or quarter-by-quarter, but the business and the people within continue onwards. With one eye on what’s next, you can create opportunities to position your team to be successful year-on-year. Proactive capability growth can keep you and your team one step ahead.
There will be challenges along the way, but if it was easy everyone would do it all of the time.
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